Saturday, April 9, 2011

Magical Heritage...

As a child, I thought it was normal to have an Indian magician uncle. It was also normal for me to have a Mormon bishop uncle, and a prophet/cult leader as great great great grandfather (W. W. Davies, more on him in a later post). It was only as I got older that I realized that my background was unusual, to say the least. Here is a lovely photo of the Palshikar family magic show that my father found in Pune some years ago. I own the original, and Teller owns the only copy in existence as far as I know. It should not be hard for anyone to identify my magician uncle in the photo (hint: the person wearing the black suit. Some things never change!) The dapper young man standing behind my uncle with a scarf jauntily around his neck is Mr. Y. P. Deshpande, formerly the registrar of Modern College in Pune.  He is still alive, living in Thane, is my father's first cousin and was the singer in the television trick that my uncle performed. The woman on the left is my recently deceased aunt Suman Palshikar, who helped her little brother in this show.  The boy seated in front of her is my father's brother Nanda, who later died of an electrical shock that he received while helping out with my uncle's magic show. The sickly little boy seated next to my magician uncle is Suresh, my father's other brother who died of jaundice at a young age. The two boys standing in back were hired to help with the show. Labour was cheap in Pune back when this photo was taken, so I'm sure my uncle didn't have to pay them much. If more of my family lived nearby, I would put them to work in my upcoming show like my uncle did, but alas they live too far away to even come and watch the show.

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