“I am from a very poor family and we hardly have enough money to survive. I walk on a rope and this form of art is called Nat Kartab. I have been trained by my mother, who was trained by my grandmother and so on. This is my family’s legacy through which we make our living and preserve this art form. I am eight and study in Class Two and dream of performing this stunt in front of the world one day.
At times, I feel proud of my work, at times, I worry. Nat Kartab is losing its charm. Earlier it was performed by many troops, but now there are only a few of us carrying on with this art form. I started at the age of two and since then I have been performing in various fairs or melas. Melas give me the opportunity to showcase my art and earn money for my family’s basic needs. Sonpur mela, the biggest cattle fair in Asia, is a great platform to revive this art form. This fair is also one of the primary sources of our income. It feels amazing when people find your performance wonderful. A few days ago, I met a girl, who was well-dressed and spoke English. She was happy to see me perform and clapped throughout. When the stunt was over, she came running to me for an autograph. I don’t have words to describe the feeling. My mother burst into tears when she saw this. I feel good when people appreciate my hard work. There are times when I hurt myself while performing, but I regain my strength and walk the rope again. This needs a lot of concentration, support and balance. With every passing day, I am becoming stronger and improving myself. I want to give my mother a comfortable life ”