KOCHI: One night, mentalist Nipin Niravath was shaken out of his sleep by a hysterical girl who was frantically looking for answers. She thought she felt a presence in her room.
“She was howling through the phone and wanted me to say something to make it all go away,” said Nipin. He tried his best to explain to her that his profession had more to do with entertainment, and that there was nothing much the Kochi-based Nipin could do, since she was calling from Bengaluru.
“But people are never happy with the answer. They always want to see a miracle,” said Nipin, who gets Facebook messages every day where people have confused him for a demi-god.
“World over, mentalism is a scientifically developed performance art that includes magical elements for entertainment value,” he said.
About 70 years ago, in the US and UK, psychic reading was gaining widespread attention. There were instances where people seem to be making deductions and reading the mind. “But the fact is, it’s all about making the person say it without them realising it,” said Nipin.
Although this sounds way too easy, there is an intricate method behind it. Using this skill, Nipin can guess the name of the person you’re thinking, replicate the picture you are drawing, and even disassociate you with words by shutting off your reading abilities temporarily!
“It’s practice,” he laughed. “Body language specialists will vouch for it. In hypnosis, the use of reiteration will get the mind to do what you are saying.”
A touch of the magical, or the ‘wow’ factor, as Nipin calls it, is what makes it an interesting performance. “But that doesn’t mean it’s supernatural. It’s a psychological trick that plays with the mind of the audience.”
For his progamme, ‘Intuitions’, he replays the murder of a woman in 1873 without letting the audience know about it. “I create the entire scenario, with suspects and witnesses, and make the audience arrive at the verdict,” he said.
“I add a little of the mystical element which totally confuses the crowd on whether there is indeed a ghostly presence or it’s all based on psychological observations and intuitions. However, I do not endorse superstitions, and I dispel it by the end of the programme.”
Nipin has been at the receiving end of a number of requests to solve personal problems. “For that, I need another degree,” said Nipin, who has done a course in Neuro Linguistic Programming, along with extensive research in the field of psychology. However, the deluge of such demands prodded him to start a programme called ‘fortis mente’ which is a three-day workshop on mind power training, which he carries out with the help of counsellers.
And what about the critics? “Oh I get a lot of that too. It’s the ignorance that makes people say that it’s all hogwash or pre-planned,” he said. “I always maintain that I can do a live performance for the critics to prove there’s no planning involved.”