An informal interview with internationally renowned magician – Dr. Tijo Varghese
Let me start with introducing me to readers who haven’t met me directly or do not even know that I exist. A phrase I have written to describe myself is “A strong wind in the shadows”. The term “wind” suits me as I am everywhere and I am nowhere. I don’t stay in one place for long nor do I have much long-time friend (not until date). I give life, comfort and perhaps even entertainment wherever I go, and can become ferociously stormy if something (or someone) stands in my way. Yet, I do not publicize whatever I do or whatever I believe in. I always remain in the “shadows”. As a result, I have travelled a lot, have faced as well crossed many challenges in life, have been in the journeys of several entrepreneurs (and celebrities); and yet no one knows me. I am Yasir Sulaiman.
With this trait, I have been fortunate enough to meet some really awesome people in life; entrepreneurs, celebrities, sportsmen, professionals, noble souls, or just ordinary human beings who think out-of-the-box. I have now initiated a series of informal interviews I have had with these great thinking personalities. It is with great pride and a sense of honor that the first individual I chose for it is Dr. Tijo Varghese; a nationally renowned magician with fans across Asia, an extraordinary achiever with a simple heart and an awesome human being.
Presenting the astonishing, the miraculous and the extraordinary human being – Dr. Tijo Varghese
I have been acquainted with Dr. Tijo Varghese for the past couple of years. It began with certain professional associations in the field of content writing and social media marketing. However, we became “part-time” friends in the sense we had occasional meetings and communicated through emails just to share thoughts on one field in which we both were interested; entertainment. I was aware that Tijo conducted magical performances on stage and also hosted similar programs on television channels.
In fact, my wife is a big fan of his show on a Malayalam TV channel. At that time, I wasn’t acquainted with Tijo. Frankly, I watch very little television (or movies for that matter) and had no idea of what she told me.
My wife informed me that Tijo had won several awards for his performances and had even won several world records!
I obviously had lot of apprehensions when meeting Dr. Tijo Varghese for the first time. It wasn’t fright or the lack of confidence.
But I feared how could I talk to this imminent personality without lowering my dignity and without offending him in any manner? Little did I know that I was in for a pleasant surprise! Dr. Tijo, whom I address directly as Tijo now is a simple human being with noble human intention of spreading goodness across the world. Coming back to the present, Dr. Tijo Varghese seemed the perfect individual to embrace my interviews of special people.
Here I would like to clarify that my proposed interviews of these high-thinking personalities cannot be categorized as the tradition type of interview. My style of an interview isn’t an ordinary question/answer round. I will not be asking stereotyped questions about the profession of my guests or their views on topics totally unrelated to them (like asking a politician which Harry Potter movie he liked best!)
Through these “sessions” I have with my guests, I attempt to reach their actual personas. I find how are they actually behind all the glamour and fame? What are their real stories? I give them chances to speak for themselves and not ONLY answer questions that an interviewer asks them. With these principles, I met Tijo at an undisclosed location (that is far from privy eyes) for an informal chat, still qualifying as an interview to the outside world.
“Hi Tijo. I must admit my knowledge of magic is limited to fairy tales and the Harry Potter series. I have always enjoyed the few times I came across any magic show. But magic to me has just been a mode of entertainment. Like the circus of old days or movies at present. So how come you are so much passionate about this story? Where did all this begin? Who influenced you? Was the journey difficult? I want to hear the full story in your own words.”
Tijo wore a smile on his face as he listened to me. This is the approach he has for anything in life. He emits a lot of positive vibes that anyone speaking to him, watching him or just listening to his words will also smile along with him.
“Hello Yasir. It is always nice to share thoughts with you. You have a knack of bringing out shows of words from whomever you speak to. First of all, I should thank you for this interview or shall we call it a discussion? I have been interviewed by representatives from different television channels, newspapers and magazines. Yet, I haven’t been able to speak what I want. So from where should I start?
I have admired the art of magic right from my childhood days. If you want a proper starting point, it perhaps should have been when a popular magician in Coimbatore came to my school to perform a magic show. I was impressed by many magical acts that he performed including vanishing into thin air and making a lady appear from any empty box!
I met this magician after the show, requesting him to share his knowledge and teach me magic. He refused to do so stating that I was too young and magic requires a different form of sense along with intelligence. This sure did dishearten me for a while but I was adamant. I tried convincing my parents to seek a tutor of magic for me, but it wasn’t easy those days. Finally, I met Johnson sir; a popular magic-performer from Coimbatore who agreed to train me.
