New Delhi: Gopinath Muthukad was presented with the prestigious International Merlin Award, billed as Magic’s Oscar, at a grand ceremony that glowed with magical aura in plenty. Hundreds of leading magicians from across the country, large number of fans, and top political leaders attended the elegant award ceremony, accompanied by the performance by six top award-winning performers in the country.
Hon’ble Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation, Shri Vayalar Ravi, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K V Thomas, Hon’ble Delhi Chief Minister Smt Sheila Dikshit, and Mr T K A Nair, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, led the packed Mavlankar Hall to salute the winner.
The President of International Magicians Society (IMS), Mr Tony Hassini presented the award, comprising a statuette designed in 1968, to Muthukad as hundreds of fellow magicians gave a standing ovation. Instituted by the Society which has over 37,000 professional magicians as members, the award was given for his outstanding contributions to the art.
``I believe that there were several moments in all our lives that could only be regarded as sheer magic. For me, this is the strongest of them all. This is one of those rare moments that compel me to believe in real magic,’’ said Muthukad, who became the second Indian to win the coveted award after P C Sorcar Jr.
``Looking back, I consider myself extremely fortunate for deciding, to lead a life as a magician. For over 37 years, I have been passionately in love with this art form and we have been devoted towards each other ever since. We generally understand that magic is an art of illusion. But the more I learned about illusion, the more it drew me towards the realities of life. It encouraged me to go deeper into the magic and explore the possibility of using magic as a creative tool for mass communication,’’ he said in his acceptance speech.
Mhelly Bhumgara, Zenia, Samir Patel, Aanchal, Ramayashree and Vikas Sharma, all winners of many prestigious national and international awards, put up the unique 45-minute magical sojourn along with function, organised by MAZMA (Society for Uplifting Traditional Magic & Performing Arts).
Presenting the award, Mr Hassini led the world magic fraternity in heaping praises over the winner. ``I am congratulating him on behalf of the 37,000 magicians world over,’’ he said.