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Shabby clown costumes on a beach in Kerala, South India, caught the attention of Jessica Scott. The woman did not stop taking photos of the colorful wardrobe, which a sparkling surf bathed with rigorous punctuality.
“There is an incredible story behind those suits,” a voice behind her said.
Jessica, surprised, turned around and looked at who her narrator would be in the next three minutes. It was Rajeev Khatri, an old fisherman from the town of Beypore, a survivor of many sea battles and a good storyteller.
“What you see now –went on Rajeev– is just a replica of the dresses. They are at that point to remind us what happened there. These were the times when the great Maharaja Swathi-Thiruna reigned what is now the state of Kerala. For the time, all this territory had been hit by the worst monsoon wave that India has ever known. There was misery and desolation, but the people showed their tenacity and overcame the fatal circumstance. After such a calamity, the Maharaja thought that his subjects deserved a good time of recreation, so the ruler ordered to bring from Italy the best circus of the time. Gaetano Ciniselli, the famous man of tents, directed the show. He brought together a cast of clowns, acrobats, and an illusionist of marked reputation. By ship, the circus troop began the journey to India. Everything was joy in the boat, until misadventure burst. When the coast of Kerala was seen, pirates attacked the ship, and everything became panic. It was the clowns who, in a night of carelessness on the part of their captors, managed to escape. They went down one side of the boat and swam to this beach, where we are today. It was early morning. The clowns laughed and celebrated their escape, and exhausted went to sleep -from the cold- as close as they could. Enraged, the pirates had begun the pursuit of the escapees. They disembarked on the beach. In the distance, they could see the colorful bedspread stretched out on the sand. They draw their swords and lash out. Close up, with amazement, the attackers see something very similar to what you see at this moment: some colorful and ragged clown costumes. We learned afterward that with the clowns had also escaped the illusionist, master executor of the act of disappearance.”
Marcelino Torrecilla Navarro
United Arab Emirates