Imagine visiting a restaurant where a headless waiter walks up to you to take down the order with his head balanced on a tray. Well, this restaurant conjured up by world-renowned magician P.C. Sorcar is clearly not for the faint-hearted.
Welcome to the world's first ghost restaurant at Baruipur, about 25 km from Kolkata. Sorcar's spooky eatery is set to open on the southern fringes of Kolkata giving the concept of eating out a whole new ghostly meaning.
The eatery will have the ambience of a graveyard with ghosts, goblins and ghouls doubling up as chefs and stewards, Sorcar said.
"As soon as you enter the restaurant, you will be pampered by spirits and ghosts who will be at your beck and call. They will take down orders and serve meals. But don't take them seriously because they have been created through optical illusion," he said.
"A headless waiter will walk up to you to take down the orders with his head balanced on a tray. As soon as you gather your wits and place the order, the meals will come flying across to you," he said with a chuckle.
But Sorcar is still deciding the menu, which he says will be secondary.
"We have not thought about the menu yet but our aim is to provide the customers with a spooky experience that they will treasure for a lifetime. The experiment will be based on pure fun and the customers will be briefed beforehand that it is based on science. The virtual reality magic will come free of cost," he stressed.
"We are at present working on the architecture to create the right supernatural atmosphere. The restaurant will be ready by next year," he said.
The ghost restaurant will come up near the University of Magic that Sorcar is setting up to train budding magicians. Every year, graduate boys and girls who yearn to learn magic will be inducted into a two-year post-graduation course.
"Today's magic is tomorrow's science and I am keen to pass on the knowledge to the younger generation who will help preserve my art. Rabindra Bharati University is keen to provide affiliation to the university but several other universities have approached me as well. The syllabus is almost ready," he said.
The master magician has another project up his sleeve. He plans to set up a magic land that will be beyond the realms of fantasy. "My project will be a world of ecstasy with people floating on water and in air and walking through thick glasses," he said.
Sorcar plans to spread the wings of his creativity to other fields as well. He plans to make a film on magic and write books on the world of illusion.
The eighth-generation magician in the family, Sorcar learnt magic by snooping through the skylight of his house while his illustrious father late P.C. Sorcar performed at his workshop.
In early 1971, Sorcar Jr. had just finished his M.Sc. final examinations when his father suffered a massive heart attack while doing a show at the City Hall of Shibetsu, Japan. His death on Jan 6, 1971, propelled P.C. Sorcar Junior on to the international stage.
When his father was being cremated in Kolkata, he was on stage for his first show in Sapporro, North Japan.
Sorcar has not looked back since then. Today he performs throughout the world with his 'Indrajal' show and is one of the highest foreign exchange earners for the country.