It's a kind of magic!
No black tailcoats or hats. No life-size human boxes and definitely, no pigeons fluttering around them. In their 20s, Mumbai-based Ian Fernandes and Azhar Pirani could pass off as regular working professionals when you see them enjoying a morning cuppa at Lower Parel’s Aqaba. However, give them a deck of cards, coins or even sponge balls and you might as well brace yourself for some mind-boggling tricks, smooth moves and most of all, a completely entertaining session.
Magician Ian Fernandes strikes a pose with the coins that he uses for money tricks. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Known as Urban Shaman, the duo has been performing magic at private parties for eight years. Now, they are set to showcase their skills on stage for the first time at a show called Drawing Room Deceptions, this weekend. “We don’t wish to scare people by sawing girls into half, on stage.
Magician Azhar Pirani, one half of the duo Urban Shama, with a deck of cards that he keeps handy
Our magic will have more to do with sleight of hand, illusions, mind reading and hypnosis,” says Fernandes, who learnt his first coin trick from his grandfather at the age of seven and began practising magic soon after graduating from college. On the other hand, Pirani worked at a BPO, as a model coordinator and at an event management firm before turning into a professional magician. “For me, magic is an ice-breaker. Wherever I go, I show my tricks and people warm up to me. Also, being a magician requires hard work and practice and we cannot be complacent,” he says.
Tricks of the trade
Their study has involved research on old-time magic bigwigs like the Jewish magician Max Malini and Canadian magician Dai Vernon especially known for his card tricks. “I have also read books on hypnotherapy. Unfortunately, in India, we don’t have formal courses on the same,” rues Fernandes as he shuffles a deck. He asks us to pick a card and place it back in the deck. He shuffles it again and we find the same card under its box on the table. While we’re wondering how it happened, Pirani removes two sponge balls from his pocket, asks us to hold one in our fist (while he puts the other back into his pocket). We give the ball a little rub and when we open our fist, two sponge balls stare at us.
While these tricks are for a close set of audience, the stage show will involve more expansive tricks with bigger objects and props like chairs and tables as well as lots of audience participation. “It is an one-and-half hour show. We are trying to create a light and sound spectacle with the magicians at the centre. We will also have a projector screen to ensure that every trick is visible to the audience. So, it won’t look gimmicky,” elaborates Janvion Rodrigues, the business head for Urban Shaman.
On: September 26, 6 pm to 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm to 10 pm
At: St Andrews Auditorium, St Dominic Road, Bandra (W).
Log on to: www.bookmyshow.com
Fernandes asked us to focus on a spot on our right palm, take a deep breath and relax. Next, we were asked to smell our palm and of course, we couldn’t catch any peculiar scent.
Ian Fernandes (left) shows us the invisible vanilla scent trick while Azhar Pirani (centre) looks on
Then, Fernandes removed an invisible box from his pocket containing invisible fragrances of lily, lavender, a pod of vanilla and musk. He mimicked placing them on the table. After this, he asked us to pick our favourite flavour. Going along with his make-believe act, we picked up the invisible pod of vanilla from the table. He asked us to smell our palm again. However, we couldn’t catch any scent. Then, he asked us to rub our palm and said, “This is when your imagination becomes our reality.” Sure enough, when we held our palm close to our nose, we caught a strong whiff of the vanilla scent!