A curious case of an Italian word finding itself stamped upon a postcard of a characteristic type in India (the fakir, in this case a mendacious one). Mountebank is an old word for a charlatan, or salesman of quack medicines. It apparently is from the late 16th century Italian word montambanco, from the imperative phrase monta in banco! ‘climb on the bench!’ (with allusion to the raised platform used to attract an audience, according to the search engine of our day). Aside from the connotations of swindling, the deeper root of the word speaks to the performance aspect of the role, which is part of what being a fakir is about.