By Shailaja Tripathi Taneja. June 04, 2008.
Magic is in the air — on telly, websites and dedicated shops, discovers an enchanted SHAILAJA TRIPATHI TANEJA
When Minakshi Ghosh organised a birthday party for six-year-old son, Aryan, birthday party, she ensured there was magic on the cards. As expected, it was a huge hit. “The theme was football and the magician did tricks around football and children loved it. After the show, the children went up to the magician and wanted him to teach them tricks,” says Minakshi. While stage magic is facing tough competition from internet, cricket and film, the takers for close up magic or street magic has only increased.
Magician Chandrashekhar, a manager with Uday’s Magic World which sells magic products and also organises birthday parties, says, “Around 50 to 60 per cent of the people want to have magic in their birthday parties. They want the children to participate. Sometimes I perform at more than 20 birthday parties. Thanks to the growing interest, today Bangalore boasts of 500 magicians.”
Ugesh Sarcar’s “Third degree” on UTV’s Bindass has taken magic back to the streets. In the show, the kohl-eyed curly haired performer roams the streets and casts his spells. He repertoire includes bending cutlery and sliding a coin into a sealed bottle of water without opening it among other things. “The show is among the top-rated shows,” says Ashok Abraham Cherian, associate director, marketing, Bindass. “Sarcar’s magic is not hocus pocus but an art that combines surprise, precision, practice and personality.”
Senior magician Prahlad Acharya is not surprised when children ask him to teach similar tricks in summer camps. “They are not interested in the old tricks shown on stage. They want to know how to bend the spoon and how to put coins in a bottle,” says Acharya, who conducted magic sessions at about 12 summer camps last year. The fact that of late, summer camps too have started offering to teach magic is enough to suggest the growing popularity of magic.
Magic appeals to children’s inquisitive minds. Anything out of this world fascinates them. “The ‘how’ factor is important. Children are awe-struck at how the trick is performed. At Aryan’s party, the magician called some children up front and did tricks. You don’t need to know magic to participate. The children felt nice to be the centre of attraction,” says Minakshi. The fact that magic doesn’t require much paraphernalia also makes it popular. And if you thought magic is only for children, you need to think again. Nakul Shenoy has taken magic to the corporate world and performed for Wipro infotech, Samsung Electronics India limited, Microsoft India among others. To suit the needs of the corporates, Shenoy has come up with the show “Beyond Magic” in which he does psychic entertainment and mind reading. His fast-paced interactive shows has made him quite a hit in the circle. “The bottom line is the uniqueness of the act. Techies don’t want the same old magic tricks, they want a classy magical experience,” says Shenoy who prefers to call himself corporate entertainer. A whole lot of websites are also doing their bit to promote the art. www.indianmagique.org meant for magic and magicians across the country is back in an improved format and many more features. Also the videos of magic acts posted on various links have got many hooked. Children in the age group of five and eight are enthralled with www.starfall.com’s magic section while www.magic.about.com offers basic magic tricks for adults like “the spoon bend” and “magic cards trick”.
So the next time Neo comes calling, you could befuddle him with the nifty spoon bend.
Note: Article reproduced from With a wave of that wand – The Hindu: Metro Plus (June 04, 2008)