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Vijay Mallya has Koffee with Shobhaa De

March 29, 2007 14:47 IST
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Dr Vijay Mallya, Karan Johar and Shobhaa DeThis week, Karan Johar introduces an unusual combination on Koffee With Karan -- industrialist Dr Vijay Mallya and columnist Shobhaa De.

The duo, who have been friends for 25 years, talk about their friendship, and their high-profile Page 3 lifestyle. They also give opinions on actors being politicians and vice versa, and the current state of journalism.

Here's a sneak peek into the show.

Karan: Your persona, the man you are... I mean, most people who are industrialists and are in the business world have a certain image. You are not one of those serious industrialists who have that serious look on their face. Your perception is so different -- flamboyant. How do you react to that?

Dr Mallya: Well, you know, at the end of the day, I have lived life on my own terms. I've not been shy. I've not tried to hide anything. I'm totally transparent. I am what I am and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't need to have a split personality. I don't need to be a hypocrite. I just be myself. And as far as the showmanship is concerned, I am the brand ambassador of my brand, which are on the lifestyle platforms. So what's wrong with that?

Karan: No, there's nothing wrong with that. I think you love the fact that you are like this. But you have this party image. At times, do you find yourself defending that to people who expect you to be more serious?

Dr Mallya: You know, seriousness is not a guarantee to success. If you don't have a party or you're more subdued, it's not a recipe for increased stakeholder value. But you know, if I like to party, I don't party alone. I party with people. And as I said, it's all on that lifestyle platform, which is becoming increasingly relevant in aspirational India today.

Karan: Your foray into politics a few years back... What drove you to politics?

Dr Mallya: You know, when I was 40, I thought I've come a long way in my life. I've had my fair share of success and failures. But I've never looked back. I've always treated my failures as stepping stones to success. I've made mistakes but the net balance sheet was pretty good. So I said what do I do now? Should I give back something to my country, to my state? How do I do it? It's very clear that in India, you don't have a voice that's heard adequately unless you're sitting in the Parliament. So I decided to run for Parliament. In 2000, I failed miserably and invited a lot of criticism that has become synonymous to Vijay Mallya. But in 2002, I defeated the city BJP candidate and got elected to Parliament. I was most excited. Even though in the last three-four years, I've been a backbencher, I've always tried to speak up about the accountability in governance.

Karan: How does it feel to be back on the show?

Shobhaa: Actually wonderful! The kind of response I'd got the first time round all over the world where there are Indians and Pakistanis, and people monitoring Indian television, it was always 'We saw you on Koffee with Karan.' So it says a lot about the host, a lot about the show and maybe a little about me.

Karan: Alright, I like that! You've known Vijay for how long, Shobhaa?

Shobhaa: Around 25 years, I think.

Karan: It's been a good friendship?

Shobhaa: It's been an interesting friendship. It has had had its ups and downs. But it's never been a boring or static friendship, which I think is what keeps a relationship on its toes. It makes sure you don't take each other for granted.

Dr Mallya: Absolutely! But I remember only the ups, not the downs.

Shobhaa: Selective memory.

Dr Mallya: (Laughs)

Karan: 'The Queen of opinions.' Is that a good way of describing you, Shobhaa?

Shobhaa: It's not bad. Empress might be better. But he has a copyright on that already.

Dr Mallya: No, I can say that to you.

Shobhaa: His super, super yacht is called the Indian Empress and I've happily stolen it for myself for tonight!

Watch Koffee With Karan on April 1 at 9 pm on Star One and Star World.

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