Asia’s first and only female mentalist, Kruti Parekh has trained and performed across globe and is a recipient of numerous national and international accolades. Achieving intense self-discipline in life, today she likes to think of herself as the “Eklavya of Magic”. Excerpts:

What inspired you to enter into the world of magic?

I started magic at the age of five after I went to see a show by a roadside magician. I was amazed by his magic and forced him to teach me a few tricks. After a few days, I happened to see another magic show, but this time I was able to decipher the tricks and requested the magician if I could perform on his stage. Initially, he agreed in jest. I took to the stage and performed some tricks. The audience was really amazed and started asking for my photograph and autograph. This recognition caught my eye and I thought to myself, even if I get full marks in my exams, nobody asks me for my photograph or autograph, but by just performing a few tricks people are appreciating my talent. I wanted to do this. And as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way. Most of my tricks are self-taught which makes me feel like the “Eklavya of magic”.

How does it feel to be a female mentalist?

It feels great to make a mark in a male-dominated field. It is wonderful when people try to conceal their thoughts but their body language reveals it all to me. Thus, often people feel vulnerable to this ability of mine but I am a responsible mentalist and only use this when I am performing and not for personal gains. It feels great to demonstrate how the mind has infinite capabilities to achieve life goals and fight the world with a will of steel. It is a great motivational tool for me to reinforce and help people ignite their latent potentials as a by-product of my sessions and events. It gives them a reason to believe in mind over matter.

What difficulties have you faced in your journey?

Like in every other field, women often face a lot of difficulties, and so did I. From being mocked to being threatened for life if I pursue this art form to being criticised for my efforts to being disqualified from an event, my journey has been like a movie. But I was determined.

In a format dealing with minds, you can never be fully prepared. Your show is always going to have some unforeseen element. This makes it very difficult and challenging, but I guess that’s what attracts me.  It uses physiological techniques, suggestion, and subtle gesture to create an experience for the audience.

Another challenge I face are sceptics. I remember an incident that occurred in a recent show at a university event. An audience deliberately tried to misguide me from reading his mind by thinking differently. When I failed after much attempts, I conceded defeat to my audience. To my surprise, one of the students got up and started applauding. I asked him the reason and he said that they were only trying to distract me. The whole audience roared in amazement with thundering applause as I was correct in terms of reading his actual thoughts.

What is the inspiration behind your work?

I am trying to reinforce the belief of people in their own potential and power of their minds, and how one can do anything if one just believes. The mind is the most fascinating thing that we have and I am amazed by what it can achieve. So I am a qualified IT engineer and I have done my Bachelor’s in the philosophy of Indian Shastras. I was fascinated by the amazing co-relations and explanations I could draw from it and I wanted to combine it with a format which would change the way we think. So I thought of combining my knowledge with magical experience to come up with a unique show that would not only amaze people with the powers of the mind but also help them know their mind is powerful, motivate them, and encourage them to believe in a more positive mindset.

What is the process behind preparing for a performance?

The preparation for a performance is quite a task, as it is like preparing for the unknown. No matter how much you practice the subject, reactions from the audience are going to be unique. So my preparation involves four to five hours of meditation before the show, where I am completely focused so that I am able to handle any situation that arises within the show with full confidence and calm. I am also able to observe my subject more minutely, thereby minimising my mistakes. Other than this, most of the preparation happens on stage. This is a very interactive and impromptu format — which subject to choose, who may be supportive, who may be easily influenced depending on the experiment I am going to present, is all done once I see the audience and the show is live. A small error in judgment can cost me a full experiment.

What are your future plans?

I have a lot of them. I am taking my new show “She knows what’s on your mind” all over India and later internationally too. I am using my IT skills on creating an app that will help people know their own thoughts and be able to make it positive in case they are destructive. However, it is in a very nascent stage and is going to take time. I am writing down my interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita for the youth which will help people understand psychological perspectives and help them decipher situations, their probable outcomes on positive and negative thought processes and enable people to take an informed decision. I am also trying to come up with a medical application certified by the medical associations of my genre of magic and mind where I can create a unique opportunity for people to improve their disabilities.