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Conjuring up a dreamland of magic

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His magic wand, after making the Taj Mahal and a whole train vanish, is at work to give shape to a real Jadu Nagar. The renowned artiste shares his passion for amazing feats with Anand Haridas

P.C. Sorcar Jr.

P.C. Sorcar Jr.'s dreams were never less than magical. And now, he is dreaming about setting up a Jadu Nagar (magic land) to showcase the best of Indian magic.

"Geographically, and romantically, Assam would be the best place for setting up this magic world for, there are stories and myths in that region supporting such a township. But practically, it could be anywhere ... Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore ... even Kochi," says the magician, with that famous twinkle in his eyes. The only condition that he puts for the location is it being accessible to the common man, and not just to those who are chauffer-driven. Though sky is the limit, he can start working with a minimum of eight hectares of land. "Jadu Nagar will be a donation to our society."

Before that, Sorcar is fine-tuning a course on magical arts. He has planned it as a postgraduate course, the eligibility for applying being "scientifically correct, artistically presentable and psychologically fit."

These are the big challenges posed before the artist, who never shied away from taking on challenges in his life. As he noted during a press conference marking his arrival to the city, "I am born to win."

His stupendous achievement of making the Taj Mahal vanish was also his reply to a challenge posed by another master magician, David Copperfield, when he made the Statue of Liberty vanish. "But that was on a moonless night. I said I would do it in daytime, with people looking on."

That Sorcar prefers to do things in his way was evident in the way he gave clues on how he managed to make Taj Mahal vanish. Using laser beams in a particular pattern, he created an illusion. Elementary? Not exactly. After the news about his show, he was approached by many countries to know the exact procedure. "To be used in warfare. Now, I will never support that. For entertainment, yes, you can have it." Also, he refuses to take credit for the rain that fell when he made a whole train vanish. "The high amount of heat generated by the laser beams lead to condensation of air and hence the rain. But it was considered another magic by me."

Considering this analytical approach, it is understandable that he prefers to visualise himself as a bridge between scientist and artiste. And he has very clear roles set out for him in this society. "I want to use this art to fight against superstitions, to inspire scientists to take the right direction, and to promote an intelligent form of entertainment."

For attaining this, Sorcar does a lot of homework. In fact, his team has prepared a sort of culture-mapping using the feedback collected from his audience across the world. "This will give ideas about umbra and penumbra of various communities, their likes and dislikes." And he shapes his shows, based on these patterns. Another secret of his success for you.

That stamp of Sorcar is there in every aspect even in patenting his tricks. "I only want people to acknowledge that it is my creation when they do it. Patenting is not meant to collect money from or restrict others from using my tricks." As someone who has always worked hard to go beyond the spectator expectation norm, or SEN, as he calls it, maybe, Sorcar is confident that no one can do his tricks better than him.

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