Sate launches magic tourism project

IN A NEW ROLE: Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan inaugurating the magic tourism project in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

IN A NEW ROLE: Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan inaugurating the magic tourism project in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.  

Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The launch of country's first-ever magic tourism project provided foreign tourists, Miles and Robbs, to have a close encounter with magic and magicians - the closest one they ever had in their life.

Surprising everyone who had assembled on the lawns of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation's (KTDC) Hotel Mascot on Tuesday, the first performer was none other than Minister for Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Illusionist Gopinath Muthukad, chief architect of the new project, invited Mr. Balakrishnan to the stage.

KTDC Chairman Cheriyan Philip presented a magician's black hat to the Minister. Mr. Balakrishnan then, like an experienced magician, inserted a multi-colour map of God's Own Country into a blank steel vase. When it was opened, flowers in fluorescent colours of white, green and red appeared in the vase. "Kerala has nothing more than these magical flowers of friendship to offer you," commented the Minister, looking at the foreign guests including Mr. Miles and Ms. Robbs, who were sitting in front of him. At the function, the Minister also declared that the Government was thinking of establishing a magic castle in the capital with the cooperation of Mr. Muthukad and his Academy of Magical Sciences. Modern magic by renowned "Close-up Magician" Rajamoorthy and traditional magic by Farooq Shah, a street magician from Delhi, were staged. During Mr. Moorthy's performance, "Intimate Magic," Mr. Miles got two stiff metal spoons bent inside his kerchief, while Ms. Robbs found her marked coin vanish from inside her palm.

While, Mr. Miles returned without reinstating the spoons into its original form, Ms. Robbs got her coin back from a small box in the hands not of the magician, but quite surprisingly, of the Minister, who was watching the show with zest.

Mr. Farooq's show, assisted by his son Mohammed Riyas, comprised of down-to-earth tricks performed with the crowd around. He deftly turned a mango seed into a lush greet mango tree of medium size during the exciting Indian Green Mango Tree magic. It was as easy for this traditional street performer to vanish his youthful assistant under the cover of a piece of rag to relive Great Indian Basket, yet another ancient mastery. In the place of the assistant, two white doves appeared.

The magic tourism project, jointly presented by the Magic Academy and the KTDC, is expected to conserve the heritage as well as create umpteen of job opportunities for magicians, especially the hitherto neglected lot of traditional street magicians.

KTDC Managing Director K. G. Mohanlal, proposed vote of thanks. Details of magic tourism can be availed from e-mail:

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