Abracadabra Gili Gili Choo

Magic has always enthralled people Jaya Joshi discovers schools of magic in the city where children are taught the art

Mandrake comics excited you until Harry Porter came along. Do you know what’s common with these stories the characters have all been to schools of magic. Just like any other art, magic is a guided tour. Abrakadabra gili gilli choo.

These are the words, which have mesmerized and mystified people for decades. It is a mystery to know how magicians make a rope sway like a snake without anything supporting it or bring doves out of thin air or pull a rabbit out of a hat.

But a lot of effort goes into making of a magician. A person who wants to learn magic needs to go to a school to polish his skills and acquire perfection and performs on stage.

There are only three schools of magic in India. They are in Trivandurm, Hyderabad and Calcutta. They differ in their style of teaching magic. The school of Trivandurm is Indian Magic Academy. The one in Hyderabad is Andhra Balanandam Magic School in Narayanaguda. Calcutta has schools in every nook and corner. Samala Venu, Secretary of Andhra Magic School says, “Learning Magic is difficult and very expensive. Many of the schools concentrate on extracting money from the kids who are keen to learn magic. But here, we concentrate on teaching the child how to present the show attractively.”

Students are tutored on how to conduct themselves on stage. It is very important for a magician to present his show without any loopholes. The child should not be nervous when presenting his show.

Anirudh Baji who studies in Class VII in Little Flower High School says, “I was always interested in learning magic. I am pretty serious about it and want to take it up as my profession. I have also done stage shows, I did a show in Raj Bhavan on Children’s day. The Governor was also present there. When asked about his favourite trick he says, “It is the one wherein you tear the paper and then join it. Actually, there are two papers. And you should be careful not to throw the torn bits on the ground.”

V.A. Goud, who runs Magic and Hypnotic Academy of Andhra Pradesh says, “Learning magic depends on an individual. There are no affiliated schools in India. My schools is also not affiliated, but it is a registered one. The training period differs from college to college. It can vary from six months to one year. But there is no limit as to how much you can learn. I am still in the process of learning magic.” The Andhra Balanandam hopes to get an affiliation from the London School of Magic. There are no rules to join the school, anybody with an inclination to learn magic, can join. The ideal years for joining is 7 to 15 years. You can even develop your hobby into a full time profession.

The certificates are given after every six months. Kids who learn magic have to balance their studies and this time consuming hobby. Hence parents tend to discourage children from pursuing magic.

But there are others like Pradeep Rangrez who never went to an institution to learn the art. “I learnt magic from B.V. Pattabhiram. I also got cassettes from International Brotherhood of Magicians. Here they show all the tricks very clearly. I mostly do conjuring act, i.e. doing tricks with fingers”, he says.

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