LiveMint: Bangalore’s Mandrake

By Pavitra Jayaraman. June 17, 2009.

Growing up we all loved watching magic shows, so when I heard about Nakul Shenoy, the Bangalore-based psychic entertainer, I had to meet him.

Seated at a coffee shop in south Bangalore Shenoy asks me to hide a coin in one of my palms so he can find out which one it is in. He quickly adds a disclaimer: “I am very tired after a trying flight.” He fails twice to figure out which hand I have hidden the coin in. Not willing to give up, he changes the trick and asks me to think of a person or place and write it down without showing it to him. I do as am told and then tear the paper into pieces. After a minute of intense concentration, he describes the person I am thinking about: “Tall, impulsive, unique name.” After a short pause he even tells me the name I had written down. There’s no telling how he does it, but after that he has my undivided attention.

Shenoy’s interest in magic began when he was five and introduced to Mandrake the Magician comic books. By the time he turned 15, Shenoy had started performing magic shows at family functions and small public shows. “For over 10 years I did several shows. I had a 10-member team with a whole horde of equipment, but then I got tired. My dream of being Mandrake was not being realised. Mandrake didn’t go around with equipment,” says Shenoy. He stopped doing magic shows and went on to research psychic entertainment. His research included books on body language, power of nature and psychology. He combined this knowledge with his own intuitive and awareness of his senses to develop the ability to read minds.

For the past seven years, Shenoy has been hosting a show called Beyond Magic where he reads the minds of people in the audience. “I use a bit of psychology, trained memory and sometimes a bit of hypnotism for successful psychic entertainment,” he says. In addition to that he uses verbal and non-verbal suggestions to project thoughts and influence people.

Shenoy says he has no formal training at the art, but has read a lot and picks up tricks and skills easily because of his inclination towards the subject. “A large part of it is just science and psychology. But if I kept it at that, I’d never be an entertainer. The mystery of it is what is so enjoyable.”

At present he is a part of an elite 20-member group of psychic entertainers from across the world who meet and exchange notes on their progress at least once a year. “I can’t tell you the name of the group. It’s sort of a secret society,” he says. “I do not have any powers,” he insists. “But I am very spiritual and believe that nature has a lot of power. There are certain things I cannot explain, like the ability to read minds. I won’t call it a power, but it does just comes to me”.

Note: Reproduced from Bangalore’s Mandrake – LiveMint


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