PC Sorcar and PC Sorcar Jr’s craziest magic tricks pulled off
by Netflix Jaadugar pays homage to PC Sorcar, India’s greatest magician who pulled off some classic tricks. A look back at the emblematic acts of the Sorcars.
Now Jaadugar is a sports comedy centered around an amateur magician played by Jitendra Kumar, who you may remember Panchayat and Kota Factory. The attire that his character “Magic Meenu” wears, as well as the posters in his room, clearly refer to the magician PC Sorcar. Even one of the movie’s promotional posters has a hand-painted vintage feel, much like Sorcar’s magic show posters of yesteryear.
Wearing a flashy turban with a feather head on top and an equally flashy tunic, the ever-smiling PC Sorcar emulated the “jaadugar” image in Indian pop culture. Since magic is also all about showmanship, Sorcar made sure his wardrobe was bright and sophisticated enough to raise such eyebrows that even his son PC Sorcar Jr ended up performing in the same outfit.
In fact, the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest magician” was such a showman that he even died on stage. As he left the stage after a show in Japan, the 57-year-old succumbed to a sudden and fatal heart attack.
Performance magic may be losing its charm in modern times, but its legacy lives on with some of the craziest tricks it has pulled off. The secrets behind these tricks are still the subject of much speculation because after all, “magicians never reveal their secrets”.
sawing a woman in half: It is quite common, even for Western magicians, to cut their assistants in half and then bring them back together. As for PC Sorcar, his routine of sawing off a woman was unique due to the chaos it created among the masses.
The year was 1956 when the magician was on tour in London with even the BBC eager to broadcast his performances live. In one such show, Sorcar placed his assistant Dipty Dey in a box with her body in plain view for viewers.
But as soon as he put her in a trance and the saw hit her spine, host Richard Dimbleby proved too weak and ended the show by stepping in front of the camera. Viewers in Britain were obviously confused and the BBC received a flurry of phone calls asking for closure. Did the magician just kill his assistant live on TV? Or was it just a publicity stunt? Who would have thought that an Indian magician would terrorize the West like this!
Fortunately, that was only part of the trick and Dey survived the encounter in one piece. Initially, it looked like the host’s interference had ruined Sorcar’s turn, but that only gave him more attention.
India water: A regular part of Sorcar’s routine was ‘The Water of India’. This involved him placing a jug or pot filled with water to the brim. Sorcar called the people in the audience and asked them to empty the container, but somehow it never ran out of water.
No matter how many tries, the container would be filled with water again and again. To make it more convincing, the trickster did not touch the container at all and placed it on the ground.
In another world, Sorcar could have ended the water shortage with this trick!
X-ray vision: Another simple but exciting trick was that Sorcar had x-ray vision, one of many tricks also performed by his son.
The trick was essentially a reinterpretation of the “card guessing trick”, with the magician blindfolding himself and asking his audience to scribble words and numbers on a blackboard.
Initially, Sorcar used to guess what was written, but PC Sorcar Jr has taken the game to new levels. For example, he asked a man to scribble down a series of random numbers and he ended up writing the same numbers with him in the same minute (while blindfolded of course).
Adding another layer of difficulty, Sorcar Jr then asked his audience to write questions that he would answer in real time with his x-ray powers. So when someone scribbled “What’s your favorite color?” the blindfolded magician chimed in and wrote, “I’m color blind,” earning laughs and cheers from his viewers.
Make the Taj Mahal disappear: The only trick that allowed Sorcar Jr to surpass even his father was the disappearance and reappearance of the Taj Mahal. Strange as it may sound, it is reported that he made the monument in Agra disappear for more than two minutes in 2000. Of course, there must be a scientific reason behind this, with most observers claiming that Sorcar Jr is a master in the use of laws. refraction of light (given that most of his vanishing tricks took place in broad daylight).
He continued the trend by removing Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial and a train car at Bardhaman Junction in West Bengal.
However, it seems Sorcar Jr could have gotten some help from outside influences, as American illusionist David Copperfield has pulled off similar tricks in the past. Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear into thin air in 1983. He did the same with an Orient Express dining car in 1991.
Either way, the Taj Mahal trick has become one of the most exciting moments in the history of Indian magic.
Thus, while Jitendra Kumar Jaadugar may not be an interesting enough watch, you can always go back to India’s OG Jaadugar and see what the real magic looks like.