Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Deccan Herald: 'Abracadabra,' and the chariot vanishes!

DH News Service
BANGALORE, Feb 11

It was a replica of the golden chariot of Udupi. Magician Prahlad Acharya, one of the country's foremost magicians and dubbed the 'Indian Houdini', made it disappear in a trice at his 1500th show, called 'Maya Jadoo,' at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall here on Sunday.

The compere and secretary of Magic and Allied Arts Development and Research Institute (MAADRI) Mr Nakul Shenoy said this was the first time that this item had been included in Acharya's magic performance here. However, the same feat was achieved with the real golden chariot at Udupi in September 2001, when Prahlad made it vanish in front of a mammoth crowd in Udupi.

The chariot's vanishing was just one of the mesmerising items at 'Maya Jadoo'. Unlike conventional magic shows, 'Maya Jadoo' presented a unique blend of magic and drama, which Prahlad likes to call 'Dramagic'. There was also an element of dance in the performances.

Escapes, levitations, producing items out of containers or thin air, and transpositions were not the only things that he performed with flair. He also enacted an entertaining skit using ventriloquism with a pet monkey, 'Kitty'. A shadow play with a story woven around it also showcased his versatility.

The highlights of the show included the international award-winning 'Indian basket trick', producing basket after basket out of a container, producing umbrellas one after the other seemingly out of thin air, Kadinalli jatre - a folk magic act using folk dance and music, 'Magic in Disneyland' - magic using the characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and the ever-popular sawing a woman into two.

Prahlad also took the opportunity to promote AIDS awareness. He used the example of two assistants tying him with a rope and his inability to wriggle out of it, to convey to the audience that AIDS also posed a similar problem. Another educative item was about the evils of alcoholism. The magician produced 'endless' bottles of whiskey from an oblong container and cautioned the audience - "In the beginning it is only a glass, it soon progresses to bottles."

The City's eminent magician S P Nagendra Prasad felicitated Prahlad Acharya on the occasion, on behalf of magicians of Bangalore.

Photo details:
Magician Prahlad Acharya standing before the replica of the golden chariot of Udupi, moments before he made it disappear.

-- Appeared in the Deccan Herald on February 12, 2002.

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