Many of you, especially the current readers, might have missed reading this humorous story. about roadside magic shows that were common four or five decades back.
The show did not start waiting for the crowd to swell in number. Meanwhile the girl danced with the monkey aping her with its own dance movements sending the watching crowd into splits. The monkey did some acrobatic tricks including jumping through a burning ring. Raju was sitting in the front row watching with keen interest the tricks. The magician made the young girl walk on a tight rope tied high with a bamboo stick on her hand to balance while the audience watched with bated breath and fear that the young thing may fall down.
With enough crowd assembled, the magician got into a ring that was hardly a foot in diameter and extricated himself with great difficulty and dexterity. He planted a mango seed in the mud inside a flower pot and covered it with a basket promising to show a mango plant with mango fruit a little while later.
He called a short man from the crowd and hypnotized him after making him lie down on the ground. He covered the man’s face with a red cloth and asked the man to tell whatever he was indicating. He touched a bald man's head and asked what it was and the short guy correctly said "vazhukkai thalai"(bald head). He touched a policeman's shirt and asked who he was. The short guy said a policeman. The magician held a woman's hand and asked whether the man is wearing white shirt or blue one. Flash came the correct reply that it was a woman in green sari to the great merriment and applause of the crowd.
The magician called the attention of all to the mango trick and accompanied to loud beating of the drum lifted the basket that covered the flower pot and lo there was a tiny mango plant with a small mango hanging from it. The crowd clapped its hands in utter disbelief.
The magician called anyone from the crowd who would volunteer to be part of magic. Raju, who always wanted to be the cynosure of all eyes, stood up and lifted his hand. The man led him near the tripod. Meanwhile the girl and the monkey in tow with a tin container in hand went around collecting the coins and notes that the onlookers offered.
The woman beat the drum with gusto for a minute or two. The magician announced that the boy will soon lay eggs to the great amusement of the crowd and embarrassment of Raju. He wished to return to the crowd but was shy of backing out. The magician lifted his bare hands for the crowd to see and patted the shorts of Raju to show there was nothing inside. He uttered some mumbo jumbo as he walked around Raju to the great anticipation of the onlookers. He then passed his hands on the back of the boy and lingered at his bum for a few seconds more as if he was pulling out something. When he opened his hand there was an egg! The crowd broke into raptures as they witnessed Raju with a shy smile on his face. In deference to the wishes of the crowd, the magician retrieved another egg and said that he was not taking out the third egg. Raju started crying pleading with him to remove it too but the magician smilingly refused with the crowd in splits.
Meanwhile the girl and the monkey had completed two rounds collecting the money. The crowd slowly dispersed. Raju lingered longer and the magician told him to go home and not to worry. Raju was not convinced and was still sobbing.
When he returned home later, he narrated the events to his mom and asked her to feel his stomach and bum for any egg. She laughed hysterically after passing her hand and said how gullible he was in believing such nonsense. She said it was all some illusion created by the magician turning the attention of the crowd to something else. But he was not convinced.
Raju wished to make sure and went into the toilet. As he sat on the WC, he heard a plop sound. Anxiously he looked down and found a white egg floating. He screamed for his mom who came rushing that something was amiss. He said “Look here. I told you but you didn’t believe me. It is there See the egg. " She looked into WC and said "You are imagining. There is no egg. Do not go to such magic shows and volunteer yourself. Go to the dining table and have the upma. It is getting cold."
Raju stood confused when he saw no egg this time in the WC but ran his hands over his tummy to make doubly sure.