Blacklisted by UBI, Kingfisher set to ask calendar models to get own clothes for shoot

Three developments that might occur – wilfully or otherwise – in Planet Mallya after United Bank of India’s decision to declare Kingfisher Airlines, its top men as ‘wilful defaulters’

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Shantanu Datta | September 1, 2014



His airline in the red, and grounded, for years now, September 1, 2014, has become a red-letter day for Vijay Mallya, the original fisher of the kingfisher and a self-claimed king of good (fishing?) times.

On that day, which happens to come once in history today, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), Mallya’s flight of fancy that has not taken wings since October 2012, the public sector United Bank of India declared the airlines and Mallya as wilful defaulters.

The Kolkata-headquartered bank’s decision comes days after the Calcutta high court asked Mallya to be present before the bank, which gave KFA, according to reports, around Rs 350 crore. Mallya and three other directors of the airliner – Ravi Nedungadi, Anil Kumar Ganguly and Subash Gupte – played hooky, making the bank board see red and showing the red flag to KFA.

According to PTI, KFA owes in all about Rs 4,022 crore to a group of 17 banks, led by the State Bank of India.

Since that is quite a bit of money, not likely to be earned by way of sales proceeds from the renowned Kingfisher calendars or revenue generated by people deeply, madly, crazily in love with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL cricket team. Here are three developments that might occur from today’s bank notice:

1. With the company “wilfully” short of funds, Kingfisher calendar models might be asked to get their own clothes for the shoot as the new calendar year waits in the wings. A source close to the developments clarified that “thankfully” the new year is not waiting on the wings of a KFA plane, else it might not have taken off. “In that case, we would have had a repeat telecast of 2014,” the source said. So the shoot would be on schedule, clothes or no clothes, the source added, with added assurance.

For the uninitiated few, Kingfisher calendars are another of Mallya’s brainwaves in which models model for different months of the calendar. Just that, the clothes for all 12 months are summerwear: bikini or swimwear, to be precise.

2. Virat Kohli might continue with his bad form for RCB if his pay cheques bounce, in which case he might even play hook, sorry hooky, for a game or three. His girlfriend, who got everyone worked up with her presence with the Indian team during its Test series in England, was among those – alongside English bowlers, the alien pitch conditions, different grounds, the non-Indian air with some swing and nip – blamed by some quarters for the batsman’s purported “distraction”. There are reports that a zillion dissertations were submitted by Indians in India and elsewhere on Earth and Mars after the team lost to England the way the English are known to lose to the Australians 1-3, including two innings defeats.

For the uninitiated few, Kohli was Indian cricket’s brightest star till the aforementioned Test series against England; his girlfriend is an actress best known for enacting bubbly young girls in all moves save perhaps one (in which she played a bubbly young woman); and RCB is best known as Mallya’s dream team that has always had a dream run till the final stages, where the nightmare begins and it loses.

3. Wilful shortage of funds might also see fewer cheerleaders in RCB’s matches in the coming IPL season. According to a source close to the cheerleaders who aren’t that cheerful in signing up with Mallya’s team this coming season, most cheergirls are chary of the team since unpaid KFA staff are likely to take over the stadium in the eventuality that other banks also blacklist the airlines. “Their jeering will flatten our cheering. Their booing will bounce out our yo-yoing (in air),” one cheerleader said.

For the uninitiated few, cheerleaders are the girls who help grab more eyeballs on TV screens during IPL season.

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