Houdini-style stunt turned tragic as Indian magician’s body was found days later

Image for illustration purpose only. (Credit: Wikimedia)

Most of us would agree that no one could perform tricks and illusions like Houdini. He was one of the best during his time, especially for his sensational escape acts.

Jadugar Mandrake, a magician from India also thought he should perform the act for his audience.

Last Sunday, an overwhelming crowd gathered at the Hooghly river to watch Mandrake immersed into the waters, his hands and legs fastened with tight ropes and chains.

He was to free himself from the knots and tangles and resurface to the shore as part of the act’s grand finale. However, things took a twisted turn when the faces of excitement in the crowd quickly switched to murmurs and worries.

The magician never came up to the waters, even after hours passed by. A rescue team was sent in search of him but to no avail. His body was then found a few days ago.

The 40-year-old performer’s real name was Chanchal Lahiri.

He had performed the very stunt earlier in 2013 in the same river. He gets himself locked in a cage underwater, and was planning to escape his way out of the locks.

His trick flopped halfway when spectators discovered a secret door under the cage which Lahiri used to escape. They were raged and started attacking him as he swam to the shore.

Global News released a statement from a local photographer, Jayanta Shaw who was an acquaintance to Lahiri. He was there to witness his stunt and had managed to chat with him prior to the performance.

When asked why would he want to endure such a risky act, Lahiri’s reply to him was ‘If I do it right, it’s magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic.’

It is unfortunate that it turned out tragic for him.


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