The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fortunes drown at beer bars

Mumbai, Nov. 11: Four years ago, he had a flat, a Maruti Esteem, jewellery, Rs 37 lakh in cash, and a family. Today, he is languishing in prison with no one to bail him out.

Sunil Durgayani, son of a builder in Ulhasnagar, had one bad habit that proved to be his nemesis — he was a regular at the numerous beer bars that dot Mumbai. Four years ago, Durgayani was turned out of his family business and handed his share in the family’s real estate business. But he refused to mend his ways and continued frequenting beer bars and squandering money on the girls who danced there.

Durgayani — now behind bars on charges of fraud and cheating — admits that he would sometimes spend up to Rs 3 lakh in a single night.

Soon, he was on the brink of bankruptcy. His wife of 10 years left him and took their seven-year-old son with her. To make ends meet, Durgayani took up a job as a security guard for Rs 1,700 a month in a residential colony of Juhu.

After working for three months, he stole a car parked inside the complex and sold it to pursue his fatal attraction.

He was arrested on charges of fraud and theft and is now cooling his heels at the Santa Cruz police station.

“This is not the only time we have received such cases,’’ says an inspector at the Santa Cruz (west) police station. “In January this year, a man who was working as an executive in a big publishing house was brought here after he spent Rs 16 lakh of the company’s money on bar girls in a Bandra bar.”

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