An unfortunate, dim-witted Indian has passed away after making frantic efforts to revive people’s interest in magic.
The deceased voodooist whose daring performance was inspired by Harry Houdini, used the stage name Jadugar Mandrake.
Chanchal Lahiri was tied in chains and ropes and lowered down the river—an act inspired by Houdini, the famed illusionist who performed similar trick more than 100 years ago but was able to escape from a box tossed into New York’s East River.
Unfortunately, Lahiri disappeared into the Hooghly River in Kolkata on Sunday, USA Today reported.
River traffic police declared Lahiri “a missing person” and his body was not found until Monday.
The BBC, Agence France Presse and Guardian reported that Lahiri’s corpse was found less than 500 meters from where he wowed the cheering crowd.
According to the Times of India, Syed Waquar Raza (an eye witness) confirmed that Lahiri got approval from police to perform the stunt on a boat but kept her plans a secret. She did not mention water—an indication that she understood the underlying risks.
In Raza’s words: ‘She [Lahiri] did vaguely say something about an “extra act” though that was not clarified.’
Lahiri died doing what she loved—magic. He was in his 40s and full of energy before the tragic incident in Kolkata, India. The late magician was tied with six locks and dropped into the river from a boat, media reports confirm.
The Guardian quoted Lahiri as telling the agitated crowd: ‘If I can unlock the chains, then it will be magic, but if I can’t, it will end in tragedy.’ He was dressed in a yellow and red costume for the stunt.
Sumit Kharbanda, current president of the Brotherhood of Magicians in India, said Lahiri had done the same trick many times in the past. During one of such jaw-dropping performances about 20 years ago, the late Indian magician was locked in a glass box and dropped into the same river.