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Razzle, dazzle: Young Indian magicians pull up new tricks to break cliche

Comparisons with the West may be odious, but the benchmarks for inventiveness have been set astoundingly high

< Delhi-based illusionist Rahul Kharbanda performing one of his trademark iPad tricks
Delhi-based illusionist Rahul Kharbanda performing one of his trademark iPad tricks

For a kid, one of the perks of subscribing to Sportstar was that you never had to bother with buying posters. Every issue came with a new one, carefully sandwiched between two equal sections. I collected many over the years, but my two favourites — they adorned my bedroom walls well into adulthood — were Zinedine Zidane, prancing with the ball at Euro 2004, and a ponytailed Roger Federer, still slightly raw and only beginning to accumulate his improbable haul of 20 Grand Slam titles. The only poster I ever bought was a peculiar one. It was American magician Criss Angel. ...