How does it feel to be the first finalist of IGT – 5?
It feels great, I’m a little nervous about the finale though. I’m putting all my hard work to perform at my best in the finale. Since my acts have received great responses from viewers and judges, I have to be careful about performing even better to fulfill everyone’s expectations.
How is your preparation for the finale?
I haven’t slept properly, all the time I’m thinking of my act. I can't reveal much right now but i assure you that it is going to be better than what I have performed till now.
How difficult was it to reach the finale?
It was very difficult. Out of so many people who auditioned, I’m lucky that I have made it to the finale. All the performers who qualified are good. The competition is very tough.
Did you think of reaching the finale when you were auditioning?
I was not so serious when I was auditioning for India’s Got Talent. In fact, I was not even auditioning. I randomly spoke to some of my magician friends about participating in IGT; they all denied participating and said that magic doesn't work for IGT stage. It’s more for talents like dancers, acrobats and singers. They even said even if a magician gets through, he cannot go beyond the second round. I felt really bad when they said this. I wanted to prove them wrong. It was then that I thought I would just give it a try and will leave everything on God. And I’m happy that I have reached the finale.
Who helped you prepare your act?
No one helped. The tricks that I did are all mine. Even the properties that I used come from my manufacturing company.
It's very unconventional to become a magician. What difficulties did you face?
Yes, I have faced a lot of difficulties. I come from a middle class family of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. My family, relatives and society is full of conventional people and they never agreed with me to pursue magic. Today, becoming a singer and a dancer is getting acceptance but magic hasn't received any acceptance. People call you ‘Madaari’. My family never supported me. It’s been several years of struggle before getting to IGT’s stage.
How did you choose this art form?
When I was 5-year-old, a small boy came to our colony to show magic tricks. I really liked his tricks and requested him to teach me one of the tricks. He asked me for 20 rupees. I somehow collected and gave the money to him. That’s where I learnt my first trick. He was my first teacher. After that I showed that same trick to my friends and they were awestruck. I felt great as I thought I know something that they don’t. As I grew, my interest in magic tricks also grew. Whenever and wherever I got the chance I learnt magic tricks. By 16, I had toured almost the entire country.
How did you manage to travel so much without resources?
It might sound strange but it’s my magic only that helped me travel. When I didn't have the money to travel I would just go sit in the train. When the TT used to ask for ticket I would tell him that I can show him some magic tricks and let me travel. Several times I impressed TT like that. Also, I performed to passengers and in return they would offer me to stay at their house in their city. That’s how I have traveled the country. I must say that there are so many helpful people in this world.
How did you start to perform?
By word of mouth people started calling me to schools for perform at some or the other occasion. They started appreciating my tricks. Then slowly I started doing small shows. Then I made some of my videos and posted them on Youtube. It helped me grew. Some people from France looked at my videos and called me to perform at Forges Les Eaux Casino magic festival in 2010. Every year they call 10 magicians from across the world to perform for them. They sent me the visa, air tickets and all the details. I was the first magician from India to perform there and I even received the best performance award. They called me again in 2011. After that I started getting various good offers to perform.
How was your parents’ reaction to all this?
Initially they discouraged me but when they saw my growth all by me, they finally approved. When I started earning good I started contributing to the family income. Now, they are happy.
If you win IGT 5, what will be the first thing you’ll do?
I will sleep for a week. Right now, I have not been able to sleep properly as all the time my mind is thinking about some trick or the other, how to perform this trick, what props to be used. Even when I sleep my mind is running though all this.
But yes, if I win the show, I will open a magic institute where I will put all the possible resources to learn magic. I feel either Indian magician’s tricks are not polished enough or their representation is weak. I want to give them a place where magicians can bring out the best in them.