Juggling Life & Style

Juggling for just reasons

Manikandan Muthu

Manikandan Muthu   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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Wondering where to send your child this summer? A juggling workshop can be on the list as ace juggler Manikandan Muthu readies with his tricks

The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree. One conversation with juggler Manikandan Muthu and you realise how these age-old phrases, though clichéd, hold true. Mani, as he is fondly called, has been a part of his father’s juggling performances ever since he was a kid and he grew up with juggling being an important part of his life.

The 25 year old recalls, “My father used to perform in a lot of shows and I tagged along with him. I learnt the tricks of the trade from close quarters and understood how the crowd reacted instinctively to him. He told me that my first priority should be education and juggling should come second. Though I was hesitant to follow his footsteps initially, fate ensured that I took up juggling.”

Mani learnt to juggle using cricket balls and started off by managing three balls at once. Currently he handles up to five objects at one go and juggles just about anything from balls to clubs, rings, fire sticks and LED clubs that he got from the UK. His other talents include juggling while riding a unicycle which he learnt from popular juggler Neptune Chapotin in Goa.

Talking about the benefits of juggling, Mani maintains that it is a portable workout which sharpens concentration and increases the motion of arms. He confesses that his biggest challenge while performing on stage is to maintain focus and not let the vagaries (from lighting to audience) disturb his concentration.

The young juggler, who works with an IT company, indulges in his passion over the weekends. He has over 500 shows to his credit. Explaining that one always finds time for their passion, he says, “Juggling is my stress reliever. It has helped me multi-task, provide balance to my life and puts things into perspective. After my father’s death, juggling helped me get over the grief. So I will always find place for it in my life,” he shares.

Mani holds classes and workshops in schools at regular intervals. He adds, “Kids enjoy juggling because it’s a fun activity, I also explain the benefits to them, and how it helps in one’s day-to-day lives.”

The city-based juggler has also trained actor Rana Daggubati for his movie Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum and takes part in InJuCo, India’s primary juggling convention held in Goa annually.

When asked about his future plans, his eyes shine and he answers as if he has given it a lot of thought. “I have four things on my mind,” he starts, “I want to open Hyderabad’s first Juggling Club and teach everyone who is interested to learn. Secondly, I want to create more awareness on juggling and ensure that it’s recognised by the Telangana government. Finally, I want to reach a stage where everyone understands the benefits of juggling and make it a common hobby for the youngsters in the city.”

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 5:04:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/juggler-manikandan-muthu-is-ready-with-his-tricks/article26521260.ece

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