Suhani Shah is a magician, an illusionist and a mentalist. And if that wasn’t enough, she also dons the hats of a life coach, a corporate trainer, an author and a clinical hypnotherapist. She believes she was always a little different from others her age, and that’s how she likes it. The reason she chose magic, she says, is because it is an unconventional art and she did not want to become a doctor, teacher or pilot like many of her schoolmates. The 26-year-old found her calling at the outrageously early age of seven, and hasn’t looked back since then.
“One day, I randomly walked up to my dad and told him I only wanted to do magic, and was rather hell bent on it. He agreed to my demands and we managed to find a team for a magic show in Ahmedabad in 1997, when I was only seven-years-old. It was more than magic, rather, it was like an event for me where I had to memorise something and then perform for three hours. It has been eighteen years since then and today when I look back, I am amazed to think that the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shankar Singh Waghela, was the chief guest at the show,” gushes the much-acclaimed magician.
With over five thousand shows to her credit, Suhani can pull off several genres of magic, including conjuring and street magic, but her forte is mentalism and illusions. “During my initial days I used to perform three shows a day. The most amazing thing about magic is the effect it creates. People are expecting you to do some miracle, and at the end of it they are awestruck. The most sought after acts are making cars disappear and predicting the future, and at the end of these acts, people forget to applaud and simply stare on. And that is the most rewarding response for a magician,” she adds.
However, as it goes for several other performers, Suhani too reckons India is a better stage for performing artists as people here are more bothered about what is happening in others’ lives. However, there are drawbacks too. “Upon watching me levitate objects in air and teleport human beings, people would think I had some devi shakthi or was a goddess of some kind. It is sad how blinding superstition can be, especially in India.”
A first–generation magician, Suhani has had her share of challenges which she had to overcome, both at school and home. After her debut performance, the prodigy started getting calls for performances from several nations, which meant she had to stay out of Ahmedabad for months together, which started to take a toll on her attendance. “I was enrolled at Mount Carmel College, and such long absences started creating problems at school. During this time, I had to go through an aptitude test, and was declared over–matur for my age for that school. Apparently, if I was to be made to learn according to my age, my capabilities would remain unfulfilled. I had to choose between studies and magic, and I chose magic.”
Back home, the issues were of a different nature as she was judged for being a girl and practicing magic without getting proper schooling. “Eighteen years ago, magic was considered something that is practised by the uneducated. However, life experiences have taught me a lot more than what schooling could,” she says.
At the age of 13, her father suggested her to pen a book based on her experiences as a magician. “I authored a book called Unleash Your Hidden Power at the age of 15 and it turned out to be a best seller. I followed that up with four more books,” she says.
From then on, Suhani kept surpassing herself. She got invited to conduct corporate training and lectures and today she runs a huge retreat centre – The Susha, in Goa – where this clinical psychologist helps to resolve the problems of people. Looking back, she says she has enjoyed every bit of her life and would absolutely like to relive every day if it were possible.
Reach out: www.suhanishah.com/