Have you ever read a Harry Potter book? That’s the question we asked some of Chennai’s magicians ahead of the world-famous fictitious wizard’s birthday on July 31. Turns out they haven’t.
And if you’re more than just the average fan, perhaps you already know that it isn’t a coincidence that Potter shares his birthday with his author – JK Rowling. According to the seventh and final book in the series – The Deathly Hallows readers finally established that Harry was born on July 31, 1980. making him 33 years old today.
Although, he is possibly still younger than most of our own hometown wizards who’ve been in the business of magic for over two decades now. But back to our question. Says magician T K Vadivel Pillai, “I haven’t read a single one of the books, but my kids are crazy about them!” He does reveal an interesting observation though. Pillai states, “When the books were coming out, there was an escalation of interest in magic.” The magician-cum-hypnotist specifies a “30 to 40 per cent jump in his audience” for shows – both kids and adults.
Fifty-one-year-old dramatist-turned-magician Puyal Ganesh doesn’t know much about the books either. He recalls, “I made the switch to magic when I was 30 because it was inconvenient to wait for people to show up for rehearsals.” Ganesh who likes to call himself an ‘interactive entertainer’ explains, “Magic was a good option at the time because I could draw an audience, and do it solo.”
However the cult phenomenon did eventually catch up to him through his 15-year-old son. He smiles, “My son has read every single book and watched all the movies twice over.” And as it turns out his teenager’s Potter addiction has involuntarily influenced Puyal’s magic presentations at birthday parties and the like. “It’s been a long time but even now I use spells from the books when I do a trick, and the kids recognise the names and respond immediately.” Ask him for an example and he shys away with a laugh, “I forget. They really are quite a mouthful!”
Taking it a step further, magic man and event organiser S Elango makes it a point to always be equipped with multiple wands when he is doing an event.
“The kids love it,” he smiles. And from the sudden surge of excitement this reporter felt, there’s a good chance that serious, down-to-earth adults will feel the same as well. It certainly beats a Daniel Radcliffe poster and a Nimbus 2000 broom with no throttle.