The Magic Academy, Trivandrum organised Mazma – the street magicians convention. Well attended by nearly 30 itinerant magicians from all over India, Mazma was a welcome change from the trade-of-the-mill magic conventions.

Many traditional magic tricks, historically acnowledged to be India’s contribution to the world of magic, were performed, mostly with the same devastating effect.

Legendary effects like the Indian Mango Trick, open air Levitation, Indian Basket Trick, were as good as they come.

The gory, and thereby scary, effects included the knife through neck and decapitation of the tongue.

The most amazing performance was without doubt the magic of 83 year old Vadi from Gujarat.

How he transforms a brick to a live slithering king cobra inside of a second, and in the heat of the moment, is nothing less than a miracle. Jadugar Vadi has to be simply the best magician in the world, one that David Copperfield would be proud to take lessons in misdirection.

Personally I would have liked to see Vadiji to receive the Jadu Rathna award, as there was no one (nor do I think there will be anyone) worthy of conjuring up snakes and scorpions from thin air as he does.

I stick to and reiterate my opinion that it was an injustice to his greatness, and wizardry, that he was compared to the other performers.

This is not to take away anything from the prowess of the other performers, nor is this in any way criticising the organisers. This is simply a solemn acknowledgement that Vadi has to be one of the very best performers in the field of magic — one that the masters of magic would take credit in learning the nuances of real misdirection.

It was an honour for me to be associated with this historic event, even more so as a jury member. I thank Magician Muthukad for organising such a august event, and moreso for giving me an opportunity to be a part of it.

I would fail in my journalistic duties if I do not mention Magician Ramana (Wouter Bijdendijk) from Holland. Getting to know and exchange views on magic and mentalism, especially Indian magic with Wouter was great fun, and saw the blossoming of what I hope will be a good friendship.


  1. Thanks for posting this. Very interesting read.

    1. You are welcome Thaths. 🙂


  2. Very interesting!

  3. My apologies…

    I was trying to post this thru a moblog, but for some reason it would not be posted. Thus, the final post I did manage to post, was thru multiple postings thru flickr… which resulted in the confusion it did.

    I had to consolidate and delete the earlier posts… during which time I managed to inadvertently delete ‘s comment: “this is did he do that??

    The answer is one of the greatest mysteries of Indian Traditional Magic, which has eluded western magicians for ages. Here is another performance of the Indian Mango Tree trick, in progressive stages of the effect:

  4. great post.. keep such things coming…

  5. I haven’t seen any of the tricks personally, but I am amazed at the kind of things David Blaine can do and has done. He has a few shows on AXN and it is amazing the kind of things he can do. Apart from being illusionist and stunt performer, he is also a magician. Sometimes, i can’t understand how anyone can do that kind of magic.

    Most of the Indian Magic I have seen has been very basic and nothing jaw-dropping.

    1. Hi Sid,

      Well, there is a difference is what one performs on TV, and what one performs live in front of a surronded audience.

      I am not talking of Indian stage magicians here, but the street (itinerant) performers… generally regarded as the fathers of modern magic. Some of the age-old effects I have mentioned have been over the ages looked on as miracles, and then exposed for the individual benefits of western magicians and magic.

      Beleive me, when I say that some of the traditional Indian magic is a little more than jaw dropping. It is spine chilling.

      Then again, if only our modern stage magicians were half as good as the itinerant street performers…


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