Playing his cards right.

Playing his cards right.  

HE IS all of seven and he can make coins disappear into thin air, produce a bouquet out of nowhere, cycle blindfolded, change the colour of playing cards, or join a cut rope into one piece... Meet Master Karun Krishna, one of the youngest magicians in India.

As a three-and-a-half year old, Karun surprised everyone by replicating the card tricks shown by his father, Partha, a CT scan technician. "He is a very observant child. His grasping power baffles us all," beams his father. "Karun took to magic like a fish takes to water. All he needed was guidance."

The doting parents realised that for young Karun, magic was not merely a passing fantasy but a passion. "Though he couldn't read, he would go through books related to magic a hundred times over," says his mother Sudha.

Without further ado, the wunderkind was enrolled as a member of the Magic Academy, Bangalore, run by well-known magician K.S. Ramesh.

Karun was four when he received his first break. He performed a show at the inauguration of Crazy Waters, the theme Park near Bangalore. That performance was the first of his over 250 shows preformed all over the country.

A student of standard II in St. John's High School, Cleveland Town, Karun has the distinction of having performed before the cameras as well.

He has done television shows for Sun TV and Asianet while Star Plus interviewed this prodigy as part of its Christmas programme in 1999. "I'm called the `magic kid' in school. I want to become as famous as David Copperfield one day," says the boy.

Hailing from a family of musicians, Karun has received ample encouragement from them. His mother, who worked as a marketing executive, quit her job in order to take care of the child-magician. "I manage my son's shows and also design costumes for him," says Sudha. One of their proudest moments came when their son performed alongside the legendary P.C. Sorcar at a special audience show.

Karun has already received several awards.

He walked away with the first prize in three All India Magicians' Convention (AIMC) at Cochin (1999), Mumbai (2000), and Hyderabad (2001), apart from other State and National awards.

This young jadugar has also participated in fund-raising shows, notably for the Kargil Relief Fund and Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund.

In 2000, he was awarded the Ugadi Puraskar by the Madras Telugu Academy. He is also a recipient of the Aryabhhatta and Karnataka State Award in 2001.

Karun does not lag behind in his academics.

"He's a cent per cent student," says Ms. Sudha. How does he manage to do that? "It's magic," says the little magician mischievously.

It is not just magic that this youngster is adept at. As if on cue, he breaks into an imitation of Shahrukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt. Karun is part of the dramatics club at school and sings for the school choir. "I can spend hours playing computer games," he adds. His hobbies include drawing, dancing, and acting. Which is probably why he was spotted at a performance and was selected to act in the serial Sapthapadi, telecast on Udaya TV.


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