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Old March 21st, 2016, 08:48 AM
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Arrow Re: Great subtle humour prank: This time on Vijay Mallya

MAR 9, 2016 @ 06:54 PM 15,770 VIEWS

Vijay Mallya Goes Down Partying

As the banks closed in on Vijay Mallya and urged his arrest, the Indian liquor magnate’s penchant for ‘good times’ has brought the bad times upon him, say some of his closest friends.

Weeks after the State Bank of India , India’s biggest lender, had labeled him as a “wilful defaulter” for the more than $1.3 billion owed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, Mallya hosted the mother of all bashes to celebrate his 60th birthday in the beach resort town of Goa last December.

The 2-day party, attended by more than 200 people, featuring a fireworks display and performances by Spanish pop star Enrique Iglesias and Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam, is estimated by his friends to have cost the former billionaire more than $2 million. (Mallya had, however, claimed that Nigam performed for free)


Vijay Mallya, so long, farewell (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

The celebrations took place at Kingfisher Villa, the iconic beachfront mansion in North Goa named after his UB Group’s popular beer. Guests were put up in style at the adjoining Taj hotel resort. In attendance was Mallya’s only son Siddhartha, who had quit his business career a couple of years ago to follow his passion for acting. In 2005, Mallya had launched Kingfisher Airlines with much fanfare on his son’s 18th birthday.

The Goa extravaganza earned Mallya, who is also a nominated member of parliament, the ire of Raghuram Rajan, the much-respected governor of the Reserve Bank of India . “If you flaunt your birthday bashes even while owing the system a lot of money, it does seem to suggest to the public that you don’t care. I think that is the wrong message to send. If you are in trouble, you should be cutting down your expenses,” said Rajan in a January television interview.

Mallya had shown no sign of giving up the good life even after Kingfisher Airlines shut operations in 2012 and staff were owed unpaid salaries for months. Lavish parties, some aboard his luxury yatch, were part of his signature style. In a recent letter to Mallya, Kingfisher staff noted that “We are still not able to understand what you meant when you said “I don’t have money to pay your salaries” while the spree continues let it be Caribbean Premier League or luxurious yatch.”

Apparently, Mallya was advised by some friends to avoid a big gala in India for his 60th birthday and instead have a small celebration in London, where he maintains a luxury pad and country estate. Ignoring such well-meaning advice, the former billionaire, who is said to have departed for London last week, went on to host what could well be his last mega supper in a long time.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/naazneen.../#3054c3db5178
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