I won't vanish after polls: Magician P.C. Sorcar Junior (Election Special)
He made the Taj Mahal 'disappear', but master of illusions P.C. Sorcar Junior promises to stay on in politics and assures that he won't "vanish after the elections".
Notwithstanding the treacherous terrain of his opening political act, Sorcar seems unfazed by statistics and past record as he promises to bring magic back into the lives of the common man by helping them realise their dreams.
However, the ace magician needs to pull out some spectacular tricks from his bag to have the last laugh from the Barasat Lok Sabha constituency where his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has never quite made a mark.
Much like his 'Indrajal' brand of magic - a theatrical realisation of the wishful dreams of living happily - Sorcar hopes to delve deep, understand the people's problems and give them back what they rightly deserve.
"I am here to patiently listen to them...get a pulse of what they feel...to learn what they want and what they have been deprived of.
"The government has deprived them of a lot. They are tax-payers and deserve more and I hope I can give back," Sorcar told IANS, while canvassing for votes in a constituency that stretches from the city's posh satellite township of Salt Lake to interior areas close to the Indo-Bangladesh border.
The BJP has never won that seat, and its best performance came 23 years back in 1991, when its candidate Harasit Ghosh bagged about 14 percent of the votes. In 2009, the BJP nominee managed only 5.4 percent of the valid votes.
But Sorcar says he has no plans to do any vanishing act.
"I am not here to vanish after the elections. I want to come back and serve them...especially take care of the concerns that women in my constituency have," he said, vowing to make bad politicians and their legacy of bad policies disappear.
Barasat has earned notoriety for a series of gang rape incidents that stunned West Bengal, a state that now tops the list nationally for crimes against women.
Having mesmerised his audiences for nearly half a century, the son of the legendary P. C. Sorcar is now wooing the electorate with his listening and people skills, sans his trademark psychedelic sherwanis, majestic turban and the swish-and-flick of fingers.
Dressed in kurtas and draped in a stole (uttariya) sporting the party symbol, the affable Sorcar has even taken a conscious decision to keep his magic away from the election rallies as he campaigns in the dreary heat bang in the middle of summer.
"Magic is for the stage...now the priority is to hear the people out," said the man whose shows blend the latest technology with his craft.
Often accompanied by actress-daughter Mumtaz in his campaign rallies, Sorcar - born into a family that "breathes, eats, talks and walks magic" - gives out small cards to the residents in his constituency when he meets them, a personal touch enforcing his reaching-out strategy.
"The cards carry my name, my number and email id. They can reach me any time they want," stresses the sorcerer behind the cult 'Water of India' trick, that he calls a symbol of national integration.
It came as a surprise to many when Sorcar, who for decades rooted for the Left, joined the BJP.
Sorcar exhibited steadfast loyalty to the Left even at the height of the Nandigram anti-farmland acquisition movement that had shaken the foundations of the Left Front's 34 year rule. Even days before the LF's defeat in the 2011 assembly polls, Sorcar had professed support for it.
But today, Sorcar sings a different tune. "I have friends in all leading parties, and I have been to a few of their gatherings," he said.
Sorcar rubbishes queries whether the BJP was communal.
"It is not communal...the party is misunderstood. I was impressed to learn that the party believes in the ideologies of Swami Vivekananda. Look at the wonderful things that Modi has done in his state," he said.
Since a magician never breaks the code or reveals his trade secrets, Sorcar refrains from revealing the method he will adopt to better the society.
In a bemused tone, he quips: "If I expose it then how will it work? A magician never reveals his secret."
(Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 02-04-2014)