BENGALURU: Mentalist Suhani Shah is 29 years old, and has been pursing her career in magic for 22 years. Shah, who was in town for her first public event in the city, claims that she is the only female mentalist in the country.
“I never took it as a challenge to go into an industry dominated by men. But I hope I have opened a new door about career choices for girls out there,” the Mumbai-based mentalist said, ahead of her show, which was held at Fandom at Gilly’s Redefined in Kormangala on Sunday.
Shah had a mixed bag of tricks for the show, which went houseful. She presented one of her popular tricks, ‘Predicting the future’. She asked an audience member to name a city, date, number and an activity. And no marks for guessing, but these perfectly matched what she had written on a piece of paper earlier.
Shah started off as a magician at the age of seven, after she left school at the age of six to learn magic. When her classmates wanted to be doctors or engineers, she wanted to be different from them all, she recalled.
“When I told my father about my aim in life, he, of course, didn’t take it seriously. But I was stubborn about it, although I was just six years old. He allowed me to pursue magic on one condition – that I take it professionally on a larger scale,” she said, giving all the credit of her success to her parents. Shah has written four book on human behaviour so far, with the first one, titled Unleash Your Hidden Powers, getting published when she was 14.
It was especially tough for Shah, since she does not come from a family with a similar professional background.
“Magic tricks are mostly inherited. It usually runs in a family, but my situation was different and no magicians supported me then. When I was living in Ahmedabad, I found a group of magicians’ assistants living in a small town called Kalol. I got in touch with them, and they agreed to teach me. They built equipment for me, and also taught me dialogues, presentation, etc,” says Shah, who underwent the training for nine months.
While her career in magic was going well, she wanted to do something else in her life, and shifted to mentalism. “It was a life-changing decision for me. In 2017, I wanted to detox, and went to the Himalayas to live in a Buddhist monastery where I practised silence for 20 days,” she recalled. On her return, Shah took a break for seven months.
“Many people thought that my career was over. But then I launched my new mentalism special. We shot the video, posted it online and it went viral,” said Shah, who is also a clinical hypnotherapist.