Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Street- smart magic

They don’t follow the ‘Abra ka Dabra’ cliché, but certainly have the knack of entertaining people of all age groups. The street magicians Aas Mohammed Khan and Babban Khan are from Gaziabad and Faridabad and are in town to perform the traditional form of magic.

“Seven generations of our family are into street magic and want to keep the art alive,” says Aas Mohammed. He has been practicing the art from the age of ten. He would go with his father as an assistant and slowly picked up the art. “It is not real magic but sleight of hand or haatchalakhi,” adds Mohammed. Magic is the sole source of his income and he says that he wanted to preserve the art form and his sons are also doing the same.

The duo have performed all over India, ‘from Kashmir to Kanyakumari’, as they put it. But the income they generate is modest enough to get them daily bread and shelter. “Affluent people call us for their private parties to entertain their guests,” says Babban. The delightful responses from the children make them feel proud of themselves.

Both Aas Mohammed and Babban belong to a certain caste which is known for its magic. Aas Mohammed is famous for his mango trick, in which he produces a mango tree from its seed. The other tricks include- disappearing a small boy from a basket and bowl trick. They have performed in schools and organizations across Mumbai and have also entertained the audience at the recent Kala Ghoda festival.

PS: The picture above shows Aas Mohammed performing the basket trip, in which he disappears the kid. Visit the following website for more info on street magicians.

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