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Magic in her blood

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BEWITCHING SMILE Magician Maneka Sorcar
BEWITCHING SMILE Magician Maneka Sorcar

Maneka Sorcar speaks to Liza George on how magic is part of her life

She has magic in her blood and can trace her roots to the courts of Emperor Jehangir. The ninth generation of Sorcars pursuing magic, Maneka Sorcar is one of the few women magicians in the world. Daughter of the magician P.C. Sorcar Jr., she was in the city with her father to enchant residents with their performance. She speaks to Metro Plus on how magic cast a spell on her.First hocus-pocusI have been trying a trick or two since I can remember. Abracadabra of a good magician Magic cannot be taught, it has to be learnt. It requires dedication. Schools just hone your innate skill. Your father's reaction He was elated. He told me that I had to dedicate myself fully to this art and not compromise a heritage that is thousands of years old. But first he told me that I had to prove that I was a worthy successor.Shooting to success I did loads of research and decided to do a trick, which I call `Big Bang.' A couple of magicians were seriously injured doing it. I did not discuss the trick with my father. The day I was to perform the trick I told him and he was furious. My mother on the other hand understood why I chose it and said I had her blessings, but if I should fail I would not be welcome in the household, as it would bring shame to the family name. My hands and feet were bound for the trick and I had dynamite sticks covering my body. I was then placed in a crate that was later sealed. When it was set ablaze, in just eight seconds the crate and dynamite caught fire and the whole thing exploded. Just when the public were gathering courage to inch forward and inspect the scene, a fire engine came in. My family were relived to see me driving the engine. Why such a feat?Well first of all because my father wanted me to prove myself. But I guess the main reason why I chose it was because I wanted to show everyone that a girl could be as good a magician as a man. All my life I have heard people telling my father about how it was a shame that he had three daughters and no sons to carry on the legacy. It would leave me seething. The `Big Bang' goes to show that a woman can be as good a magician as a man.All in the familyThere were many good woman magicians in our family. My great grandmother was a skilled magician. She, however, was scared she would be branded a witch, so she would only perform to really close family. Women are slowly coming out in the open with society becoming attuned to the changing times. The Sorcar name Well the Sorcar name is ammunition for me against competition. However with it comes great responsibility, as I have to live up to the name and expectations. Secrets on telly You are taking the food right out of the street magicians mouth. How will they survive if you show what is behind a trick on telly? Besides you are robbing the trick of its fun. It's the mystery of the trick that charms and holds the audiences' attention. Land of fakirsIt's a shame but Westerners view India as a poor country and as a land of fakirs and snake charmers. They are surprised when shown a world-class magic show by an Indian.Wedding bellsMarriage is not on my chart as yet. I want to build a career first before walking down the aisle.Plans?Well, I hope to cycle on water but am looking for a suitable venue.

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