A blood donation camp was recently organised at Women's College, Vazhuthacaud by the Aids Control Society of Kerala. Magician 'Indra' Ajith, who was featured as an 'Unsung Hero' in Yentha, two years ago, performed a magic show on the occasion to make the students aware about the precautions, merits and benefits of blood donation. Two years ago, Ajith was encouraging people to protect and preserve the environment; while now he is involved with the promotion of blood donation.
In two years, the 'green magician' has turned to be the 'red magician'.
“Kerala is supposed to be one of the most educationally and socially forward states in the country,” says Ajith, minutes before his magic show for the students and staff of the college “And yet only 10 in every 1,000 people donate blood in this state, which I consider as something that we should be ashamed of. It is disheartening to know that such a culturally forward society, as we claim ourselves to be, could overlook the importance of blood donation.”
Despite the best efforts by relevant government departments and welfare agencies, there are many people who have doubts lingering in their mind about donating blood. And their doubts are based upon regrettable incidents that have happened while or after donating blood.
Ajith perceives that the problem is not with the effort taken by concerned agencies or government, but with direction of this effort.
“It is not just enough to make the public aware about the importance of blood donation and why it should be taken up as a social duty by everyone. The people should also be made aware of about the way donating blood would impact your body, the dangers hidden behind the process and the precautionary measures that need to be taken.”
Basic tenets that donors should be cautious about:
Never donate blood under the influence or insistence from another person.
Make sure you had a hearty breakfast before donating your blood
Women shouldn't donate blood during their periods and during pregnancy.
Make sure you have someone or some means to take you back home after donating your blood.
Education is best imparted when supplied in the form of entertainment – as the human mind is most active and most things packaged with entertainment seem to drive home the message too. And magic is one of the most ancient modes of entertainment in human history.
Ajith is a self taught magician. But more than his swelling passion for magic, he is one among the dwindling group of genuine artists who values social change they usher in through their medium more than the materialistic gains it brings in.
“By profession I am a peon, and also a licensed electrician; I love doing them both, but magic is something that's intertwined with my existence. I will continue being a peon or an electrician as long as they provide me with the financial stability that my family requires, but I will continue my involvement with magic whether or not there is any money involved.”
Sadly, magic is being largely viewed as a dying art, and for its own reasons; the integrity and the entertainment is relied on the secrets that were passed on from teachers to loyal pupils through generations.
“In those days, a magician would test his pupils for years and years before confirming his loyalty to the art and passing on the sacred secrets to them,” observes Ajith.
But those days are long gone and magic is now considered as to be in its final stage of evolution...“The core problem is the greed,” Ajith points out “I learnt magic tricks purely out of an inner urge, from books on magic and has suffered bruises and burns before earning for myself a reputation as being a magician. But nowadays there are magic academies who teach everyone who has money. Those who have acquired the knowledge will sell it in the market, even through cheap publications. Naturally people form an opinion about magic being a whole bunch of lies and farce.”
But no matter how far humans progress, the belief in the supernatural and the inborn desire to see unnatural things happen right in front of their eyes, drives them on. Magic is stage enactment of human fantasies, a medium to convey the human whims, and will survive as long as they manage to entertain and in the process give society something useful.
'Indra' Ajith is an entertainer, who performs magic on stage and helps change perceptions in hearts of many.
And for one more time, Yentha hails him as an Unsung Hero.