Enough and more has been written about Vijay Mallya and his wilful defaulter status. News surrounding the former airline and alcohol magnate grace the front page of every newspaper in the country almost daily.
But he's still a hero for his inner circle--his close friends are expectedly standing by him through this. This diarist spoke to a few of them, and they were unanimous in praise for Mallya's girlfriend Pinky Lalwani.
"She's his greatest strength. They've been together for ten years now and are very serious about each other," says one.
Says another, "Mallya is under a lot of stress, he has lost two of his biggest companies, the airline and the liquor group. He's been called an absconder and is having sleepless nights. Pinky is truly a woman of substance; she has really stood by him like a rock."
Lalwani was a 26-year-old airhostess for Kingfisher when she met Mallya. The light-eyed beauty had been chosen as the face of the airline in its advertising campaigns.
"That's when the two met and hit off immediately," a friend avers. "In a time like this, she could have bounced. She has enough jewellery and money to live comfortably. But she's totally committed to him."
The lady seems to be the only good thing to have come out of his airline business.