"Things Rich People Do" is a regular series where GlobalPost reports on how the global 1 percent lives. See the last installment: Things Rich People Do: Pay $4.5 billion in divorce settlements
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
That seems to be the philosophy of Indian businessman and local politician Pankaj Parakh, who was seen parading around his hometown of Yeola, 160 miles northeast of Mumbai, this week in a pure gold short-sleeved shirt worth around $214,000.
Check out this video posted by the Daily Mail.
The shamelessly wealthy Parakh, who dropped out of school and went on to make a fortune in the textiles industry, had the shirt specially made for his 45th birthday this weekend. It took a team of 20 artisans more than 3,000 hours to hand-stitch the shirt, which features seven gold buttons and weighs nearly 9 pounds.
The shirt is lined with a thin cloth because, as we all know, there’s nothing worse than 18-22 carat gold rubbing against your skin.
— My Delhi (@iluvMyDelhi) August 8, 2014
Parakh is unapologetic for wearing such a bling-bling outfit in a country as poor as India. And that’s not surprising.
This is the man, after all, who claims he never leaves home with less than 4.5 pounds of jewelry and who wore more gold than his wife at their wedding.
“I have always been fascinated with gold since I was 5 years old and studying in school. And over the years, that interest has become a real passion,” Parakh said.
Gold might be his thing, but style clearly isn’t. If you can afford a gold shirt, surely you can afford to hire a decent designer as well? But that’s not the worst thing about this shirt. It’s also a major security risk.
"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," Parakh said.
And having a team of bodyguards also helps.
Parakh isn’t the first person in the gold-obsessed country to flaunt his wealth in such a grotesque way. Datta Phuge, whose nickname is "the gold man," made headlines last year after he spent $250,000 on a shirt made from the precious metal.
— Rodney Watson (@RodneyMWatson) January 5, 2013
But as offensively ostentatious as Parakh’s shirt might be, The Times of India assures us that the businessman is a “a genuine, down-to-earth and caring human being” who is “deeply involved” in charity work.
Well, Ok then.