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Turn of a friendly card

All cards in his hands Vishal Selvan Photo: M. Periasamy

All cards in his hands Vishal Selvan Photo: M. Periasamy  

My idea of magic is from my memories of school, when a “magician uncle” pulled a bunny out of his cap. I clapped furiously and roared with laughter. So, when Vishal Selvan, a young magician at Kuchi N Kream, tells me that his tricks will blow my mind, I eagerly wait for a rabbit to appear. I am crestfallen when it doesn’t but the 21-year-old tells me that is not his kind of magic.

Vishal has a stack of cards; the top one shivers and jumps when he taps on it. “How did you do that?” I exclaim. A charming smile is all I get. He then asks me to pick a card from the overturned stack, and tells me to follow carefully, as he shuffles it with other cards. Finally he asks me to spot the card. I pick the wrong one and he spots the right one.

Vishal dazzles with his sleight of hand. At Kuchi N Kream, he goes to individual tables to perform his acts. The reactions are priceless, he says. “Some get so excited and start screaming.” While, others sometimes don’t get him at all. “At one hotel, they watched me passively, but when one from the audience did some amateurish act and they all applauded. I was devastated,” says Vishal, half jokingly.

He says that it is time people saw card magic as a separate art and science in itself. “The expertise is acquired over years of practice. I started when I was 12. Magic is a craft. You have to elevate it into an art.” Does he plan to teach his tricks to a few? “I can show someone the path. The rest he needs to explore himself."

He has also performed at a Tedx show. “That was a totally different experience. Performing for the camera was much more challenging because the camera-eye picks things that the human eye can’t.”

As a child, Vishal was fascinated by magic. “Sleight of hand is my favourite. There are 52 cards in a pack and it holds infinite possibilities for magic. It is a combination of brain work and skill. People have been working on these tricks for centuries.”

He usually does not do magic for big crowds. As a child, he was quite a recluse. As the loud chatty ones in the front made all the noise, he would sit quietly at a corner in the back doing his magic. “I had one or two really close friends who understood me and to whom I showed this side of mine,” he says.

He has been performing at restaurants in the city and getting good feedback. But, some restaurant owners call him for a trial, praise him and promise that they will call him back, but never do so. Vishal says that it would help if he could get a few shows in the city.

He is currently taking online magic lessons. “Right now, my only aim is to do as many shows as I can to buy all those expensive books. I need some money to fund my higher studies in magic, which is quite an expensive affair. I want to get better at my craft.”

(Vishal Selvan will perform at Kuchi N Kream for the next two weeks on Thursdays at 9.00 p.m. He can be contacted at 99655-22994)

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