I want to time travel to the era of Qutub Minar: Franz Harary

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2011, 14:45 PM IST

New Delhi: His magical feats have left the world awestruck, be it levitating the monument of love Taj Mahal, making a NASA space shuttle vanish or moving the Hawaiian Diamond Head volcano two miles out to sea, world famous illusionist Franz Harary has done it all.

But his ultimate magical wish is to travel back to the time of the period when the Qutub Minar was being built.

"I am really keen to do time travel sort of thing with the Qutub Minar. You will see the stories appearing and after a while you will find the tower back to its present self," Harary told PTI.

For the past 14 years, Harary has been virtually the only magician who has redefined the art of magic with his hybrid combinations of breathtaking illusions and live concerts.

"All my life I wanted to become the great magician Harry Houdini, who was famous for his escapade tricks. But every person has his own signature style. I like to play with people`s mind. I control what they think, what they say and that`s why illusion attracts me," said the American magician at the preview of his mega magic tour in the Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon.

Harary, whose commercial breakthrough came at the age of 21 when he initiated a stage illusion for the `King of Pop` Michael Jackson during his `Victory` tour started practicing magic tricks at the age of 13 without any mentor.

"I never cared for card tricks. My idea was always to get it as big as I could. I used to try to build things out of cardboard boxes: cutting a girl in half and trying things with my house cat. But I had pretty bad luck with those. Today if I would say who inspires me than it would be director Steven Spielberg as whatever he does is not less than any magic."

Determined to bring magic back to its roots, the renowned illusionist, whose fascination with India continues to grow, is awestruck with the Indian street magic but was disappointed with the contestants on reality show India`s Magic Star.

"Magic started in India around 5000 years back and came over to US about 250 ? 300 years ago. This country has immense talent and the groups of magicians who live in Shadipur, Delhi are just unbelievable. But now there is a trend of emulating their western counterparts which is
saddening."

The 45-year-old designer and innovator lamented that science is also a bane that has marred the charm of magic.

"I am redesigning my gadgetry to look less mechanical and simpler. As science grows, magic has to remain just slightly ahead of it. This way it can still look impossible. What magic will be in 100 years, I don`t know. It certainly won`t be levitating. We`ll all be doing that," he explained.

With his Shah Rukh Khan disappearing act still strongly etched in the mind of the Indian audience, ask him which Bollywood star is next in his wish list and pat comes the reply, "actor Salman Khan".

PTI