INTERVIEW Magic can only have a magical effect if it evolves with time, says P.C. Sorcar Jr. along with his magician daughter as they celebrate 100 years of Indrajaal
“Life is magic; without magic, there is no existence. If we don’t have the reason of magic, how do we exist? Magic is the hope of a better tomorrow,” says the ‘Merchant of Vanish’, PC Sorcar Jr describing magic as the essence of existence.
The celebrated magician is celebrating 100 years of ‘Indrajaal’ along with his daughter Maneka.
Musing over his plans to build a Jaadu Nagri, a whole township of magic, the highest individual foreign exchange earner in magic entertainment sector mentions, “I had vouched for a scenic place in Darjeeling, but then it fell into political conflict because I was told that it fell under Gorkhaland, so I had to withdraw. Now I have focused on Tripura, there is a hill I want to buy with my own money, money I have earned with magic. I don’t want the support of the government or of any private players, I don’t want any directives or restrictions, I want the place to have my essence.”
The master illusionist reaffirms that science and magic are symbiotic in nature and also that with the evolving technology, magic should grow alongside.
“Magic of today is science of tomorrow. The magic that I do, I do it in front of a live audience; yes, the tricks have to evolve. The classic man-in-the box trick is evolving to a more elaborate format with the spaceman first transforming into a beam of right and materialising outside the spaceship, repairing the faults and then re-transforming back inside a spaceship, I did this on stage for six months in Madras . That is what is today’s magnificent magic,” says the Kolkata-based magician who has made the Taj Mahal and the Victoria Memorial ‘disappear’ with his tricks.
Amongst many magic tricks Sorcar Jr chooses the X-ray vision as his favourite, he explains, “In this trick, I am blindfolded, and then I make magic, that is my favourite trick. That is not the best of best of Sorcar; that is the best of magic.”
Questioning the legitimacy of ‘street magic’ shows on popular television and the limitations of 2D magic, Sorcar Jr ruminates, “I feel television insults magic. A magic trick is an amalgamation of visual and mental reaction. The essence of the trick is to make the audience believe in the trick. 2D screens with their cut scene production cannot replicate the quintessence of a live performance. I explored into films, but I realised that magic is more of a 3D affair, with the magician playing with the conscience of the audiences; magic is more about making the audience believe in the trick.”
Taking the legacy forward
“There have been women magicians before me. Women have always been engaged in magic and conjuring. If we talk of the west, the ladies there appeared skimpily clothed accompanying the magician. In one way, I can be different because I am the main performer and not a side artiste.” While reflecting over her upbringing in the Sorcar family, the dynamic artiste muses:
“I did not feel any difference, a fish cannot tell if the water is sweet or salty. If I look at my friends I can say that they are missing out on a lot, they need some magic in their lives. There is a marked difference between leading life on your own terms and leading life pushed by the expectations of others. To some extent when you are born into an illustrious family, one has to bear the brunt of that. At the end of the day, whatever magic I do, I have to perform that. Just because I am PC Sorcar’s daughter doesn’t make me a great magician, I have to prove my mettle on stage; and yes, comparisons are always there,” says Maneka Sorcar, who has teamed up with his father on spectacular acts like vanishing the Taj Mahal.