Vijay Mallya & Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner have much in common… Bikini babes, luxury mansions and great entrepreneurship, to name a few!

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Every time I see Vijay Mallya, I see a softer version of Hugh Hefner, the original ‘Playboy’.

They are both colourful, flashy and live life ‘king-size’. They enjoy the company of women and they do it in the open, without any inhibition. They are highly educated and believe in philanthropy. Their mantra – You can only keep what you have by giving it away – has seen them part with massive numbers for the society’s benefit… they are both self-made men and radiate larger-than-life bonhomie. They both celebrate their excesses with booze and skimpily-clad girls.

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Vijay Mallya may not have had sex with over one thousand women, like Hefner did, but the ‘King of good times’ holds his own when it comes to being surrounded by bikini-clad girls, who are all at least half his age.

Vijay Mallya is 60, while Hugh Hefner is in his 80s. They are in their twilight years, but their fixation with young women has not mellowed down. It’s not even as if they are sex-starved rats; both Mallya and Hefner have had more than their fair share of women.

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Hugh Hefner feeds off young flesh in his ‘Playboy Mansion’, while Vijay Mallya entertains the ‘bold and the beautiful’ at his cliff-top mansion in Goa.

A few years ago, I was in Goa and fortuitously, Vijay Mallya was hosting a ‘rave-like’ party at his beach-front home. Although I wasn’t invited, I discovered how the locals felt about Mallya’s overt display of ‘good times’. One shopkeeper, who runs a small super market at the opposite end of the road, says, “People like Vijay Mallya have distorted the concept and feel of Goa. Goa is about freedom, it’s about love and romance, about respect for each other. It doesn’t mean vulgar display of wealth, or skin show, especially when the late night parties disturb the local residents.”

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Well, he has a point, but how Vijay Mallya celebrates within the confines of his lawful home should be no one’s business. Of course, we shouldn’t enjoy at the cost of others, but let’s not make it a national issue.

One of Vijay Mallya’s ‘Kingfisher calendar’ girls, who fell out of favour, reveals the unbounded nature of his parties. “There is booze flowing from taps, girls roam around half-naked, desperate to catch the attention of Dr Mallya. Modelling contracts are agreed upon, favours given. This is also a place where Vijay Mallya invariably takes liking to some girl. That girl is a lucky girl because she enjoys special attention and gets lucrative modelling contracts. Some girls even do soft, recreational drugs.” Well, grapes may have been sour for her, but these are really interesting disclosures.

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Guests arrive at his Aguada home property in flashy cars and are transported by golf-cart buggies to the expansive lawns, overlooking the Arabian Sea. Seafood and other exotic cuisines await them on barbecues and grills. Vijay Mallya chills around in colourful shirt, with ‘Kingfisher’ beer in hand, mingling with girls.

The scene is more primal and raw at the ‘Playboy Mansion’, but the essence is the same. Hugh Hefner, owner of the famous ‘playboy’ enterprises, plays host to ‘playboy bunnies’. Hefner identifies, and then invites beautiful blondes to move into his ‘Playboy Mansion and become one of his many girlfriends. It’s an honour and opportunity that is life-changing, financially speaking, for every girl. Playboy Playmates get a cool $25,000. Hefner’s girlfriends are provided with their own bedrooms, $1,000 as weekly allowance, a new car, free medical, unlimited clothes, and all the cosmetic surgery they could wish for… Women, in both the cases, are more than eager to please the duo.

Vijay Mallya and Hugh Hefner run ‘Kingfisher Calendar’ and ‘Playboy Mansion’, respectively. Women have been known to provide services to grab spots in the ‘calendar’, to be part of the centrespread, while blondes go to every length to find a bedroom in the ‘playboy mansion’. The ‘King of Good Times’ is the final word and it is every girl’s dream to please the man. Dr Mallya, on his part, has remained stain-free till date, nothing damaging has appeared in the open as yet. And we don’t need to speculate whether he secretly indulges or not, it will come out, sooner or later.

Hefner is pretty open about it. He likes to flaunt his young trophies… this may be the only difference.

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Vijay Mallya and Hugh Hefner are both family men, despite their adventurous ways. Dr Mallya married Sameera in the mid-80s, but they soon separated, with Siddhartha Mallya as their only child. Later, he married Rekha, who was already twice divorced with two girls and a son. But that didn’t bother Vijay Mallya, he was ahead of his time for all that. Vijay Mallya has provided equal care and attention for all his children. He spends time with them and takes off on big family holidays.

Hugh Hefner, too, has been married multiple times, but remains responsible for all his ex wives and children. He has not let his lifestyle come in the way of his duties as father and ex husband.

They are both highly educated and practice philanthropy. Alongwith raising funds for social causes, Mallya donates to charitable trusts and also sponsors underprivileged children. Both through his charitable foundation and individually, Hefner contributes to charities outside the sphere of politics and publishing, throwing fundraiser events for Much Love Animal Rescue as well as Generation Rescue.

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Off late, there’s clearly a ruinous pattern to Vijay Mallya’s conduct and my guess is he will self-destruct even before he realises himself. He is not paying enough attention to the crisis his companies are facing, nor is he sympathising with the employees who don’t get regular pay checks. Wife of an ex-Kingfisher airlines employee recently committed suicide. It would have been very humane on Dr Mallya’s part to personally visit the grieving family and assure them of all possible help. But he chose to be at another place, far away from morbidity and shame.

Eternally modern, sophisticated and suave, Vijay Mallya is a riveting story. He is still the top man at any party scene in India, by the way. But he must decide whether he wants to continue leading his life, kingsize, or pay his debts first.

Girls are not going anywhere.

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