LIFE

Magical mite for the nation

Muthukad gets a turban from a freedom fighter.

Muthukad gets a turban from a freedom fighter.  

Muthukad is out to prove that magicians too can do their mite for fostering the spirit of nationalism. The dashing conjurer, who concentrates as much on his public relations as on his magic, is taking out a `Vismaya Bharata Yatra', from Kanyakumari to Delhi.

Muthukad says the `yatra' would focus on national integration, an ideal that could be achieved through the medium of magic as well. The 25-member troupe he heads, will set out from the Gandhi Smrithi Mandapam at the southernmost tip of the peninsula on August 15 and traverse the length and breadth of the country, performing, what Muthukad calls, "magic with a mission''.

The `yatra' will conclude in New Delhi on October 31, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Indira Gandhi. Throughout the march, the magician plans carry the National Flag which was handed over to him by the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, at a function in Thiruvananthapuram the other day. The tricolour is to be presented to the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, when the march ends in Delhi.

To the full credit of the magician's skills in `man management', he managed to have the doughty Leader of the Opposition, V. S. Achuthanandan, and the redoubtable Speaker of the Assembly, Vakkom Purushothaman, on the same stage.

The Muthukad `yatra' will be seen off from the State capital on August 14, again in the presence of the Chief Minister and other dignitaries including freedom fighters. `Send-off functions' have been arranged by the Tourism Promotion Councils of all the 14 districts of the State, from August 5 to 13. The `yatra' would be received welcomed by all the SBT branches en route. Could Muthukad have asked for a bigger launch pad for his `yatra'? But then, magicians never tell.

By Ajith Kumar J.

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