Thursday, 1 November, 2012

The waterloo never repeats

Thiruvananthapuram: ‘Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage’, is a famous quote of great escapologist Harry Houdini. Magician Gopinath Muthukad proved that it is true by all means. A decade ago, Muthukad’s attempt to perform a propeller escape act at Putharikandam Maidan in the city turned out to be unsuccessful. To mark the tenth anniversary of this letdown, he performed the latest version of the same magic at State Central Library on October 31st, as a tribute to Harry Houdini who passed away on the same day in 1926.
The Act started with the magician inviting the Minister K.P. Mohanan and Deputy Speaker N. Shakthan on to the stage. Minister was told to scribble a three digit number of his choice on the left forearm of the magician. He chose and wrote ‘234’. Deputy Speaker selected a yellow scarf out of many and tied it on the magician’s right forearm. Muthukad took Minister’s wrist watch and strapped it on his left arm.
Next, the Minister and the Deputy Speaker ensured that the gleaming metal box kept at the far end of the auditorium was empty. They then locked it with six locks. The box was slowly lifted up and was suspended several feet above the audience.
The magician moved on to the stage, where the huge propeller was turning. He positioned himself behind the fast moving blades and the audience saw him gradually disappear into smoke, right hand first – apparently through the whirring propeller.
Within one second, two hands of the magician emerged from the metal box that was hung above the audience. Muthukad’s arms thrust out, showing the number 234 and the Minister’s wristwatch on left hand, Yellow scarf on the right hand. Muthukad stepped out, waving his hands at the stunned gathering. The great propeller escape comes to an end, but several questions still remain…
Earlier, Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan inaugurated the programme and the Deputy Speaker N. Sakthan presided over the function. P. Supraba, state librarian gave a welcome note and Magic Academy Director, Chandrasenan Mithirmala made a vote of thanks. The programme was jointly organized by Magic Academy and State Central Library to commemorate the legendary Harry Houdini. An exhibition of books on magic also is held alongside.

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