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Fine arts like dance, painting, music, magic, etc not only offer recreation but also help people to seek relief from stress and mental disturbances.   It is a proven fact that fine arts are meant not only for entertainment, but also for enlightenment.  Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, started to practice truth after watching the drama ‘Sathya Harischandra.’  Pride of the Nation, Missile Man, former president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam reiterated on several occasions that music always inspired him. An ancient form of art called magic also stands beside the fine arts.

Known as ‘Indrajalam’, the art of magic is regarded as one of the 64 recognised art forms in our culture. Patronized by royalty in earlier times it was regarded as one of the most intriguing arts. Society regarded magicians as demi-gods who could create things out of thin air!

But in recent times, lack of encouragement, patrons, resulted in the dwindling of this majestic art. Any art form can be saved from disappearing into oblivion by persistent efforts of committed people in the society. Sri Vemulapati Madhava Rao, an Industrial magician of International repute, has dedicated his career and life for the cause of the society. Aptly hailed as “The champion of Social reforms”, Sri Madhava Rao has been doing yeoman service to the rural class with an ardent passion to educate and enlighten them. He chose an interesting medium to attract the rural masses; Magic….

A civil engineer turned magician, Sri Madhava Rao is the only magician in the country who has been doing phenomenal service in the rural sector through his innovative magical skills. His aim is to educate the people about the various policies and schemes of the government initiated for the benefit of the rural class. Illiteracy and lack of awareness hold a barrier for people to reap benefits of various schemes and policies in rural India. Only a compassionate heart can think of their plight and look for ways to reach out to them. Sri Madhava Rao in his own way has been doing the best to the society with his talent

Sri Madhava Rao has been honoured with prestigious national and state awards for his immense contribution to the society. He is the proud World Record holder of highest number of magic shows..

We are pleased to introduce Sri Vemulapati Madhava Rao to our readers.

In a conversation with Sreelakshmi Avadhanam, Sri Madhava Rao spoke at length about his passion, ambition and achievements. 

Excerpts of the interview

Sri Lakshmi:  How were you attracted to magic and who is your inspiration

Madhava Rao:While I lost my job as a civil engineer in government due to paucity of funds, I stood on cross roads.  Then, magic stood before me as an alternative.I learnt ABCDs of the art from a tribal sect called ‘Vipravinodhulu’ (whose history can be traced back to the reign of Sri Krishna Deva Raya) who perform in rural areas for their livelihood.Later, I enhanceD my knowledge by watching several magic shows and also read relevant books.  Also, I was in discipleship under renowned magician Sri B. V. Pattabhiram for quite some time.  I learnt from him how to perform a show on stage by direct observations of his shows.  Over the years, with experience I refined my skill and started performances on stages in my unique style.

Sri Lakshmi: How do you turn towards social service?

Madhava Rao:Joining Rotary club in 1988 is an important development in any life, where I decided mygoal after meeting people of various professions.After I became secretary of Rotary Club of Kavali, SPSR Nellore District, my work area has expanded.  As a secretary, I conducted many social service campaigns and events.

In the same year, two more incidents influenced me to set a goal for my life.When I visited Madras, I happened to see two lepers begging for food outside of a hotel.  Another incident is, one of my close relatives died of cardiac arrest because he lost his hard earned money in a private chit fund company that cheated him.  These two incidents deeply moved my heart and since then I decided to dedicate my life to create awareness among rural people.  And I am continuing my mission.

Sri Lakshmi:  What is the main aim of your magic shows?

Madhava Rao:Well, my ambition and main goal is to create awareness among rural masses about matters of public interest like finance, literacy, water conservation, protection, and improving ground water level, and forests.

Sri Lakshmi:  What kind of schemes do you propagate?

Madhava Rao:Finance literacy is a big concern, so I explain to the people through my magic as to how and where we can save the money in a securable way that is none other than the banks, and also advise not to approach private financiers.

In addition to these concepts, I use magic as a medium to create confidence among the farmers in the Telangana area whoin a state of distress and panic mode contemplate committing suicides.

I also include important government schemes like PM Jandhan Yojana, Swachh Bharath, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc. in my shows to educate rural illiterates.

Sri Lakshmi:  I understand that only a person with strong resolve and commitment can achieve success in his mission. Do you believe spirituality can be implemented in real life and is there anyone who has inspired you in your spiritual path.

Madhava Rao:No particular person.  I am my own inspiration.  I strongly believe that there is an unseen power in nature.Firstly, we must respect our profession and be confident with devotion.  I do pooja regularly for concentration, always go with a positive attitude, and also think that I can do much better service to the needy people in society.  Notwithstanding that, I feel and follow my profession as my first god.  My magic equipment are my objects of worship.. Before entering my pooja room, I first offer flowers to my magic equipment as a gesture of gratitude. Positive attitude, respect towards my profession, helping nature, self confidence are the key points. I truly believe that ‘Helping hands are better than praying lips’.  Also, I believe in “Kashte…Phale,” which means with our hardship and commitment, shall yield good results.

Sri Lakshmi: Do you have any sponsors to carry out your mission?

Madhava Rao:No, only nationalized banks such as IOB , Andhra Bank, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank, RBI, and NABARD are sponsoring my programs.

Sri Lakshmi: Do you feel  you have achieved all your goals?

Madhava Rao: I am very much satisfied with the results that are achieved at record level.After my shows in rural areas, savings accounts/deposits have increased in banks. People are in long queues to avail government schemes through banks.  It is the greatest satisfaction. But I do not want to stop and rest as there is a lot more to be achieved.

Sri Lakshmi:  How about the support of your family members?

Madhava Rao:Initially, no one supported me except my mother.  After I gained popularity through my shows, and publicity through News articles. Slowly everyone in the family, friends and relatives started recognising and respecting me.

Sri Lakshmi: How do you feel about the awards and rewards? 

Madhava Rao:Actually, they are like a crown with thorns, as they brought in more responsibilities and also made me realize that I have to be very cautious further.   Of course, I am happy with these achievements, but I never carry it to my head, I just forget them very soon after receiving them.

Sri Lakshmi:How many awards did you receive in India and abroad?

Madhava Rao: Among several awards and recognitions, important ones are the 12 National awards, two international awards, and 20 state awards. 

Sri Madhava Rao is a true karma yogi as described in Bhagavadgeeta. His extraordinary achievements are testimonials of his great calibre and perseverance. Rarely do we come across such noble souls who dedicate their lives to make a difference in society. The least we can do is  to at least recognise, appreciate and honour them. 

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