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Suhani Shah Celebrating 25 years in Mentalism

by Naisargi Devdher

September 2, 2022

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Even before understanding what fame and glamour is, a child understood what magic is! It was 26 years ago, that a 6 year old Suhani saw a ‘magic show’ and dreamt of becoming a magician. This marks her 25th year performing mentalism, as she still carries the charm and innocence that 7 year old Suhani did. Talking of it, there is a lot of glamour, a factor of ‘wow’, self-love and over confidence associated with the career transition. To which, she elaborately explains, “As a child, I kept talking of magic and fortunately, my parents honestly were extremely considerate about it. You know, my father spent 6 months looking for a tutor and basically putting across magic as my educational development, because somewhere my inclination towards magic was visible. And that was the age when I didn’t even understand what glamour or for a fact even fame is! So when my first show was grandly put about, the then Chief Minister attended it. That was exactly how my career began. So for me on a personal level, fame has been a part of my career, so has glamour, it existed then, it persists now, so never does overconfidence seem to be very much an issue to say.”

Putting it simply, she brought about the point of growing up with talent. Queerly, to think of, does a child always begin with imagining that she would be a part of a mega industry rather than just performing for herself? That anticipation of where she’s being lead to marks a crazy confusion in the life of an artist. “To be completely honest, yes, I did think that the talent is leading me to some place grand. I could foresee my career with magic, art and what not around. However, I truly did never expect this transition, you know! I did never know I would be assimilated with a streaming, or filming culture. That for me has not just given me a new hypo graph to live up to but also, something I truly wanted to do. Having youthful energy, I wrote books over mentalism and magic, I had art shows to perform but none of it made me as satisfied as being a part of this industry makes me. That is the exact meaning for transition and unknowingly yet beautiful, I get pushed and mingled in the industry.”

When the transition of career happens to be natural, there are a lot of changes one needs to adapt to. There was a demand for the talent I held, but it was never a career that I would want to perform. Thus till the pandemic hit, I really didn’t think of it. However, when the pandemic hit, the work stopped, I was barred from home and that was exactly when I began with YouTube streaming and making videos. So the transition was never sudden, it just happened slowly. I had to adapt, accept and identify that I was away from the stage, I had screens to connect with people to, and performing live had a very different sense. That adaption was actually challenging because it brought me to a stage where I had to recognise my career scope and recognize what exactly was to be done. You know, I didn’t go to school, I didn’t go to college, I was just working all the while, and now I was here where I had to sit and just do nothing. That was more challenging for me. So I remember, starting off with an online show, ‘Magic being performed online’, that somewhat pulled me through the pandemic dilemma. While streaming on YouTube was the exact game changer I was looking for because looking back, I was having fun doing it. Little did I know that it was the beginning of a novel spectrum of my career!”

All this while, Suhani mentioned the Pandemic to be a revolution in all senses However, through all of this happening, there is a high doubt of where art forms are leading to when it comes to India, because there's a lot to do with glamour here as well. “A bit contrary to what you said, India is filled with art forms with diverse roots. It’s not even similar, there is a difference in totality. And truly, in my understanding, we are always attracted to glamour. You see a beautiful rose, its glamour, desire of living in a house I glamour, and that will always be appreciated but here it’s more about how you understand art to be. Because art is also glamorous, art also is beautiful and that goes hand in hand. The window to the world during the pandemic was their phones. People were seeing direction, cinematography and all of it came from art. And whatever the screens passed on to people was art. People eventually started valuing art, realising that when nothing works, and its art that they can rely on.” Mentioning the importance of art and growing up with it, there is a lot of superstitious association with magic. Dealing with which stands out from any coaching. “Since childhood, I was looked at as a ‘DEVI’, saying I can heal everything possible. Earlier, people confused me with a musician and there I had to sort out the exact meaning of a magician, after which, a lot of people came to me asking me to heal their illnesses or asking me solve their problems. This was exactly what shifted me away from any sort of superstitious association since childhood. I give ted talks speaking against superstitions. Hence I always say,


Just adding illusions cannot definitely define it as magic. However, according to Suhani, Guzaarish is a movie that utilises pieces of magical elements. That’s exactly where she leaves you with… Wonder how to deal with magic, because every potential of yours is magic if you know how to use it!!

It begins when Glamour meets Art

#CinematographicMyst #ArtGrows #NotCharmingMinds #MagicOnRise #childhooddreams #Acculturation #Pamdemicsmashes #coverstory

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