Staff Reporter

Proposal submitted to Union government

‘Show aimed at highlighting the plight of street magicians’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will set up a ‘magic palace’ in the city in association with the Academy of Magical Sciences, said KTDC chairman Cherian Philip.

He made the announcement after inaugurating a ‘street magic show’ organised as a part of ‘Vismayam 2008,’ an International Magic Festival that began in the city on Monday.

The KTDC chairman said the Department had already submitted a memorandum for the proposed ‘magic palace’ to the Union government. “The novel project will be the first in the country,” he said.

The ‘street magic show’ was performed at Manaveeyam Veedhi, near Vellayambalam, before a motley crowd of people comprising students, mediapersons and international magicians who are in town as a part of the festival.

According to Gopinath Muthukad, magician, the show was aimed at highlighting the “plight of the country’s street magicians” who have been displaced from the streets and deprived of a livelihood.

“These artists are now leading a hand-to-mouth existence,” he said. Compared with a magician who performs on stage, a street magician has to be technically perfect, as he bases his tricks on the concept of misdirection with limited resources, said Mr. Muthukad.

The show began with a felicitation of ‘street magicians’ who had arrived from various parts of the country.

Ashik Hussain, a street magician from Uttar Pradesh, enthralled the audience with his ‘Indian Basket,’ a vanishing act where a boy who disappears into a basket made of reeds takes the form of a snake. The snake then regains its former state as a boy at the throw of a crystal ball. The trick by Farooq Sheik from Rajasthan was referred to as “The Ancient Green Mango Trick.’ The trick showed how a mango seed that is buried in the earth is suddenly turns into a mango tree bearing mangoes.

Around 1,000 magicians from various parts of the world are expected to take part in the magic festival. The festival will conclude on Saturday.