Sunday, July 24, 2011

Its Magic!

Some feelings never change.

I have always loved magic shows. I can still remember the time when I saw a magician perform live on stage. I was in the second standard and the show was in my school. As I sat open-mouthed on the ground in front of the stage, the magician poured endless quantities of water from a jug, changed the colour of feather dusters, made things disappear and reappear at will and performed numerous, but as I now realize, fairly easy tricks. I and all my friends had our theories about how each of these tricks were done, but we couldn't be sure, of course. As we grew older over the years, the magician's bag of tricks remained equally awe-inducing for us and we waited every year for the annual magic show.

Then I saw P.C. Sorcar Jr. perform on stage during my engineering college days. He had come to perform at Chinsurah Rabindra Sadan and I had gone to see it with my grandmother. I was a grown-up now and had come a long way from that wonder-struck boy sitting cross-legged in front of the stage in the school auditorium. I myself knew a few magic tricks now, or at least the secret behind them. But when the show started, P.C. Sorcar Jr. sent me back into that school auditorium of twelve years ago. In the thirty odd tricks that he performed on stage, he not only twisted my sense of reality as he wished, he also seemed to know how exactly we, the spectators thought each trick was performed. After performing some of the tricks, he would reperform it in a manner that would nullify our hypotheses. He escaped locked boxes, solved integrals while blindfolded and as a finale to the evening, let himself to be sawed in two.

That was some eight years ago. I hadn't seen another magician's performance live in all these years until last Wednesday morning at the Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas. I have, however, watched a lot of those "Masked Magician" episodes on TV and Youtube where a lot of complex magic tricks are explained, reducing them from magic to a clever combination of science and acting. However, at this performance at the hotel, a man and a woman changed their costumes on stage repeatedly at the blink of an eye, and I did not know the secret behind this one. There were people crowding all around the stage this time, as close as ten feet away, but that did not deter them from performing the trick with the bare minimum of cover, and in one case, with arms and legs tightly bound. The performance was somewhat like this video, but better and more complex. I couldn't even start to imagine how they did it, because at least the woman was wearing fairly short and revealing dresses throughout and one dress could not have been hidden underneath another. I only know they made me feel as thoroughly muggle-like as P.C. Sorcar Jr. did all those years ago.

If I Google for "magical dress changing" I am sure I will get half a million websites trying to teach me exactly how that trick is performed. However, I am not going to do it. I have realized that there are certain things in this world that I am better off not knowing, and the secret behind magic tricks are some of them.

Google may be like magic in some respects, but it can never make me feel what not knowing the secret of a magic trick can.

1 comment:

  1. I watched P.C. Sorcar Jr. once at Mahajati Sadan. During the show he called child volunteers from the audience. I was too shy and did not move. I still regret it.

    And please don't Google. Google ruins magic.