A magician who once captivated the audience and received thunderous applause for his mesmerizing tricks is now forced to sell vegetables in the congested lanes of Rajasthan's Dholpur district.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought tough times for 38-year-old Raju Mahor alias RJ Samrat Jadugar, forcing him to become a vegetable vendor leaving behind his 15 years of profession as a magician.
Hailing from Rajakhera town of Dholpur, which shares border with Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Mahor's story resembles that of many others whose lives have taken a hit due to the deadly pandemic and the subsequent lockdown across the country.
"The coronavirus crisis has shut my entire business. Over a dozen staff members who worked with me are now sitting at home due to the lockdown. When I thought about paying house rent and run my family, I did not see any other option but to sell vegetables," Mahor said.
He said he has never seen such times in his entire life and urged the government to take measures to provide work to people who are facing difficult times.
The magician said he has done hundreds of shows in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and various other places across the country in the past 15 years.
"I used to do 8-10 shows in a day in fairs organised throughout the year across India. My last show was in Bhind and Morena. My props are now lying with one of the staff members in Bhind due to the lockdown," he said.
Nevertheless, Mahor expressed hope that life will be normal again after the country defeats coronavirus.
He said he wants to get back to entertaining people with his shows, adding it is the only skill he possesses.
"It's not only about me, but other people too. God knows when the situation will become normal and people will step out to watch shows. I can only hope for good times to come back soon," he added.
Rajasthan is under lockdown since March 22 to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
The death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 824 and the number of cases climbed to 26,496 in India on Sunday, according to the Union health ministry.