This boy next door can read your mind!

From cracking your phone codes to reading what's on your mind, Chennai‘s very own Narpath, aka your next-door-mind-reader, is an all-round entertainer.

CHENNAI: From cracking your phone codes to reading what's on your mind, Chennai‘s very own Narpath, aka your next-door-mind-reader, is an all-round entertainer.

Even while he speaks, the conversation is infused with a comfort and fun, flowing easily from one topic to the other. The 27-year old mentalist is all set to dazzle the diners at Radio Room tomorrow with his mind-reading zest. CE catches up with the management consultant-turned-mentalist about his humble beginnings, embarrassing moments and how he got into the not-much-known field of Mentalism.

“A mentalist is a psychological entertainer, who creates an illusion that he/she can read minds, but makes it look so real,” he explains. Mentalism is all about the mind. "A magician does tricks. A entalist/psychological entertainer incorporates a percentage of trickery into his act, along with psychology, body-language reading, comedy, presentation, and a story — all this forms mentalism," he points out.

The self-taught mentalist started learning from online classes, saving money from his job to pay for the courses. “I used to learn by myself. I spent lakhs buying books and DVDs from abroad! Luckily I was earning decently from my regular job,” he recalls.

Performing since 2013 as a hobby, he realised that he was born to do this, and quit his job to pursue mentalism. But it wasn’t easy. “I went out on the streets of Bengaluru, I introduced myself to people, talked to them, and performed with them. Every day was a different challenge — from embarrassment to success, it was a whirlwind of emotions each day! This happened for two years...” he recalls.

He feels failure is an important part of learning mentalism. “People ask me to teach them my trick. But I always say no. It cannot be taught; you have to learn it on your own. The most important thing is failure. You need to fail several times, and that needs a lot of patience, which needs to come from within,” he avers.

His street mentalism performances helped him with a lot of contacts, and set the base for his first public show in Bengaluru, which snowballed over the next few years into corporate conferences, private events, TV shows, radio shows and so on.

When he told his parents he was going to become a professional mentalist, they were stupefied. “I have typical South-Indian parents. My dad was able to understand a bit, at least. My mom was like, ‘Yenada mental nu solre?’. She didn't know how I could earn money from this,” he quips! He is all set to partner with YouTube channel Moustache for a weekly video, and other TV shows are in the charts as well.

Though he has performed across most metropolitan cities, he feels that in India, Mentalism is not known much. “Of all the cities, I think Bengaluru has been most receptive to mentalism. There are people from all over the country, and it is a little more exposed. Mumbai is good too. Chennai is a little closed, people haven’t heard much,” he says.

Criticism is inevitable in such a highly controversial art form, and he agrees. “It is controversial, and is criticised often, but it still enjoyable. So I’m good with that!” he laughs, adding that his extroverted nature and sense of humour helps him connect with the audience, which is vital for a successful performance.

“I’ve always associated myself with the next-door-boy look; the way I dress, talk, the way I treat people. I thought the name would suit me better, and everybody who saw my performances agreed. So, hence the name!”  he laughs, promising that all his performances are as candid and entertaining as our interview was.   

Narpath will be performing at Radio Room every Tuesday for the next month.

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The New Indian Express