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Just-Stam
things that just are

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Party of the Year?

Dennis Kozlowski, eat your heart out. The lavish festivities surrounding the dual marriages of two brothers this week in northern India puts to shame the lesser luxuries that helped get the ex-Tyco chief executive in trouble. The family of Shushanto and Shimanto Roy, which controls the multibillion-dollar Sahara business group, is playing host to more than 10,000 guests, who were shuttled in from the Lucknow airport in a fleet of 200 Mercedes Benz sedans.

At the 300-acre party site, the guests -- film stars and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee among them -- are being entertained by a 110-member symphony orchestra flown in from Britain amid orchids imported from Thailand. Thousands of chefs are serving 18 different types of cuisine. And to get past the tight security, guests have to swipe microchip-imbedded invitations through a scanner.

The family wouldn't comment on the nuptials' cost. But the grooms' father, Subroto Roy, perhaps in anticipation of potential criticism, said free meals would be distributed to more than 140,000 homeless and poor people. And his family paid for the weddings of 101 poverty-stricken couples in a community marriage today, distributing gifts worth $4,400 to each couple.

From the Wall Street Journal Afternoon Report

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