Magic with a mission

On the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi, a magician honoured his principles by performing tricks to compliment each belief

Almost a year ago, two 10-year-olds approached a magician at a show and asked him why Hindu kids don’t speak to their Muslim counterparts at school. Struck by the question, Philip Tiju Abraham (25), a magician, decided to take his show on the road to preach the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhigiri: Each trick Philip performs corresponds to the teachings of the Mahatma. Image Courtesy: Bindiya Carmeline Thomas

‘The Dream of Gandhi-ji: Magic with a Mission’ concluded its three month long journey across Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu at St Joesph’s College of Arts and Science on the 63rd anniversary of Gandhiji’s Samadhi. The very first show kicked off in the city on October 2 last year.

A software engineer by profession, Philip said, “I’ve been practising magic for a long time and I’ve always concluded my shows with a flag trick to show unity. That’s when those two kids approached me.” he added, “We’re supposed to be a secular country, but if this is the attitude now it’s only going to get worse as they grow up.”

Philip wowed the crowd after pulling out a plain mirror and asking the crowd to concentrate on the truth, and then flipped the plastic mirror to reveal Bapu’s face in the glass. Unity was shown when the tricolored Indian flag was put together just seconds after it was dismantled before the crowds.

Philip spent his weekends away from home visiting slums and orphanages to spread the message. Each trick Philip performs corresponds to the teachings of the Mahatma, which include truth, ahimsa and equality.

Philip, added, “The slums have been the best audience. They’re eager to learn. It’s most important for children to learn the principles of equality. They shouldn’t discriminate based on your background.”

Father Jose Pinto, principal, St Joesph’s College of Arts and Science, said, “It’s good for the students to know what the Mahatma’s principles are. His teachings are still very important. It was a good show, as well.”

Article by Bindiya Carmeline Thomas, Mid-day 31st Jan 2011