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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Mr Datta Phuge "The Gold Man Of The World"
Mr Datta Phuge "The Gold Man Of The World"
I saw him then.
He walked towards our table and walked passed. A dark man with thick mustache. My attention was drawn because of his incredible attire. His knuckles, neck, and wrists were weighed down by the precious looking metal - signet rings, chunky bracelets, and a medallion that even an Olympic champion might envy!
And on top of that, draped resplendently around him, glittering in the light, was what looked like a shirt of gold. Impossible, I thought, that a man could wear a gold shirt and that too so heavy! Must be an imitation, I was sure.
Avinash Dandekar  who was sitting with me on the table at restaurant "SpiceKitchen" at Hotel JW Marriot, Pune followed my gaze, probably recognized the glittering man and looked back at me with a smile.
I raised my eyebrows and asked “what?”..”who is this...” and...his shirt?
“You don’t believe what you saw? Do you?” questioned Avinash. “Yes, of course,”  I replied.
Avinash took out his laptop and what followed was a long discussion and a search on internet. At the end, eventually, I looked at Avinash with my eyes gaping and jaw drooped!
I had to believe. The proof was beyond doubt!
I had seen  “The Gold Man Of The World”! 
Here is the story in nutshell:
Today, Mr. Datta Phuge has created a world record as per "The World Record Academy" (link below)
This Indian has bought one of the world's most expensive shirts, made with more than 3 kg of gold and worth 1.4 Crores ($250,000)! Datta Phuge's nickname is "the gold man", and it was easy to see why. Mr. Datta Phuge is from Pimpri Chinchwad, a town outside Pune and has a chit fund and money landing business.
Weighing a staggering 3.3kg (about 7lb), the shirt is still easy on the body, as told by his jeweler and a maker of this incredible shirt.
Stitching Gold Shirt
Stitching Gold Shirt
"The challenge was to make this as comfortable as wearing a normal shirt," says Mr. Tejpal Rankar, of Rankar Jewelers, a 133-year-old business in Pune.
"Once we decided to make the shirt we researched designs and patterns. We didn't want it to be like wearing a sheet of gold."
To that end Rankar and his team of craftsmen decided to make a gold cloth based on an Italian weave, using a special machine.
They drew inspiration from old images of Indian kings wearing suits of armor. To prevent it scratching, they stitched velvet lining inside. The finished shirt is heavy to wear and a little clunky. It can't be washed so care needs to be taken not to let it get dirty, or indeed too sweaty. The latter is unavoidable in an Indian summer.
Time taken to make - 15 days
Labour - 16 people
Price tag - $250,000
Perhaps it is an extravagant fashion to say the least and It elicits a mixture of reactions, Phuge says. Some people are impressed. Others are sniffy about what they regard as the excessive bling.   But for Phuge it's an important one.
"Some people ask me why I'm wearing so much gold but it was my dream. People have different aspirations. Some elite people want to own an Audi or Mercedes, and have big cars. I chose gold," he explains
Phuge says wearing it makes him feel good. For him it is the ultimate manifestation of achievement and gives him a status he has craved since he was young.
But Phuge is also keenly aware of gold's value as an investment.
"If the need arises, I can sell the shirt and have the money," he says.
The World Record Academy

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