One hundred years of magic

Annie Sanson
For the past one hundered years, magic has been running strong in the family of P C Sorkar, who has mesmerised countless with his repertoire of tricks that includes the famous act of “vanishing” iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal or the Victoria Memorial.
The Kolkata-based conjurer, has brought to the national capital “Indrajaal” a show filled with mind boggling tricks and illusions that was passed on to him by his father, the legendary magician P C Sorcar Senior.
Sorcar senior, who had a degree in Mathematics was enamoured by the world of magic and began perfoming tricks as early as high school. Such was his love and obsession with wizardry that he is said to have even changed his surname from Sorcar into that of ‘Sorcerer’.
This great magician was very popular in 1930s to 1960s. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India in 1964 and The Sphinx known as Oscar of magic twice in 1946 and in 1954. He died in 1971 at the age of 58 in Japan.
Several of his illusions namely, X-ray Eye, sawing a human body and Water of India are still well known.
His son who goes by the name of P C Sorkar junior has inherited the bag of tricks and even today his set of tricks are appreciated by capacity crowds in Kolkata.
Fondly labelled as the “Merchant of Vanish”, PC Sorcar Junior is known for his larger than life Annie Samson is News Coordinator with PTI spectacles that he has displayed during his long career, spanning more than 40 years. Many would recall the famous disappearance act in the year 200 of one of world’s 7 wonders – Taj Mahal – before an enthralled audience and the equally fascinating moment when his daughter Maneka Sorcar made it reappear after two minutes.
Kolkatans cannot forget his famous act of making Victoria Memorial disappear while celebrations of 300th anniversary of Kolkata were on.
In Indian cinema, PC Sorcar has to his credit of starring both as the protagonist and the antagonist characters in the charismatic screen presence of the Bengali film “Gili Gili Ge”, which is known for its spectacular visual effects. He holds a doctorate degree in applied psychology from the University of Calcutta and is also the recipient of the prestigious Merlin Award in Magic.
Eldest of the three daughters of P C Sorcar (Junior), Maneka Sorcar, the ninth generation in the family of magicians, has displayed exemplary courage and determination to pick up the baton of her family’s legacy in magic and step into an all male domain with grace.
Said to be christened as Maneka by late Indian Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, Maneka Socar’s towering presence in the world of magic, and her stunning performances worldwide have made her a new icon in modern magic within a remarkable short span of time.
An MBA graduate, Maneka Sorcar strives to gain knowledge in different fields of advanced science and management, in the absence of which, she realizes that magic and illusions cannot be transformed to new heights of optimism.
Maneka through magic displays her complete mastery in combining science and technology to weave a spectacular illusion.
She is also the winner of numerous awards and accolades. Maneka Sorcar has earned a large band of admirers which include several heads of states.
However, Menaka says her arrival in this tradewas not a smooth sailing. She literally had to fight her way into this arena against some heavy odds to keep the family tradition going.
Both PC Sorkar Junior and Menaka are confident that magic will continue to live long even in the face of technological advancement because nothing can beat live entertainment.
The father-daughter duo is also planning to soon start a “Gurukul”, an institution to train magicians and teach them the art of magic, something which they has never been done in the country in an organised manner.


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