India's first-ever convention on cards and magic held at Andheri

Updated: Feb 06, 2019, 08:19 IST | Dalreen Ramos

India's first-ever convention on cardistry and magic launches this weekend with interactive speaker sessions and a live contest

India's first-ever convention on cards and magic held at Andheri

In 1912, Harry Houdini made his greatest escape. He lowered himself upside down in a water tank and locked it. Several minutes later, he was seen outside the cabinet — even as it remained tightly locked. The act came to be known as the Chinese Water Torture Cell, and defined Houdini's identity as a magician. But magic doesn't always have to be about life-threatening escape acts. Take cardistry, for instance. Literally meaning the artistry of cards, the performance act implies executing visually impressive tricks out of playing cards. And although the history of cardistry goes back to the 19th century, it remains relatively unknown in India. That's what Goregaon-based magician Vivek Singhi is trying to change.


About seven months ago, the 34-year-old founder of Magic Encarta, a company that creates in-house magic tricks to be sold as products, realised that unlike the United States and Hong Kong, there were no magic conventions in India. "I wanted to create something where magicians can come together and ideate on tricks — a platform that is interactive and one where beginners can learn," he says. So, with the help of international sponsors, he came up with Cardmacon in May last year.


The name is an abridgement of cardistry, magic and convention, and its website was formally launched in November 2018. This Saturday, the convention will finally take shape at an Andheri hotel. "I first thought that I wouldn't get more than 30 people. But then, even 30 is a good number considering the convention in the US drew a crowd of 50. But now, the number here is close to 70. So, even though this is a one-day event right now, I plan on making it a two or three-day event next year," Singhi reveals. At the convention, beginners will learn basic tricks like the card spring, where one can create a gigantic wave out of cards, or even learn transpositions like changing the colour of the card or the position of the card. Special card packs with unique patterns will be on offer.

Shivraj Mozaria (in black) specialises in Cardestroy, the art of destroying cards

In addition, there will be a contest where magicians battle it out by showcasing card and magic tricks. Cardmacon will also feature lectures by top cardist Shivraj Mozaria and CEO of a card-making company, Sajjan Agarwal. Singhi will deliver three talks, including one of importance to the community — how to build a profession in magic and cardistry.

"Our industry is a lot like stand-up comedy. Earlier, if you wanted to become a comedian, people would question you. But now it is one profession that people are drawn to and encouraged to pursue. Similarly, cardistry has been popularised in movies like the Now You See Me series. But, people still don't know what magic is all about," Singhi laments.

ON February 9, 9 am to 6 pm
AT The International by Tunga, B11, MIDC Central Road, Andheri East.

CALL Rs 3,500 (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch and high tea)

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