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Quirk of luck, a butler has it all

May 13, 2010 15:56 IST
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This is what you call LUCK. 

In a fortunate-dramatic turn of events, a Nepal-born servant has inherited the multi-crore -- no les than Rs 40 crore --apartment of a reclusive star in the United States.  

The actress, Ruth Ford, bequeathed the Rs 38-crore flat and everything in it not to her siblings, but she left the lot to her trusty butler, reports The Independent in a fascinating article.

Mr Tamang, 57, who was born in a mud-hut village outside Kathmandu and, after twenty years of trying, won US citizenship last year, is the owner of his former mistress's three-bedroom Dakota apartment and the collection of paintings by the Russian surrealist Pavel Tchelitchew that hangs inside it. He also received a second studio apartment in the same building that was once occupied by Ford's poet-artist brother, Charles Henri Ford.

But things are not that rosy as one may think.

The Nepali-American will shortly get a seven-figure tax bill from the American authorities. The impending bill, the report says, has persuaded him to put the bigger of the two apartments under the hammer. With neighbours like Yoko Ono – the Dakota, of course, was where her husband, John Lennon, was shot to death in 1980 – and Lauren Bacall, it is a steal at just about Rs 15 crore.

Tamang, who was first brought to America by Ford's brother Charles in 1974, when he was still in his twenties, avers no great surprise when asked about the inheritance.

"This is my second family and I think they considered me family, too," he said. "I am grateful, I am honoured, I am humbled by their generosity."

Ford worked for years as a model, drewing mixed reviews starring in an adaptation of William Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun at the Royal Court in London in 1957. She had a brief first marriage to the actor Peter van Eyck, with whom he had Shelley. She later married a Texas actor, Zachary Scott, who adopted her daughter.

In the years after the 2002 death of her brother Charles, Ford became a virtual recluse in her apartment attended by nurses under Tamang's loyal caretaking.

If this is not luck, then what is? Or shall we call destiny? 

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