The long-cherished dream of children in the hall to see a magician in action was fulfilled on Thursday. Many clapped while others were left speechless, with their mouths agape. Squeals of laughter filled the crowded hall when the magician pulled out a pigeon from his hat. And when the illusionist showered confetti on them, everybody was on their feet cheering the act.

“I know you wanted to become magicians. So come to the stage, I will teach you a few tricks,” magician Samala Venu invited the children. A mad rush ensued, as children competed to reach the stage first. “Don't worry, I will call all of you on to the stage and teach you a trick or two,” he tried to pacify.

The programme had all the elements, which are so typical in a magic show. There was excitement, applause, intrigue and the infectious enthusiasm of toddlers. And yet, everybody knew that the children and their parents were putting up a brave front. All of them were fighting with life threatening cancer, but on Thursday, they decided to forget the pain of treatment and have fun.

“The magician showed me how to produce the perfect card from the bunch and asked me to practice during free time. He also gave us a chance to hold the pigeon, which came out of his hat,” said Sohail. The modest sized hall at MNJ Cancer Hospital was overcrowded with over 150 children and their parents. “I always wanted to see a live magic show and hopefully, I will learn a few tricks,” said Ahmed, from Warangal.

The magic show was organised by Make-A-wish Foundation to mark the completion of 30 years of its formation.

“Worldwide our branches are organising similar programmes. We found it fitting to come here and spend time with children, who are putting up a brave fight,” said Programme Co-ordinator Madhuri Talluri.

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