A Magic Show
Last Sunday, the famous magician of India, Dev Dutta Sarkar visited our town. He held a magic show in the town hall in the afternoon. I went to see the show.
The hall was packed to capacity, but I managed to occupy the front row of seats. As the famous magician entered the hall he was given a standing ovation by the spectators.
He was wearing a long robe of intricate designs and colours and was holding a magic wand in his hand.
On just entering the hall he was told by one of the spectators that he had heard that he always reached the avenue of his show in time, but this time he had come late by one hour.
The renowned magician smiled and said that he was very much on time. He asked the spectators to look at their watches. To the surprise of all, the watch on everybody’s wrist showed the real time the show was scheduled to be held. The hall resounded with the loudest clapping that I had ever heard.
Then Mr. Sarkar took out a handkerchief from his pocket. He put it into an empty brass jar and covered it with a disc. He asked one of the spectators to come and remove the disc and take out the contents from the jar. To the surprise of all, the handkerchief had changed into a small frog which began to hop on the table on which the jar had been placed. The magician asked the spectator to put the frog back into the jar. He again covered it with the disc. Again as the disc was removed and the jar emptied a handkerchief, now of a different colour came out and the frog had disappeared.
In this way, the magician brought out scores of things from the empty jar, among them, marbles, a dove, a pigeon, a rose, a note-book, a toy bus etc.
The show was over after one hour. I returned home elated and wonder-struck.
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Jugglers are very common in India. They are nomadics. They wander from place to place in search of livelihood. Last month, a juggler showed his feats in our school. He sent us into peals of laughter. We all felt amused.
The juggler was shabbily dressed. He had a long beard and a big turban on his head. He had a small novice with him to assist him in his work. He carried a big basket and a bag full of odds and ends. He began to beat his little drum and sing a song. Then he began performing his tricks.
He swallowed bits after bits of paper and then purged them out in the form of a string. He took a watch broke it into pieces and then made it whole again. He took several balls, threw them into the air in quick succession and caught them as they fell with great skill and dexterity. The eye could not follow his tricks.
He performed various tricks with playing cards. The spectators were struck with wonder. He took a ring from one of the boys. He threw it into a well nearby. The owner demanded the ring. It was discovered from the pocket of our English teacher. My surprise knew no bounds.
He took a pinch of dust on the palm of his hand and closed the fist. He touched it with his magic wand. When he opened the fist, there was a bright shining rupee in place of the dust. Then he multiplied the coins into two, three, four and so on.
He burnt fire in his mouth. He placed his basket on the ground and asked his assistant to sit in it. He then covered it with a piece of cloth. He talked at random for some time and recited some charms. When the piece of cloth was removed, the basket was found to be empty. All were dumb with wonder. He buried a mango stone in a flowerpot.
It was covered with a piece of cloth. When after some time, the piece of cloth was removed, a mango Plant laden with a ripe yellow mango was seen. While he performed his tricks, he kept us amused with his witty and funny remarks. He swallowed pieces after pieces of glass.
There was no end to the tricks that he performed one after the other. Then he made an appeal for money. There was a generous response from the boys. He collected the coins, packed his articles and moved on to another place to try his luck.