We spent a fair amount of time at the Dream Team cybercafe—not necessarily on the computers but often just hanging out. The "cafe" in "cybercafe" is often a misnomer—especially in India. No one hangs around. They check their email and leave. Dream Team didn't have a drink menu but they did have a sitting area and the place was a hangout for Ajay and his friends. Periodically a round of chai was offered to all—free of charge.
True to his nature Ajay's offer to let us use the machines without paying came with no strings attached. Our efforts to push money on him on a few occasions were rejected. What goes around comes around however and we were able to return the favor in a small way. Lacking a credit card, Ajay had a significant hurdle in arranging for web hosting services and paying for domain name registrations. We came through for him with our plastic.
Clearly Ajay wasn't your typical businessman. One day he confided in us and afterwards we had a greater understanding of his motives. Ajay was in love. The feelings were mutual and they wanted to get married. Ajay's parents fully supported this but his girlfriend's parents didn't. Love marriages are no small thing in India. The norm is overwhelmingly arranged marriages and Ajay's girlfriend's parents wanted to select their daughter's life-long partner. They wanted someone with stature; someone with more money. Ajay's family, from the looks of it, was doing just fine. But you can never have too much money. The Dream Team business undertaking was Ajay's way to prove himself to his girlfriend's parents.
Despite the challenges, from all appearances the Dream Team business will grow and prosper. Ajay is energetic and motivated and he treats people right. The offices were buzzing with activity much of the time we were there. But whether such a success will yield the results Ajay so desperately wants and deserves is anyone's guess.
We found Ajay to be personable, generous, intelligent, ethical—all the things a parent could want in a son-in-law. How anyone could overlook these qualities in someone their daughter wants to marry is beyond me.