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It's business as illusion

After doing the vanishing act on Taj Mahal, Amritsar Express and the Victoria Memorial Hall, P.C. Sorcar teams up with daughter Maneka to walk over Dal Lake.

Time for a trick again... P.C. Sorcar (Junior) in Delhi. Photo: Anu Pushkarna.

THINK MAGIC, think the Sorcar family. After vanishing the Victoria Memorial Hall, Amritsar Express and Taj Mahal, the family is now planning to walk on water. No, they will cycle around. Performing the feet would be Maneka Sorcar, the 24-year-old charming successor to the Sorcar legacy.

"We wanted to do it on Red Sea where according to the Bible, Jesus Christ himself walked," says the lady, who otherwise could take you to the illusionary world with her eyes alone. "But considering the political repercussions and sentiments involved, we have decided to do it on Dal Lake. Kashmir is equally famous to attract attention. The trick involves lots of infrastructure but I want to make one thing clear, it is pure Physics, nothing supernatural," asserts father P.C. Sorcar (Junior).

One who calls magic as future science, Sorcar explains the Taj Mahal vanishing trick as pure science involving the concept of refraction. "We could see an object because of the light rays coming from a particular object. If the rays coming from the object are bent and are not allowed to come into the eyes and instead of those, the rays from the objects which are actually situated behind the object to be vanished, are bent accordingly to reach the audience's eyes then this would create the `miracle' of disappearing. We could have used a prism but it would have to be the size of the Pyramid and the refraction would not have been so sharp. We used laser beams to refract the light rays." However, he adds, it is for a limited area but in the case of walk on water, he will make it for any number of audience.

No Hypnotism

Sorcar denies there is hypnotism involved. "Hypnotism could be done only in a controlled environment and with a limited number of people. The effect, however, could be hypnotic. What we do is misdirecting people's attention. How many people you can misdirect depends on the ability and agility of the magician. It's hard work and that's why you don't find many magicians these days. You have to accomplish tricks faster than what a human eye could perceive. This also involves understanding what is human nature and then going beyond that. Like people generally accept that door is safely closed if it is locked. What they don't know is, it could be easily opened if the hinges are weak," maintains Sorcar who is a postgraduate in Applied Psychology.

Sorcar has also taken magic beyond the realm of entertainment to enlighten the society about superstitions and scientific frauds. Be it establishing the truth behind herbal petroleum or dismantling the aura around so called godmen, Sorcar's feats are not limited to one stage. "In the case of herbal petroleum, the man was using a hollow stick full of petrol. He sealed its ends with wax. When he used to stir the hot concoction of herbs the wax-melted and petroleum used to come out. It was a very dated magic trick. As for Sathya Sai Baba and Krishna Baba, they are mere counsellors who know a few tricks of hand. It is only in my religion that people can get away calling themselves God."

Parting trick: "Be a magician in your chosen field."


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