Neel Madhav weaves together a magicians travelogue with a dash of food

Ambika Shaligram
Saturday, 21 March 2020

Neel Madhav, a contemporary Indian magician, redefines magic with a double dose of travel and food in his television show – You’ve Got Magic with Neel Madhav, which will be aired on Sony BBC Earth from March 23.

Neel Madhav, a contemporary Indian magician, redefines magic with double dose of travel and food in his television show – You’ve Got Magic with Neel Madhav. To be aired on Sony BBC Earth from March 23, Neel promises that they have retained the format of the previous season, but this time the show is bigger and grander.

Neel, who has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his contributions to sports and entertainment in 2019, weaves together Neuron-linguistic Programming and Criminal Psychology to great effect in television and for live events. Here’s more from the 26-year-old magician…

- Can you tell us about the new series? What’s in store for the audiences?
We have kept the ideology of the show – You’ve Got Magic with Neel Madhav the same, because I loved the format. I love travelling, especially now that I travelled all across India.

It’s a travelogue of a magician. In a nutshell, it’s a magical journey across India. It is all things magical about a place. We have gone to places during the riots, we have to gone places where they were protesting, and areas where the army was doing its job. Magic has the power to break the doubt of each person in each place. No matter what the psychology was, in whichever situation they were in, magic was able to get the same reaction out of everyone.

Some people enjoy, some don’t and some are involved, others don’t care. You meet all sorts of people while travelling or shooting for the show. I think every episode is special, it is raw, true, powerful. It’s a joy to watch.

- Have you met any magicians during the shoot, while travelling? Has their perception changed because of the stuff that you can do?
When I started this show, I took the help of travel, food and culture. I didn’t think that the show would work so well. The level of magic that the likes of David Copperfield, Criss Angel, Dynamo and others are doing in the West, I have tried to do the same in India. Apart from this being a travel show, it has got all the elements, quirky stuff and it will be enjoyed by teenagers, 40-year-olds, 60-year-olds. This is also a way to get the genre of magic onto a podium where people can get to see different forms.

When I travelled to the rural parts, there was only one reaction, ‘Accha! Aise bhi hota hain’ or ‘I didn’t know that an Indian could do something like this’. Once they accept it, then you should see their reactions, ‘Oh my god! This is the best thing ever!’ It’s so gratifying.

- Did you get a chance to watch the traditional performing arts?
Yes. But we showed that in the previous edition. There is one area in Delhi where we came across the largest gathering of street artists from all over the country. There we met the national-level puppeteers and other artists, but they are doing old, abracadabra stuff. I believe the more you imbibe, the more you learn.

- Can you tell us about your interest in NLP and Criminal Psychology. How does it help here?
Basically, Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is used for better communication. Criminal Psychology and NLP work hand in hand. Criminal psychology lets us know why a person is thinking in this particular manner and NLP allows you to communicate to the person after you understand his thinking.

- Would any of these elements seep into the show?
NLP allows you to communicate the emotional thread in your head. If I want you to feel happy, I can use technique from NLP into not just words, but also in different forms. Anything can be combined with NLP. A travel show mixed with magic is actually going the scientific way because we were attaching an emotion to the place that you are watching.  

Let’s say I go to Dehradun, where I grew up, and I go back to my school. It’s all nostalgia driven stuff. I perform some magic tricks there. Next time someone who has watched the show goes over there, will feel slightly nostalgic. That is the emotions they have built with the place in their head when they were watching the series. In the previous show, it worked like a charm.

- During your travels, are you requested to perform certain tricks?
I know every celebrity’s, including royalty’s ATM pin – that’s my favourite trick. Whenever anyone asks me to perform a trick, I tell his/hers ATM pin.

You’ve Got Magic with Neel Madhav premieres on March 23, 10 pm on Sony BBC Earth

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