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Mentalizer mesmerises

Metal spoons bend as if they were made of putty in Ehud Segev's hands

WEDNESDAY NIGHT at the F-bar. Patrons are amused to find that the spoons are bent and there's actually a guy in the pub bending them. Looks like a scene from The Matrix where a little girl bends a spoon and then tells Keanu Reeves that the spoon itself is an illusion. But in this case, the spoons are for real. How did the solid metal spoons bend as if they were putty? No clue.

The guy who's bending them, Ehud Segev who fancies himself as The Mentalizer, has no rational explanation either. He's performing at select pubs across India as part of the Black and White Unbelong Nights campaign. And what he says doesn't reveal much: "I don't have any supernatural powers but I do possess some super-natural powers. I owe much of my powers to what I have read and studied all my life."

Early initiation

He claims to not only bend spoons, but also read people's minds. Watching Ehud perform, one was reminded of his more famous Israeli counterpart Uri Geller, who was famously exposed on live television and branded a fake. Ehud, also an Israeli, belongs to the spiritual sect Kabbalah, made famous by Madonna.

Born in the holy city of Safed in Israel, Ehud claims to draw his powers from Kabbalah itself, which is often associated with spiritualism and mysticism. Ehud says he started reading books on spirituality and mysticism when he was 12. "My mom had to sign for my books because I was too young to read those books back then," he says.

At F-bar, Ehud moves on from spoons to some niftily performed card tricks. Then someone in the audience pops the most obvious question: "Why haven't you tried your hand at the lottery, gambling or betting?"

"I did try my hand at gambling. I once made $750 from a mere $20 at a casino in Las Vegas, playing roulette. Happy, I tried the next time with $1,000, but I ended up losing 2,000," he replies with a straight face.

To convince the audience further, Ehud goes on to break a spoon in two by twisting it, and in the process, fills the air with the acrid smell of burnt metal! Not as convinced as the audience, I hand him a perfectly normal two-rupee coin and dare him to bend it. I'm left gaping as he bends it in his left palm without ever touching it with his right! Then I offer him my plastic pen, which he refuses, saying he can only bend metals. "And if I bend something, I can't straighten it again." Goodbye, two bucks!

Wouldn't modern science help him find a rational explanation for his mysterious powers? "I have been subjected to all kinds of tests both in my home country and abroad. I would be more than happy if the scientists can explain the reason behind my powers," he replies.

Ehud shot to fame in Israel when he was just 19 by predicting the results of the mayoral elections. So, could he predict the result of the next India-Pakistan One Day International? After gazing into my eyes for a few seconds, he pronounces: "Pakistan."


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