Framed posters of famed magicians on the walls, self-help books and videos on magic, myriad props and gifts on the shelves... their office is like a museum of magic. But the curators, Sumit and Rahul Kharbanda — hardly look like magicians.
If Rahul, 27, looks like a model, his bespectacled elder brother Sumit, 30, has the looks of a well-heeled CEO; if Rahul is an MBA, Sumit is a graduate in commerce, with a diploma in advertising and PR. “Many people tell us that we do not look like magicians. But magic is our passion, our profession,” says Sumit proudly, reclining in the chair which has a trade mark magician’s coat slung over its back.
Their father Ashok Kharbanda is a renowned magician. But before you could ask them anything about him, Sumit tells you, “ I did not become a magician to carry on my father’s legacy. We became magicians because we knew this is what we wanted to do in life.” Rahul, was the first to don the magician’s robe in 2002, with Sumit working as a backstage boy. But two years on, Sumit decided to work his own magic on the audience. Their company called Gift ‘n’ Magic, is sought by a number of corporate houses including Reliance Capital, Blackberry, HP, Axis bank and Club Mahindra. “Now many corporate houses are
seeking services of magicians to launch their products and services because magic appeals to everyone.”
They believe that Indian magic has evolved from the mechanical to a more subltler sleight of hand. “We are trying to change the image of Indian magic. We fuse Indian and western magic in our shows, which are like magical-musical plays, ” says Rahul.
How do his friends and family treat him as a magician? “They want tricks all the time. I got married recently, and the first trick I showed my wife was making my engagement ring disappear. But, she was not amused”, says Rahul, with a disarming smile.