Tuesday, 31. March 2015
07. 08. 14. - 15:00
An Indian textile magnate who made a fortune from his clothing empire is making sure the rest of the world knows about his success – by having a shirt made out of pure gold.
Although he left school without any qualifications Pankaj Parakh still managed to make a fortune after establishing a multi-million pound textile business in India. And now, to celebrate his upcoming 45th birthday on Friday, he has commissioned the solid gold shirt that weighs more than four kilos.
He said: "I wanted to wear something special when I say my thanks for my success at a thanksgiving visit to the Siddhivinayak Temple of the Hindu elephant god in Mumbai."
And after paying just 127,000 GBP to buy the gold and have it turned into a golden shirt, he reckons he got a bargain.
According to local media the gold shirt has really got him noticed as he marched along the streets of his home in Yeola, 260 km from the city of Mumbai, where he says he gets admiring looks from women and envious looks from men.
He said: "I never go out with less than 2 to 3 kilos of gold jewellery. I have always been fascinated with gold since I was five-years-old and studying in school. And over the years that interest has become a real passion. So it was logical that I would want to make my 45th birthday a golden affair.
"In fact even on my wedding 23 years ago a lot of people said it was embarrassing that I was wearing more gold than my bride, but I just love the Royal metal."
And the cost of the gold shirt is reportedly a fraction of what he has splashed out to make sure the birthday party is a spectacular affair, with hundreds of guests including Maharashtra tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and around a dozen MPs from various parties and Indian celebrities.
The shirt that has seven solid gold buttons is due to be officially modelled by the clothing magnate on Friday, but he tried it on in advance after collecting it from the Shanti Jewellers at Parel in Mumbai, where a team of around 20 craftsmen collectively spent 3,200 hours over the past two months to 'stitch' it together.
The gold used in the shirt has an 18-22 carat purity, without any other metals, and he added: "Before the taxman starts coming round, I can guarantee that every bit is properly recorded in my company accounts."
Despite being made of gold the shirt has been so carefully made that it is as flexible as a normal shirt, he claims, and also just as comfortable because there is a thin cloth lining the inside.
He said: "It is easily washed and can be hung up to dry just like a normal piece of clothing, and a good a lifetime guarantee with it so that if it's torn or damaged it will quickly be repaired."
After leaving school early before graduating he had thrown all of his efforts into developing the family garments business in Yeola, a town of some 60,000.
He is married to wife Pratibha and has sons Siddharth, 22, and Rahul, 19, both now in college, and added: "I am the only one in the family that seems so passionate about gold, the rest of my family is neither impressed or interested in gold. They just accept that it's my passion and it's part of our domestic life. My more extended family however think I'm a bit weird but I guess that's families."
He is a local politician himself and despite criticism that he flaunts his wealth among people who are poorer, he is actively involved in community projects and recently funding 120 operations for polio suffers at the Narayan Seva Sansthan Hospital of Udaipur in Rajasthan.
"I spend at least a week each year offering voluntary services at the 1,000-bedded hospital, the biggest and best for polio treatment in India. I also arrange for any requirements of the poor patients like food, medicines, surgery and blankets, from which I get immense satisfaction," Parakh said.
And he added: "I admit you need to be brave to wear a shirt like this, brave and also in possession of a gun like my fully licensed revolver which I also carry with me every time I go out."
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Conchita Wurst Graces This Years Life Ball Poster|
|Uncle Hung Boy From Fence As Punishment|
|Handsome Policeman Causes Stampede Of Female Admirers|
|Tree House Takes Root In Italian Town|
|Four Needles In Teens Body Including One In Heart|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.