Hindustan Times: Mind games: Inside the mysterious world of the mentalists

“What goes on in your mind comes out in your body language. I don’t have any psychic powers. Mentalism is an acquired skill,” says [Karan]
Singh, 26, one of India’s most famous mentalists. “How you sit, how you rest your feet, how you breathe, how you purse your lips, all give away several intimate facts of your life – including whether you are happy in your marriage, relationship, or job.”

“Singh’s house in Faridabad is like a little museum of mentalism: there are posters of Sherlock Holmes, of magician Harry Houdini, mentalist Derren Brown…and dozens of books on psychology and mentalism.”

“While mentalism as a performing art– where the mentalist demonstrates highly evolved mental abilities or paranormal effects– has been quite popular in the West, it is fast picking up in India, all because of a new breed of young, suave mentalists.”

“They specialise in what they call ‘psychological illusion’, and claim to a blend psychology, hypnosis, suggestion, cold reading, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), misdirection, and other subtle skills of observation to create the illusion of a sixth sense. “A combination of this enables me to accomplish mind reading, psychokinesis and telepathy,” says Singh, who dropped out of college to pursue his passion for mentalism.”



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