The city youth who stunned Dhoni into revealing his first crush

'Mentalism'

Narpath Raman seen with M S Dhoni and other cricketers of the Chennai Super Kings team at a recent event in Jaipur.

Narpath Raman stumped Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

In what appeared like a casual conversation, the 27-year-old Bengalurean made Captain Cool reveal his first crush at a public event in Jaipur, which stunned the cricketer and the audience alike.

To say that Raman can read minds will be an exaggeration, but the youngster has the uncanny ability to make his subject believe he is capable of sneak-peaking into their inner-most secrets.

Besides doing corporate gigs with different kinds of audiences, Raman can also be seen in his free time stopping unsuspecting passers-by in the streets of Koramangala and Indiranagar to perform the amazing art form that pleasantly surprises them. The impromptu exchanges earned him the sobriquet "next door mind reader".

YouTube video

It all began with a YouTube video, Raman said, which he watched non-stop for 48 hours. "I got placed in Bengaluru after qualifying as a mechanical engineer. I then suffered a major personal trauma. It was a low point and I took to YouTube for motivational videos, determined to turn things around," he said.

That was when he stumbled on the video by the famous American illusionist, David Blain. "On the 49th hour of watching him, I figured out what he was doing. It was a euphoric moment," Raman said.

Not a magician

Raman, acknowledged as one of the country's pure mentalists, clarified that mentalism is not the same as stage magic. "We're psychological entertainers who make people believe that we are capable of reading minds," he said. "We do this by techniques like suggestion, perception and deception, among others. This is neither magic nor real mind reading."

Raman began with street shows — where he was testing the waters in terms of how his techniques worked — while also performing for his friends and neighbours. Growing in confidence and reputation, he began landing corporate gigs that established him as a professional performer of this unique art.

"Street shows are pretty famous in the United States, but are yet to catch up with audiences here," he said.

The Dhoni show

A much sought-after artist, Raman recently had a call from an oil company that also works closely with the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings and wanted him to stage a show with them. A big Dhoni fan made the moment on stage with the former India captain very special.

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