QUICK FACTS! Some of the magicians who inspire Dr. Tijo:
- Johnson sir from Coimbatore
- Magician Gopinath Muthukkad from Kerala
- Magician Samraj from Kerala
- Jadugar Anand
- Criss angels
By the way, “sir” is an attribute of respect and admiration I still have for him). That should perhaps be what ignited the hidden magician in me. I visited Johnson sir’s house every day for his training sessions. Those were tough days as the art of magic is no child’s play! There are a lot of complexities in that which requires years to master. I will forever be grateful to Johnson sir for being very much patient with me and ensuring that learned magic. Hats off to him! My journey has only been inclined upwards since then.
I have achieved several national as well as international records. My association with magic is also displayed through the various stage shows and television programs that I host in various parts of the world. My achievements increase every day. This includes world records, national and Asia specific records, invitations for doing research about magic in various universities, guest of honor awards, and much more! In fact, I have been recently credited with being the top artiste in Kerala. All these have been achieved because of the trust my Guru Johnson sir had shown on me around 25 years back.”
Tijo took a break and drank some water. He had been speaking continuously for long and was speaking from the heart. There seemed to a lot of hidden tales inside this man; narrations and facts that no journalist, television host or organization that invited him seemed to notice. I knew there was more human beneath the magician façade and I wanted to bring that out through this interview.
I laughed lightly at his demeanor and paused myself to ponder over his response. He obviously was proud of what he achieved and sure did deserve it. Yet, all these facts should be known publicly right? He was a famous magician! Then why was he telling me all this? I didn’t want the same information that had already been published in other interviews.
“Hmmm…(with a pinch of sarcasm); so what more do you seek in life? You have got or rather achieved everything already, right? You have fame, money and are an acknowledged magician all across the world. Why are you still running, if I may say, against time to prove yourself?”
“For an appropriate response, I need to tell you a few details about my family and also about my personal habits. My father; T.V Thomas owns a DC manufacturing unit named Bharath Electric Motors in Coimbatore, India. By God’s grace, our family has been blessed with enough wealth, lovely members and lots of love. In addition to my career in magic, I also manage Bharath Electric Motors. Hence, this hobby of mine isn’t a necessity.”
“I made my hobby of magic a profession because I believe that magic is a form of art that brings smiles to everyone’s faces. Contrary to what you or others may believe, I am a very simple person whose main aim is to entertain people through magic, make everybody feel happy and live life without any struggle. It may be difficult at times as I have a lot of commitments. I need to handle two professions, travel a lot and yet be there for my family.
Yet, my parents, my life partner, my children, and also people I admire in life have been very supportive. I thank God for this wonderful life. They always motivate me to go more and more. Personally, I practice for 2 hours every evening, learning new tricks and new ways to make people happy through my shows.”
People in the picture from left: Molly Thomas (Tijo’s mother), T.V Thomas (Tijo’s father), Tijo Varghese, Pinky Varghese (Tijo’s life partner), Katelyn Mariam Varghese (Tijo’s daughter)
“Okay then, what do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far in life? Have these achievements got you enemies as well? People who envy your success? “
“I believe no achievement is small or big and each result has its own value. I treat all of them equally and still
to do more. Please do not mistake this trait as being over-ambitious or greedy. There may be people who are jealous or not happy with what I achieve. But that is normal and I do not have any anger or ill-feelings towards them. I do not have any negativity inside me. I feel content when my performances make people smile and be happy. “
My reaction: I must admit; I was floored or in other words completely captivated by this person. I felt proud that I had chosen him for my interview sessions as these are the kinds of people I wish to bring to the forefront. I want the world to see that there still exist some highly successful people with simple and noble souls.
“Tijo, you must know that I have joined your long list of fans and admirers with this interview. Finally, please define magic for the readers of this interview.”
“Magic can be defined as an art where the main subject is kept a secret. We magicians, present an illusion to the audience where they are captivated with our speech and activities. Yet, they remain oblivious of the main subject until the final stage. This art involves many styles and requires continuous dedicated practice sessions.”
Author’s Note: The information given in this interview and directly from Tijo Varghese. There has been no copy and paste from other sources for this. Similarly, I will appreciate it if none of this data is used without my permission. I will be publishing a line of interviews with similar great minds. Inviting sponsors for placing advertisements with back-links to their own websites within this article. The charge is INR 500/- per post. Contact me privately for the same.
Contact Dr. Tijo Varghese:
Phone: 0091-95006 53434
Address: 4/45 Laksshmi nagar, 1st Cross street,Edayarpalayam Pirivu,Kuniamuthur(POST),Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641008, India.