The octogenarian magician, Prof. Baas left his family and the magic community for his heavenly abode at 2:45PM on July 8, 2007. A grand magical saga came to an end this day, as Prof. Baas will be sorely missed by magicians all over India.
Born on March 21 1919, B A Srirangaraj joined the Indian Railways after his class 9, serving for 54 years until his voluntary retirement in 1978. In 1981, he started the Karnataka Foundation of Magic and taught magic over postal mail, paving the way for many top magicians of today.
Having mastered the tricks of the trade from his cousin – master magician Vasant Kumar, he performed all over India, Dubai and Seychelles. During his time, Prof. Baas enjoyed personal friendship with greats of Indian Magic like P C Sorcar Sr, Gogia Pasha, and the irrepressible K Lal.
An avid writer and editor, he keenly pursued his interests in philosophy, astrology, palmistry, hypnotism, and psychology till his dying day. Prof. Baas was a devout collector of magical trinkets, playing cards (jokers), magical cartoons and articles.
My thoughts return to January 15, when Prahlad, Giridhar, and myself had the good occasion to visit Prof. Baas, and witness some brilliant magic effects presented in his inimitable style (Seehttp://tinyurl.com/32k8oy)
With the passing over of Prof. Baas, contemporary magic has lost its last direct link to the glorious days of Indian magic.
PS: This article originally appeared in the July 2007 issue of VMN.