Monday, August 12, 2013

The simple Graffiti man of Chennai

It was a text from a close friend who is also an HR head in a non-IT corporate that brought up this barrage of memories about a particular sight that we used to often subconsciously ignore, because we have seen it so many times on almost every free square inch wall of Chennai.

This was the exact text – "Hey hi, Sorry to text so late… Can you pls share any contact for organizing kids events at corporate shows". This obviously was a late night text and I was dead tired, as I was returning home after yet another shopping parade for furnishing at home. This text brought a smile to my face – this friend who texted me was my first boss in the organisation I had started my career first and is a friend, philosopher, guide kind of person and one strong member in my circle of “girl friends”. The number of escapades and the fun we have had together in the organisation we worked next ( oh yes, we worked together subsequently in yet another organisation too, for almost 13 years) is countless.

Infact, the 100th post was dedicated to my “Gurl friends” and you can read it here . I honestly feel this was the most underrated post of mine. ;-(

Dragging myself back to the current post – this message as I was telling you brought this smile because I remembered a name out of the blue and I immediately messaged her back and this was my reply.

P James Magic Show

And we had a great laugh together. Oh not P James and me, I shared the laughter with my good ol'friend.

It was one such kids event that this friend in discussion and I were organizing in our earlier organisation, for the children of employees somewhere in 2003. We couldn’t find a person who could entertain the kids and we actually called P James Magic Show.

I have very clear memories of two things that he brought with him – an undersized coat that he wore during the magic show which had accumulated dust from half a century and a barely alive snake, that even I was not scared of it. The magic show itself was kind of mediocre, for corporate standards, but it definitely entertained the little ones. I remember discussing about helping this guy with more contacts from our corporate friends, he seemed to live in a state of penury with a large family, but I do not remember what we did for him. I remember he was an educated chap, but chose this profession that was kind of ancestral – his father and grand father were magicians. He also told us how he goes around Chennai city in the night, on a bicycle and paints the graffiti himself without any help.

If you have ever lived in Chennai, probably a few years back, you wouldn’t have missed this graffiti of P James magic show along with a phone number on the walls of Chennai. This guy believes in marketing by spamming on the walls of chennai. It was difficult to miss these stuff then on the walls, junction boxes and literally everywhere. I was surprised to see a Wikipedia link to P James Magic Show, that you can see here. Having seen and interacted with this guy, its so amazing to see the crude kind of hard work he puts in to manage his living. And in a way, created one of the sights and memories of Chennai for some hardcore Chennaiites like me.

If you look into the comment section of the posts of  Doing Jalsa Showing Jilpa blog of Krish Ashok, here, who calls himself a humorist and blogger, needless to say he is a very popular blogger, ( and I really like his way of writing), you will find comments, which simply says P James Magic Show. Goes on to show the impact this guy and his marketing technique has had on chennaiites. I am sure that comment is put up there by some mutual fan of P James and Krish Ashok :-)

Wonder what Kennedy aka P James is doing right now.


  1. Hopefully he will see your post and comment here !

    But hats off (no pun intended) for people like P James who really slog it out. Imagine how tough it must be trying to get clients and then try and entertain.

    Since I am not a "gurl friend" can I still read your special post :) ?

  2. So true Ramesh. and in a way, he is on a zero hour contract all through his life. ( linking it to your post!)

    And yes you are most welcome to read the dark secrets and cheap thrills of the " Gurl Friends" :-) :-) :-)

  3. The original advertiser eh and whats more, has kept up with the times and graduated to spamming on the net eh;-D.
    But jokes apart, really, hats off to P James & his Magic Show:-)).

  4. I believe Dr.Batras hair clinic got inspired by James P


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