Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) Famed magician Prodip Chandra Sorcar - more popularly known as P.C. Sorcar Jr - is set to start a school for teaching the art in Agartala. Having pedalled his bag of tricks across the globe, the 65-year-old says magic can be effectively used to spread social awareness as "there is a magician in everybody's heart".
Rated as a leading magician of Asia, Sorcar says there is more to magic than meets the eye "for, it can be channelled to spread social awareness. It gives people hope of a better tomorrow. Magic will say 'don't be frustrated, I'll give you hope. Come hold my hand, see the light' ".
A firm believer in passing his trade secrets to students of the art, Sorcar has already purchased 10 acres of land for setting up the P.C. Sorcar Foundation for Total Education near Agartala, west Tripura.
"Everything including magic will be taught there... Secrets are cheap things as long as they are secrets, but the moment they are passed on they become science," Sorcar Jr, the second son of late magic legend P.C. Sorcar, told IANS in an exclusive interview.
The master magician has not the least doubt that the genre would survive the challenges posed by new modes of entertainment like television reality shows.
"Magic will remain magic. Though this procession of reality shows will go on, they can't kill the classical forms of entertainment. This is just a spark. There is a magician in everybody's heart. If someone says the art of magic is shrinking then they are blind!"
Passionately he goes on: "the art of magic is flourishing; it is just changing its form'.
A firm votary about the use of technology in magic, Sorcar Jr, however, says: "Main thing is presentation. No matter in which manner the food is cooked, it is the way in which it is presented is what captures the interest."
And there's certainly a significant amount of science applied to magic, specially the science of psychology.
Sorcar Jr, who holds an M Sc in Applied Psychology from Calcutta University, elucidates with a classic twirling of his fingers: "When we use the word 'Manoranjan' - mann and ranjan - if we do not understand 'mann' then how can we 'ranjan' (entertain) it ? While entertaining an audience if we fail to 'tickle' them, then it's just touching the surface. One has to get lost in ecstasy."
Ecstasy, according to him, is a combination of 'drama' and 'magic', or as he refers to it - 'dramagic'.
He goes on to cite how Michael Jackson used to create magic on stage using vocals,
choreography, acrobatics and technology.
The total effect, he says, is 'fairy-tale-ish'.
And this is what you get when you are a spectator at one of his shows, which go by the name Indrajaal.
"Indrajaal was used by Lord Indra and it aims at capturing the five senses or
indriyas or even the 6th sense, the kinesthetic one, ESP, the unknown one! "
Despite all his accomplishments, including making the Taj Mahal and a locomotive disappear, he admits, "There are many 'dream acts' yet to be brought to life."
There's more to come from the master who once cycled blindfolded through the London traffic! But he humbly confesses, "The technical things which I had used for near perfection of blindfolded cycling is nothing in comparison to what P.C.Sorcar Sr had achieved while cycling though Paris; he made the world take notice of Indian illusionists. I stand up and salute him."
A testimony to this devotion in his den of an office, a cocktail of personal effects and professional paraphernalia, is an imposing portrait of P.C. Sorcar Sr.
The feeling of being born into a family of illusionists spanning more than the estimated eight generations is inexplicable. "If you ask how it feels to breathe, it can't be explained because we consider it to be a part of our system. So basically we (the Sorcars) breathe, eat, talk and walk magic."
The current crop of illusionists have made a name for themselves globally and Sorcar regards them as his teacher. "Everybody is my teacher; they are teaching me what to do and what not to do. In fact, the latter are more!."
(Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at email@example.com)
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