Saturday had a great start with Aloo parathas and buttery home made yogurt for breakfast. I love any day with a buttery start.
The rest of the day was interesting to say the least. I met up with my cousin's cousin Kunal again and I joined them for a great lunch at Yellow Tree in Bandra.
Then the conversation took an awkward turn. He started talking about a great business idea that his friend Jitin had told him about. He was all on board to sign up for it today and excited to share more, but wanted Dev, the guy running the show to tell me more about it. This sounded painfully like an Amway pitch. But it got better.
I joined them on a trip over to Dev's house.
There were 4-5 guys in this small apartment in an upscale street in Bandra, all sitting around a laptop.
After some light conversation, Jitin was first to 'log on'.
One of Dev's henchmen directed Jitin to whip out his credit card and follow the instructions to 'buy his combo unit'.
Dev was straight out of Boiler Room- cunning yet pally, showing off the material wealth gained from his earnings in the business. And he didn't give "an airborne fornication" about anything, to quote Dev.
Dev is the master of spin- he replaced Pyramid with "Network Marketing" and it all seemed so much more above-board. The company is Q Net and Kunal was about to fork out thousands of dollars (US!), on a timeshare mobile phone roaming plan, and a bio-disk. Well I know what a timeshare is but what was a bio-disk? And why was it $700?
Dev brought one out for me- basically it's a glass coaster. But remember Dev's spin? Now it was a high tech nano-technology fused-mineral device that emits 'Scalar' energy, which in 15 minutes can make (with no direct contact mind you), a glass of scotch taste smoother, change the molecular structure of water to reduce its surface tension, and make it "hydrate the drinker more", so you could get the same effects of the water by drinking less. Oh and it can also cure wounds faster if you use the energised water, it can make milk last for a really long time if you keep one in the fridge. You're laughing, right? ROFLMAO? These guys weren't. But I wasn't in the cool believer's club and they were getting uneasy.
I was in an alternative reality at this point; sure that Dev was going to bring out a gun and make me buy time shares and a bio disk combo too. I stayed quiet and watched the action unfold.
Then Kunal went up to the laptop, and with credit card out, he proceeded to buy a bio-disk, for $690. Kunal had drank the scotch and tasted it against a non-bio disk sample, and he was convinced there was something in the Bio-disk that would make this the next miracle invention.
My friends- my point here is that India is such a spiritual country, that it's not far fetched at all for young, well educated people to dismiss science and reason after hearing or seeing just enough to make them believe something amazing can happen if they just did this one thing... rub something, eat something, put a glass disk under your water...
We finally left Dev's place, and not a moment too soon. Kunal's girlfriend and I spent the next 4 hours over coffee (at Mocha Mojo), trying to talk sense into him. Jitin came along too but he was the first to admit, that despite not fully understanding the science behind the bio-disk, he was a believer in its powers. Or as we'd say in the UK, he was a gonner.
I'm not entirely sure either of us got through to Kunal. The Bio disk was $690, but the timeshare required an $8000 investment (which of course through hard work and network marketing could be recouped multi-fold). Jitin was already in. I wonder if Kunal will follow?
It's hard work having a non-conversation. I would ask a question like, "Jitin- what accredited scientific facility has proven empirically that the bio-disk has any measureable impact on the water?"... to hear back answers like, "I'm not sure but it's all documented... It's on thier website... I don't need to prove anything to you"... you see what I mean?!
Tomorrow is my last day in Mumbai and I'm spending it with Kunal and his girlfriend Nidhi. He lives in Colaba which is close to Town; I'm looking forward to it, but have promised no more BIO DISK TALK!!