BANGALORE: From time immemorial, humans have been charmed by acts that go slightly beyond what’s ‘normal’ or ‘possible’ — the alluring art of ‘magic’. Bangalore has seen the growth of a number of young magicians — under the wings of older, experienced ones — earning fame not only on a national level but internationally as well.
One of the youngest contenders — Karun Krishna, has proved himself. Currently doing his engineering, Karun started off with magic at the age of three. "I used to play with coins and cards and come up with small tricks. My parents were intrigued by this and took me to professionals to figure out if my behaviour was abnormal or something to encourage," says Karun. However, since he was too young to join clubs where magic was professionally taught, his father became his guru. "My dad would go to professional magicians, learn from them, then come home and teach me," he says. "This went on for five years until I found my master — M P Hashim from Kerala."
Apart from earning titles like the 'Pogo Amazing Kid' (2005) and 'Bournvita Confidence Champion' (2007), Karun was also the first Indian to be invited to the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) Convention held at Dallas in 2011.
Another young magician, Sharan Kuttappa, strives to keep away from 'mainstream' magic. Currently a fourth year student at MSRIT, Sharan began dabbling in magic when he was in class 11 and is now a professional performer. Sharan prefers to 'buy' new ideas from magicians abroad and incorporates his own ideas with them. "I buy their videos and works, and interact with them regularly. This is how I learn magic," says Sharan. Meanwhile, Nagarjun Karnatakam, who has just passed out of Christ University this year, believes in his own magic. "I am self-taught — I buy instruments and come up with my own tricks," he says. Nagarjun is a core member of the International Magic Academy and organises magic conventions and training workshops. With a rising number of artistes in the city, the challenge to be 'unique' is faced by these young magicians. "People are looking for 'new', or at least new ways of doing the 'old'," says Nakul Shenoy, a renowned magician who has been performing for 20 years. "The internet has massively influenced these new-age magicians. With increased accessibility and exposure, they can easily pick up tricks and come up with their own," he says.
Bangalore is one of the patrons of this art, hosting numerous magic conventions and individual performances. "The lifestyle in Bangalore is such that people have a thirst for entertainment," says Nagarjun.