Sunday, May 24, 2015Sunday, May 24, 2015

Indian businessman celebrates 45th birthday with 4kg gold shirt

Published on Aug 8, 2014 5:31 PM

To say that Indian textile magnate Pankaj Parakh really likes gold is an understatement.

Mr Parakh loves the precious metal so much that he commissioned a solid gold shirt, weighing more than 4kg, for his 45th birthday on Friday.

"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," he said.

According to Daily Mail, he paid £127,000 (S$267, 000) for the 18 to 22 carat gold used in the shirt, which took about 3,200 hours over the past two months to "stitch" it together by a team of about 20 craftsmen. Seven solid gold buttons help to complete the look.

The businessman claimed that the shirt is as flexible as any other normal shirt and is just as comfortable because it is lined with a thin cloth inside.

But the cost of the shirt is a fraction of what he has splashed out on his birthday party. The guest list included ministers and members of parliament from various parties and Indian celebrities.

Mr Parakh is married to wife Pratibha and has two sons Siddharth, 22, and Rahul, 19, both now in college.

He admitted that he is the "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".

"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."

"I never go out with less than 2 to 3 kilos of gold jewellery," Mr Parakh added.

But wearing so much gold in public has its price.

"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."

Mr Parakh was also seen with four bodyguards when he wore the gold shirt out.

But despite his flashy taste in clothes and lifestyle, he also has a heart of gold (pun intended).

The textile magnate who left school without any qualifications, is also a local politician and is actively involved in community projects.

He recently funded 120 operations for polio sufferers and spends at least a week each year offering voluntary services at the 1,000-bed Narayan Seva Sansthan Hospital of Udaipur in Rajasthan, the biggest and best for polio treatment in India.