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Wizard's winning act

Illusionist Gopinath Muthukad wins the International Merlin Award



ABRACADABRA Gopinath Muthukad

Indians may want the country to move beyond the maharajas-and-flying-carpets stereotype, but it's not always bad to be associated with magic — at least when it brings you recognition of the right kind. So it is for Gopinath Muthukad, a noted illusionist from India, who has been selected for the International Merlin Award by the International Magicians' Society.

The award will be presented by the World President of the IMS, Tony Hassini, on June 23 in New Delhi at a ceremony to be organised under the aegis of Mazma, a society for the uplift of traditional magic and performing arts in India. Recently, illusionist Franz Harary, also seen as a magic guru on India Magic Star on Star One, announced the award. .

Harary said, “There are many awards in magic but Merlin award is the biggest because it's a people's award. It is given to magicians who have proven themselves and won the hearts of people.” Saying he was happy for Gopi, he explained the award is based on different criteria, such as design and peformances.

Ruing over the lack of motivation and apathy for magic in India, Harary said,“Magic was invented in India 5, 000 years back. Sadly, today, outside India, nobody knows the name of any Indian magician; it is completely the fault of the Indian magic community. I only consider Indian street magic original and powerful, because other than that, Indian magic is not Indian any more; it's all copied from Europe, America.”

Continuing his strong critique, he added India has to “reinvent” itself in magic.

Magicians from across India will witness the International Merlin Award Ceremony in Delhi, followed by performances by Indian traditional street magicians of Mazma. The award includes a statuette designed in 1968 by Carol Michaud.

YAMINI BAINWAL

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