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Devil's delight

United Kingdom – Home of the Queen, Punjabi rappers & recently Indian billionaires on a spree.

Vijay Mallya has been grabbing many headlines lately. This time albeit for trying to pay up his loans. With his last statement out that he was always keen to clear his loans. This swift change of heart for an arrogant man like him is a bit mysterious.

He somehow reminds me of the movie ‘Raju Chacha’. It’s a movie about kids who become orphans and are placed under the custody of their evil relatives. There is a scene in it where the kids are starving and sitting on the breakfast table awaiting their meal. Now this is no ordinary table, it has a button controlled toy train running along the periphery of the table with it's carriages containing breakfast. Quite an elitist way to have breakfast indeed.

As soon as the kids try to take breakfast their uncle presses the button and thereby ensuring the train moves ahead and the kids get nothing. Vijay Mallya is indeed like that evil uncle. The only difference he leaves his creditors and employees starving of cash.

Vijay Mallya has been charged for misuse of funds and nonpayment of his Rs 9,000 crore dues. In the coming days, there are good chances that he might get declared as a “fugitive economic offender” by the court. Which does sound like a very preposterous title within itself. Somehow “Mera Baap Chor Hai” sounds better than “Mera Baap Fugitive Economic Offender Hai”.

UK courts have recently given permission for authorities to seize all assets in his UK properties and auction them off. The silver lining being, at least he doesn’t need to take high resolution pictures of them and peddle them on classified websites with descriptions such as ‘slightly used’.

“Those are my boxers, not your assets.”

Our latest obsession being crucifying retired bankers for loans they approved decades ago in good faith to businessmen. It’s a brilliant time to be alive as a banker indeed. The government should not send out CBI for every loan case just because a few cases went bad. Clearly, our motto should be changed to “Make In India, but God forbid if your business fails we will make an example out of you”.

Vijay Mallya’s debt seems a drop in the ocean compared to our national airline Air India’s debt of 52,000 crores which has found no buyers till date. Buying Air India would entail getting burdened with its own set of issues like government ownership stake, low market share etc. I suppose while buying air tickets people tend to seek more value for money than just landing alive.

Vijay Mallya is indeed the flavour of the season. Like the Panama Papers and multiple scams before that he too shall be forgotten soon.

The Nirav Modi scam is equally interesting. It’s about time he starts contests on his jewellery brand’s Twitter handle asking people to guess the next location he is flying with his revoked passport. Lucky winners get diamond jewellery.

As a young vibrant economy, I do hope to remain alive to read headlines of new scams such as-

“Is cocaine the secret ingredient of Haldiram Aloo Bhujia's success?”

“Mumbai builders offer complimentary polar bears along with every sea facing high rise apartment. Massive blow to luxury car companies.”

“Mascot by day. Assassin by night. The Rise and Fall of Lijjat Papad’s Bunny.”

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