Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
Vijay Mallya, the big daddy, the liquor baron, the man with class and panache seems to be troubled these days because of his cash-strapped and possibly bankrupt airline. If we look back at his life, he has always been known for his flamboyance, his several yachts, a beautiful calendar girl in each arm and grand homes all around the world. He single-handedly expanded his inherited company United Breweries into an empire known all over the world. He expanded his business prowess to such an extent that he and now owns an airline company, an F1 racing team (a first for India), a cricket team, a television channel as well as a biochemical and battery producing company. He has inspired millions by virtue his success and his incredible capability to take risks. In Prahlad Kakkar’s (a well-known advertising executive) words “He is the symbol of new India – flamboyant, high-risk, wealthy and not ashamed of it.”
Then came 2011 and news about Kingfisher Airlines being debt-ridden and incapable of paying taxes started doing the rounds. The airline has heavily defaulted on payments to the government oil companies, airports and aircraft leasing companies. Vijay Mallya’s love for lavishness gave way to the feeling that he has been irresponsible. During a leadership seminar, Mallya was questioned about his airline and beer company and his answer was: “With both you are flying”. Well we can now conclude that the future of the airline appears to be heading in the same direction as the end product after consuming the beer of the same name -down the drain.
The airline would not possibly stay in the sky for long with the total debt estimated to be around Rs.7000 crore and mounting. While Mr. Mallya haughtily claimed to bounce back in no time, the banks are reluctant to bail out his airlines. The nosedive in its share prices and earnings pose a dilemma for the government. The flourishing aviation industry seems to be dwindling. Will Kingfisher airlines go on to become the King of bad times on the lines of a certain Air India?
Well it is not Vijay Mallya’s fault. It is not his fault AT ALL. Don’t blame him for his love for exquisite wines, women, cars and splendor. Very recently, a long forgotten Bollwood starlet, Ayesha Takia was found ranting on Twitter against the airline, “The worst airline,kingfisher!!!shockingly baddddddddddd airport staff behavior at delhi airport with my sister.” More fuel was added to the fire with the airline owner’s son’s retort in the form of a “pipe down love” However,it just turned out to be a way of attaining some form publicity by virtue of the micro-blogging website. I wonder if she was ever denied a cheer leader’s position in Mr.Mallya’s cricket team. Well, I would not like to digress from the topic so this just seems to be a bad time for the king of good times.
The aviation industry seems to be in a bad shape altogether and we can only wish Mr. Mallya and his son a speedy recovery. Who wants the plentiful Kingfisher airlines with its clipped wings and beautiful airhostesses to fade into oblivion?