Passion for magic brought them on a common platform. Doctors, businessmen, engineers and people from various walks of life shared a special get-together in Kochi on Saturday. The meeting, convened by Magic Society, a Kochi-based organisation functioning since 1998, at Kaloor Renewal Centre here was inaugurated by the famed magician Gopinath Muthukad.

Though the Society has only part-time magicians as its members, those dependent on magic for a livelihood also participated. The meeting discussed the problems faced by magicians, especially small-time practitioners of the art. A magician complained that giving away the secrets behind small tricks during big magical shows had adversely affected the small players in the field.

The meeting discussed ways to help poor and incapacitated artistes who were no longer in a position to pursue their art.

“We have decided to raise funds from across the State to help them,” Vaidher Shah, secretary of Magic Society, said. Benefit shows would be organised for the purpose, he said.

In older days, the income earned from magic was paltry. Many magicians who were much in demand during their heyday were left with no savings. The situation is much better now, Mr. Shah, who is a staff of the Cochin Shipyard, said.

The Society had in the past given financial assistance to the family of a Panthalam-based magician who died while performing the ‘fire escape,’ he said.

It is now preparing to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS through magic. A programme in this connection will be held in the city on December 1, World AIDS Day. The Society has organised such awareness campaigns on four previous occasions, in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006. The funds for the campaigns are raised by way of sponsorship. An awareness campaign of environmental protection is also being planned.

A one-day workshop for children interested in magic is on the anvil. “At present, there is no systematic training on magic.

M.P. Praveen