Khushdeep Bansal was studying electronics engineering when he observed a curious phenomenon in his college laboratory: certain equipment worked perfectly in one corner of the laboratory while in the opposite corner they were out of order most of the time.
After research, he concluded that the earth's magnetic field and the laboratory building, made of concrete and steel, developed a magnetic pull in opposite directions, affecting the functioning of the lab equipment kept in all north-east corners. “I also observed that students who sat in a particular direction in the class were scoring better than others. I realised that the built-up space and earth energies had a direct impact on man and machines,” says Bansal.
His professors at the college were quite impressed and asked him to read out a paper on his observations at a science conference in Hyderabad. “My paper was appreciated a lot. In fact, a physics professor at the conference told me that what I referred to in the paper was actually vastu shastra, a word I had heard for the first time,” Bansal recalls.
After completing his engineering in 1992, Bansal landed a job in the US, but his computer science professor suggested that since his joining date was still a few months away, he could take formal training in vastu before going abroad. So young Bansal, who was now deeply interested in vastu, joined a gurukul which, he says, helped hone his “inborn skills” on the subject.
While he was at the gurukul, he was commissioned by the owner of an edible oil factory to see why his factory’s fresh produce was regularly getting contaminated. “It was all because of the machines being placed in the wrong direction. I fitted the iron stripes in the earth around the machines and installed a sodium vapour lamp to balance the earth’s electro-magnetic field. The oil did not get spoilt again,” says Bansal, 40, sitting in his posh Paschim Vihar office in west Delhi.
In the next couple of weeks, this electronics engineer’s reputation as a vastu expert spread quickly, and he was hired by many factory owners to fix their profit- and production-related problems. “I made Rs. 1.5 lakh in one-month flat. It was a lot of money those days,” says Bansal, who decided not to take up his job in the US and pursue a career in vastu instead.
His father, a principal in a government school, was aghast. “He took me to his friend, a physics professor at Punjab University, for counselling me. The professor declared that I had gone crazy and required shock therapy,” recalls Bansal, who was born in Raman Mandi, a small Punjab town.
Two decades on, his father is happy at Bansal's decision to dump electronics engineering. Today, Bansal is one of the country's most sought-after vastu experts. His clients includes top politicians, businessmen, real estate developers and film stars. The suave and soft-spoken vastu expert, who speaks in Sanskritised Hindi owns a fleet of cars, including two Mercedes, and likes to wear luxury wrist watches (he has about two dozen of them), including Patek Philippe, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin — each costing between Rs. 20 lakh and Rs. 42 lakh.
He claims that a lot of problems in life arise out of placement of various household items in the “wrong direction”. According to him, where your washing machine is placed can affect your health, where the mirror is fitted in your bedroom can affect the harmony between husband and wife, where your wedding photograph hangs can affect you marriage and where you place contraceptives in the house can affect your sexual life.
“Vastu is basically the study of the perfect living space. There are 16 zones in a house. The south-west zone is a zone of intimacy and family-bonding. A mirror in this zone causes fights in the family,” says Bansal, adding, “I do not prescribe demolition or reconstruction of any part of the house; putting an electric bulb, painting a wall in a different colour, adding a new interior décor object solves the problem. A lot of Delhiites consult me to fix their love life.”
His biggest assignment came in 1997, when he was invited by the then deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha to fix a vastu “fault” in Parliament. “I had contented that the library building which was being constructed next to Parliament house had disturbed earth energies inside the Parliament complex, causing political instability in the country those days,” he says.
And how did he fix it? By using his trademark remedy. “I laid metal stripes in the area between Parliament and the new library building. Besides, I also installed electrical poles in the area to balance the disturbed earth energies and ward off their negative effects on parliamentarians,” says Bansal, adding, “I was also called to fix the vast fault in the office of a national political party in the Capital. The major concern of politicians who consult me is their rapport with the people and their high command,” says Bansal. If you want him to visit your house or factory for consultation, it will cost you R5 lakh per visit.
Bansal is also author of several books on vastu, the most recent one titled, The MahaVastu Handbook, was launched at recent World Book Fair in the Capital. Guess how much does it cost? Rs. 1.25 lakh, making it perhaps the world's most expensive book on Vastu. “We have already sold 165 copies of the book,” says Bansal.