Around 250 magicians from across West Bengal and other states came together to organise the country’s and possibly Asia’s first open air magic fair in Kolkata.
The fair was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Nandan-Rabindra Sadan campus -Kolkata’s cultural hub where state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya spends some of his evenings.
The magicians, jugglers, acrobats and conjurers not only displayed their skills till Thursday but also imparted lessons to young enthusiasts.
There were also discussions and workshops on the dying art at the event organised by FIMA (Federation of Indian Magic Associations).
Magicians attending the fair said magic could also be made part of corporate management training and awareness campaigns on social issues.
“Unlike other extra-curricular activities, magic has never received much importance. Children take up dancing, singing, painting, swimming, and even karate but are hardly seen pursuing magic,” said Sanjay Chatterjee, co-founder of FIMA.
He said magic as an art is fading away because of lack of awareness among people. “Through this fair, we wanted to proclaim that the magicians of India are equally talented compared to their counterparts in Europe and America. They only require exposure and publicity. If schools take up the initiative of including magic as an extra-curricular subject then thousands of children will be exposed to a new world that goes beyond a Harry Potter adventure,” Chatterjee ssaid.
Renowned magician Goutam Guha said, “Magic can make a child more intelligent, hone his oratory skills and personality. Magic can be used as a therapy for patients suffering from permanent paralysis and autism.” FIMA plans to set up a museum next year and a ‘gurukul’ as well. Books and CDs were also released at the fair.