ABRA KA DABRA
Is he really a magician? His simple demeanour makes you think twice. But as Shushil Chakrabortye starts speaking about magic, you see the passion in his eyes and you know how he feels about his gupt vidhya (art of mystery).
Magic is in his blood, he says. “I learned magic in my mother’s womb.”
Both his father and grandfather were magicians. He performed his first professional magic trick when he was nine in Bhadrapur. He did his father’s famous trick — he made an egg vanish and a flower appear in its place.
He remembers his audience’s reaction. “They were all amazed to see such a young boy perform magic.”
A magical legacy
Stating that there are 64 forms of art summoned in magic, this master magician says he realised “what an artist is” at the age of 13 while performing in Nepalgunj. He can never forget that show as he lost his
father during the performance.
“My father just collapsed on the stage. Everybody thought it was a part of the act. I was stunned that I didn’t know what to do. But my mum told me to complete the show,” he recalls.
The responsibility of carrying on the family legacy now rested on his young shoulders. And not only has he done it with aplomb, he has made sure this art continues — his son Suman has also entered this field. Suman was just four when he performed his first magic trick and has also received Best Child Magician award.
Carving his own niche
Magician Sushil did not just want to follow his father’s way of doing things. He not only revamped his father’s tricks but also did new tricks. In order to further enhance his performance, he bought new equipment from Calcutta. He started buying international magazines in order to be up to date with the changes and advances happening in the world of magic.
Talking about his performance style, he says he has adopted the ‘mime’ style as he is not fluent in either English or Nepali. And he also does it in a dance form with bit of comedy. And while performing in schools, he either gives some useful messages or conducts a small talent contest during the break between acts.
Known as ‘The Great Sushil’, he has also been the brand ambassador of Rumpum noodles and has travelled to different schools performing magic tricks. He even had a children’s programme called Haath ko safaai on NTV and also taught magic tricks in a magazine, and the programme and the magazine made him famous among school children.
The magician has also been associated in other campaigns like iodine awareness programme in the rural parts of Nepal.
A dying art
Though David Blaine and Cris Angel may be walking on the waters or escaping from locked boxed buried in concrete elsewhere in the world, magic is a dying art here. What does he think?
“One needs both quality and talent. Educated people who are interested in this art should get involved
in this. Then only will
this prosper in Nepal,”