On February 19, 2006 The Times of India, Mumbai in its magazine section TIMES REVIEW, published an article headlined: How to bend a spoon.
Meenakshi Sinha, in this article *exposes* how “Some clever men claim to use their minds to bend metal and to read thoughts. Corporates are falling for this repackaging of old magic tricks and are paying good money in an attempt to convince their managers that the human mind can defy common sense.”
The problem? Sinha is NOT talking of charlatans, mediums, psychics, godmen… Unless you would term a Mentalist that!
Yeah! You got it right. This article is basically targetting the Mentalists – the practitioners of the elite branch of magic that demonstrated psychic phenomena.
What’s worse? Sinha quotes P C Sorcar Jr, the scion of Indian Magic saying, “Anybody with advance knowledge of tricks and utilising it in the name of supernatural abilities is misleading society”.
My question: Did P C Sorcar Jr, the scion of the first family of Indian magic know that he was talking about a co-performer when he said what he did?
Yes. There’s nothing wrong with the quote as such. But the context in which it is used is all wrong.
Go on read the article! If you are averse to doing that, just read the following paragraph to understand the context in which it has been used.
Along the rather disjointed, rather amateurish, half-page article, we read:
There are others like him who bend spoons and other metal objects, or guess words and numbers in the minds of the audience. They are claiming that their mind helps them achieve these feats and are taking the corporate motivational programme route to find fame and livelihood, instead of the more arduous, competitive and honest one — magic. That is what irritates India’s most beloved magician, PC Sorcar Junior. “Anybody with advance knowledge of tricks and utilising it in the name of supernatural abilities is misleading society,” he says.
Let me elaborate on my earlier question:
– Did P C Sorcar Jr say the quotes in the context it has been used?
– Did he know he was speaking with regard to a mentalist?
– Did he know that he was speaking of Deepak / Pradeep ?
If NOT, then we have another issue at hand: A more serious issue; of using quotes out of context.
First things first, the persons in question are Mentalists; psychic entertainers. Arguably two of the best known mentalists in the country!
So the words “others like him who bend spoons and other metal objects, or guess words and numbers in the minds of the audience” is essentially referring to other corporate entertainers who are engaged in enthralling their audiences with mysteries of the mind…!
Yeah! So I guess you now know me as a person who is taking the easy way out to make money by fooling his corporate audiences, rather than adopting “the more arduous, competitive and honest one — magic.”.
Hello! So what if I (or the others) have been performing magic for the last dozen years? So what if I am one of the well-acknowledged speakers/trainers at the national level magic magic conventions?
I believe very strongly in the power of magic to communicate, to educate. I also believe that using my art I can make people THINK in a way no other medium / art can.
The one thing that I am not able to digest is that Sinha gives the ‘honest’ chit to the magician who levitates and vanishes people on stage! She seems to forget the focus of the art of magic is that it basically questions every element of science.
Yes! I do not have any powers beyond what any other human being has. But having honed my non-verbal communication skills, body language learnings, I can demonstrate seemingly impossible effects. I can mystify audiences with my powers of suggestion. I can demonstrate “super-human memory” using memory aids so painstakingly developed over the years.
I get my repeat bookings from clients because of the high quality of entertainment I provide them. Also because of the effectiveness of the communication. I am paid what my show and art deserves. And if they are willing to pay me what I ask, repeatedly, the story is something very different from what Sinha has imagined, and tried to prove.
Sinha in one brash line has tried to bring down the image of the art of mentalism, known to be one of the most difficult and challenging genre of magic, by her uneducated and one-sided article. I am NOT as bothered about being branded as a cheater, as I am about the attack on the genre of magic itself. I also take exception to her statement that portrays the corporates as falling prey to mumbo jumbo.
I cannot take this sitting down. I doubt anybody who loves the art of magic can.
So here (this blog entry) is my first step in retort to this rather ill-judged mis-informed article. How I wish I could take this up with a Media Ombudsman!