Yeola, Maharashtra: For a school dropout, Pankaj Parakh is doing a little better than ok. A sign of his success - a shirt, made of pure gold, that weighs four kilos and costs 1.30 crores.
Mr Parakh, who belongs to Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, made his fortune through a garment business after quitting school in Class 8, and is a member of the municipal corporation of Yeloa, about 260 kms from Mumbai.
Mr Parakh says that today, for his 45th birthday, he will wear his shirt at a special celebration where expected attendees include Maharashtra Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and around a dozen legislators of different parties.
"Gold has always fascinated me since I was five years old and studying in school. Over the years, I have become passionate about this royal metal. I have got this special shirt stitched to mark my 45th birthday this Friday," Mr Parakh said.
The shirt was designed in Nashik, 85 km away, and then created by jewelers in Mumbai, where a team of around 20 select artisans spent 3,200 hours over the past two months to 'stitch' it.
Mr Parakh says he has detailed receipts and bank records to satisfy any income tax officials whose curiosity may be piqued by his haute shirt.
For others who are curious, he has a long history of being a little obsessed with gold.
"Yet, for my marriage 23 years ago, many guests considered me an embarrassment as I sported more gold than the bride," he said.