Nakul Shenoy prefers to call himself a mind reader and occupies himself by spreading the magic among straight-jacketed corporate executives. “Right from childhood I was fascinated by the world of magic and my aim in life was to take after the iconic comic character, Mandrake the magician,” he says. He successfully managed to convert his childhood interest into his occupation.
Nakul, a graduate in Commerce from MGM College (1998), Udipi, did his Master’s in Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication (2000). He says that his magic is different from the usual vanishing tricks and he banks on a combination of psychology, hypnosis, memory, coercion, influence and the like to get into the mind of the audience.
He is thankful for his UG days, for this was when he “used the opportunities to get on stage to perform magical tricks. I was also engaged in creating public awareness on social issues using magic as a medium. This, in fact, formed the premise for my Master’s thesis,” he says. But it was during his PG days that he gained focus. “I did not waste time loitering around. Since I pursued journalism, I started observing people around and the issues they faced, read a lot of books and, in short, linked everything to my studies. It was a wonderful phase, as I merged theory and practicals. I even bagged two of the four gold medals the department got.”
Though his in-your-face attitude got him into a spot of bother during those days, it is only the lovely times spent with his professors that he remembers now. “My writing evolved a lot under the late Dean of Print, AR Ramesh, at Manipal. As much as we shared a great rapport, we had our share of differences as well. Sometimes, I used to point-blank refuse to do a story the way he wanted it and used to argue that “this is how I see it”. Whatever little journalism I engaged in, the credit goes to him.”
Nakul’s fondness for his teachers is predictable as he goes on a spree of anecdotes. “I remember this particular incident from my UG days. Someone in the audience played a prank and the blame fell on me. The professors refused to believe my version. I was taken to the Principal, Shreesha Acharya to apologise, which I was not willing to do. The way the principal handled the situation still moves him. “Nakul is not capable of such wrongdoing”, the principal said. Those words still ring in my ears. Needless to say, it reduced me to tears,” he says.
Nakul as a motivational speaker, uses anecdotes from his own life in his talks. “I still speak about my UG Professor, TK Mohan, at my presentations. Anybody who studied at MGM knows that Prof Mohan used to call out for attendance only on the first day. After which, regardless of where you sat, all he had to do was take a quick glance around the room to know who was missing!”
College was also the time when he encountered real magic, when cupid struck him and his PG classmate Vishakha Bey. They have three boys.