} Exclusive: In Candid Chat With Asia's Only Female Mentalist- Dr. Kruti Parekh

It sounds like a gift when we hear that someone can read minds. After all, they have the power to see through people, alter their perception of reality and make predictions sometimes. Dr. Kruti Parekh is one such Mentalist whose illusions have enamored and mesmerized the audience across different cultures and countries. she has the ability to read minds and influence people. 

Having said all that what describes Kruti the best, we interacted with her to find out more about her fascinating journey and know more about this powerhouse of talent!

Q. You are world’s youngest artistic Illusionist and Asia’s only female Mentalist. How do you feel about it?
It is a very powerful feeling to know what’s on other people's minds …(Winks).  It feels wonderful to have broken stereotypes and entered into this unique field of magic and mentalists and making a mark here. The journey was not easy but, as they say, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". However, with power comes great responsibility too. Thus it’s also important to be able to take this artform to greater creative heights.  

Q. Most magicians became enamored with the magic at a young age. Can you describe your first encounter with illusion and how it managed to grab a hold of you?
Yes, I too was enamored with it from the age of 5. I went to Lonavala for a family trip. Just playing around like other kids and happened to see a magic show of a roadside Magician "MADARI". I was amazed at how the magic was happening, with the birds disappearing, the balls vanishing from one glass to another. It was all so amazing and fascinating for me. I was so keen to learn it that I kept following the magician till he agreed to teach me. I learned the tricks quickly. Then I was back to Mumbai and back to school. However a few days later again our family planned a trip to Fantasy land, there suddenly when I saw a magician performing, I left all the rides and sat down to see the magic show but here something happened in me and I was now able to understand how he was doing the magic tricks. Post his show I went up to him and asked him if I could perform. He jokingly said yes, and I performed from the tricks I had understood from his repertoire. Surprisingly the other children seeing the show were amazed and their parents suddenly brought their children to me, appreciated my performance and started asking me for my photograph and autograph. I said to myself  "This is so cool, If I get 100/100 in math nobody takes my autograph." The recognition caught my eye and I think post that I was chosen by the almighty to hone this artform as my own and there was no looking back. 

Q. A magician's craft is implicitly dependent on mystery. What kind of margin for error do you operate with, and does the possibility of your secrets being uncovered play on your mind during a show?
Most of my performances include engagement with the audience or really crazy complex humungous theatricals and concepts where there Is little I can do in case of an error. However I plan to mitigate 90% of errors in planning stage, especially for the concepts and theatricals. But execution is always a challenge and you have to confidently walk on the stage and amaze your audience. I would like to share an incident to explain one of my challenge. I had designed a huge magical theatrical for a grand wedding in Kolkata. I had a troupe of about 500 people working under me for this effect. It was a unique concept where we had designed a wedding love story of couple using black light act and given it a twist with addition of normal lights so that you can see the faces of the couple. Now the challenges faced were numerous and to add to this, last minute, the venue had to be changed to an open air venue . Now it was getting very difficult for us to execute this cause black light act is very sensitive to lighting and surrounding lightings. We had a few streetlights affecting the full act on stage which we only realized last minute while we did our grand rehearsal before the guest arrived. We rushed and worked out a way to mitigate it and luckily without any damage we were able to pull it off. Other times you have to use your presence of mind and mitigate error if any, still if they happen to occur on stage during execution then you have to take the bullet and go with the flow.

Q. If I would decide today that I wanted to try and learn about mind reading and become a Mentalist, what would you advise me to do? What would have to be my first step?
The market seems to be flooded with so many mentalist, that I would recommend you to do something different. However if you still want to be a mentalist, the challenge is how does one become  a good mentalist. For that, you need to hone your artform and your performances with utmost sincerity. Try to bring in something of your own personality in your acts don't just do something just because someone else is doing it. Remember, not everything suits everyone.  

Q. You probably get this question a lot, but how do you do it? Do you apply psychology to your magic tricks?
Well it’s a Secret …(shh). If I tell you I will have to kill you…(haha, Just kidding ). Yes, my mentalist shows are wonderful combination of psychological effects, knowledge from the shastras and great performance. The methodology involves working with a known response from the human brain with subtle body language cues and mindset of the audience, thus being able to influence minds to obtain the results desired by me. 

Q. What is the greatest appeal of becoming a mentalist? 
Well the most amazing thing about being a mentalist is that you are able to decode, influence and play with a person’s most complex structure of thoughts. This format doesn't really have large props, but it is really getting into our audience mind and creating effects out of it. So you can never be really ready for an act, it’s all impromptu and you really have to amaze them. 

Q. You’ve been doing events for years. Tell us about the best corporate event that you have been a part of?
Since I am a specialist in customization of both magic effects as well as mentalist shows for my clients, I have been lucky to have got an opportunity to create some really out of the box events which have been one of a kind .

a.  We had a requirement from a corporate Builder of having to create a special effect where 1000 proud owners of the flats get the keys magically to the apartments in their hands. It was really complex cause here I needed to make the magic happen in the hands of an audience that knew nothing about magic. 

b. I did a unique destination marketing event for Tourism Monaco, where its clients were able to experience Monaco, with a unique Mentalist show specially designed for them.

c. Just in early 2019 I was invited to be the keynote at the First Woman’s Conclave at Hindalco. I was given the challenge to be able to motivate the women in manufacturing sector in a unique way where there is an action to every issue they may face and with an immediate solution and we started this by doing an aligned demonstration with the MD himself Mr. Satish Pai and ended it with 400 ladies achieving an impossible task with ease. 


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