Sitting in an auditorium and watching a magician or a mentalist perform is almost, always nail biting and there is no one in this world, who hasn’t been amazed at the prowess and speed of the artist..
Magic, or the art of conjuring is a skill that is practiced for years together and takes immense dexterity, effort and speed to perform. One often wonders what the life of the magician has been like behind all the glam and glitz that they demonstrate on stage.
Pune365 has been featuring the lives of several individuals who are in unique or lesser known career and life pursuits through our series ‘A Day In The Life’ which today devotes this edition to one of the finest magicians in the trade, Jitendra Raghuvir.
This immensely talented city magician has been performing from the tender age of five and has his audience spellbound each time…
“Magic is solely for entertainment. It is certainly not wizardry or voodoo that can treat people’s diseases or bring some one back to life !
“Unlike what many think, magic is not about gimmicks or fooling people. It is a specialised art that requires precision and dedication. The artist has to have the confidence of mesmerising people without them realising it,” says Jadugar Jitendra Raghuvir aka Jitendra Vijay Bhopale.
Jitendra incidentally also has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The United States of America.
Our family has been in the field of magic for the past 77 years, starting with my grandfather, Raghuvir Bhopale aka Jadugar Raghuvir who was the pioneer. Since he started performing, his name eventually became a brand and we took it forward.
“So, its been three generations of performing magic for us! My grandfather retired in 1977 and post that, my father, Jadugar Vijay Raghuvir took over the mantle.
“My son, Ishaan Raghuvir has also started performing from the age of five and represents our fourth generation to take the legacy of magic forward. The three of us now perform together across the country,” he adds.
As a family, they have performed a staggering 15,242 shows and travelled to 27 countries. They do a minimum of 160 shows per year, apart from conducting workshops and teaching magic.
“When I was a kid, I was very passionate about magic. Everything in my house had some magical elements whether it was the lights turning ON and OFF, or the taps closing with just a clap and all this in the early 70’s.
I was brought up in an environment where everyone was passionate about magic. I would see my father and grandfather performing all the while. That is how I learned the art of magic and it was all without taking any professional training.
“We are a team of ten apart from my family, who assist me during a show. But to avoid travel related issues, it is my family that assists on stage, when we are performing overseas. My mother, wife, sister and even my daughter accompany us to the stage and help us in performing the routine abroad,” says Jitendra.
There are no retakes. Magic is a one-man show and it has to be nothing short of perfect. It is very important to stay fit and take care of your voice too. You have to overcome any fear of performing in front of a huge audience who has to finally believe in this 40-year-old magician!
Speaking about the days when he is not working, he says, “We definitely try to take holidays as much as possible, but never a day off from magic. Whenever people realise that I am a magician, they expect me to perform a magic trick. That is sometimes annoying, since one is not always in the right mood.
Yet, if you decline to perform, they begin to judge you and assume you are not carrying your material or not prepared. But this is really not the case.
“We often include the audience in the tricks without ever knowing anything about them. Since we have been performing so frequently, we are used to the gig.”
“When we incorporate new tricks in any show (typically happens every year), we have to rehearse several times and even at the venue just before the final performance.
There are people who even in this age and time, believe that magic can cure them off their insecurities and illness. This is how con-men cheat innocent people claiming they have divine powers and can cure anything!
We often try and explain to them but a lot of them fail to understand that magic is just for entertainment. It is very easy to gain basic knowledge of magic and use it to cheat people, but a true magician will never do that,” Jitendra explains.
Jitendra works through the year except for two short breaks during the exam season and the monsoon, if it is heavy. Incidentally, Jadugar Jitendra Raghuvir is scheduled to perform his 2000th individual show in Pune soon!
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