Sub inspector EL Sudheesh of Vellikulangara police station in Thrissur has been performing magic for 19 years now.

Magician in uniform Meet the Kerala cop who has more than one trick up his sleeve
news Human interest Monday, June 11, 2018 - 14:54

Walk into the old yellow building of the Vellikulangara police station in Thrissur and one might feel magic in the air. Wonder why? It’s all thanks to EL Sudheesh, the 6-month old SI of Vellikulangara, who has more than a few tricks up his khakhi sleeve. Sudheesh is a trained magician who has been in the magic business for close to 19 years now.

Appearing tricks, vanishing acts, multiplying hats, table tricks, illusions…you name it and the SI performs it. Despite being limited by his official mandate after adorning the uniform, Sudheesh has found a way to weave his magic into everyday duty.

How it all began

‘It was in the 10th standard in ’94 that I enrolled with famed magician Gopinath Muthukad in his Academy of Magical Sciences in Thiruvananthapuram. I stayed there for four years and juggled my studies with magic. I soon learned the tricks and decided to venture out on my own,” Sudheesh told TNM.

Setting up a new troupe called Magic Diamonds with a friend Aravind, they performed pan Kerala and eventually in other parts of the country as well. For close to 10 years, Sudheesh took up different assignments, performing table tricks at restaurants and resorts in different parts of the country.

“For over two years, I was the in-house resort magician at Club Mahindra in Coorg. I entertained guests with table tricks and other small numbers during my stint here. I have also performed in several other resorts in Kerala,” says Sudheesh. 

Working his magic  

After joining the Kerala police, Sudheesh says that he has been unable to practice a lot of his tricks due to restrictions and lack of time after work. However, the enterprising cop still manages to add a bit of magic to his duties. He now performs magic shows for kids and adults alike, to create awareness about various issues.

“I made alcohol bottles and cigarette packs multiply and then disappear entirely during an awareness show about addiction for children. This was to tell them that alcoholism is an uncontrollable issue and will keep escalating if you do not nip it in the bud. With cigarettes, it was encouraging them to quit all at once if they started for fun with their friends,” Sudheesh says.

The cop also rode a bike entirely blindfolded twice. Once at Gandhi Park in East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram, he rode non-stop for 8 kilometres. He performed the same trick in Kowdiar for 4 kms.

“The idea was to ask people to wake up. People these days are just not aware of things happening right in front of them. They have become slaves to mobile phones and increasingly absorbed in their lives alone. I wanted to spread this message and ask people to open their eyes wide open while taking this journey called life,” Sudheesh says.

The officer also goes in the midst of people and performs simple tricks, known in magical parlance, as ‘close up’ magic to entertain crowds.

 “Sometimes when I go for an official visit, the crowds ask me to do a trick as they all know that I am magician. I don’t carry any props with me. So I just use whatever I get and perform. Sometimes I take a local newspaper, tear it into tiny pieces and then turn it back into a single piece. It’s real fun to see how amused people get,” Sudheesh adds with a laugh.

 Perhaps his masterpiece is the levitation trick – the illusion where people are made to float in the air -  however, Sudheesh has not been able to perform such tricks on the stage due to his mandate as a police officer.

“Being an officer has been a dream since my childhood. You know everyone has that one dream that they chase. Once I took charge as an SI I haven’t been able to do a lot of the major tricks. So, I do small tricks that don’t need time or investment,” he says.

Despite knowing that being an SI is what satisfies his true calling, every once in a while Sudheesh does bring his own magic into his job to keep things fun and novel.

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