The United Nation (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s four-day India visit started at New Delhi and concluded in Mumbai at Antilla, which Ratan Tata aptly described in an interview with The Times London as an example of rich Indians’ lack of empathy for the poor. Nita Ambani hosted a soiree for Ban Ki Moon at Antilla where Bollywood stars hob-nobbed with him. What was the purpose behind it all Madam Ambani? A soiree at India’s most extravagant house with millionaire Bollywood stars as guests doesn’t fit with Ban Ki Moon’s mission. Ambanis don’t have a reputation of being philanthropists. Reliance Newsletter however claimed, “Development of health conditions for women and children – a topic rather close to Nita Ambani’s heart.”
UN Secretary General’s India visit focused on Infant mortality and health conditions of Women and Children amongst other geo-political issues. I am shocked how UN Secretary General’s PR Machinery okayed Ban Ki Moon attending a party hosted by the wife of India’s richest capitalist and that too at Antilla, an edifice of ugly wealth. “It makes me wonder why someone (Mukesh Ambani) would do that (build the 27-storey home – Antilla). That’s what revolutions are made of,” Tata said in an interview to The Times, London, when asked about Ambani’s house. The Times had asked Tata the question in the context of widening income inequalities in India.
Parmeshwar Godrej is the queen of soirees hosted for the visiting foreign dignitaries. Be it Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere or Oprah Winfrey, Pam was the hostess with the mostest! Nita Ambani has been vying for this status for long. I can understand the Ambanis hosting a celebration for Sachin’s hundredth century at Antilla. But hosting Moon at Antilla and parading Bollywood glitter is typical ‘Cocktail Charity’ – where money bags sip Dom Perignon and eat out of customised Rosenthal crockery and shed crocodile tears about the plight of the poor.
As I was flipping through the pages of the May Issue of the Wallpaper Magazine, I came across this piece – “Art collector Shalini Passi’s New Delhi home.” Gawd since when Shalini Passi is known as an ‘Art Collector’? Anybody with loads of moolah and loads of paintings and sculptures qualifies as an art collector???
But I got a bigger shock when I discovered that Shalini Passi is not only an ‘Art Collector’ but an ‘Interior Designer/Decorator’ too. This is what the writer says, “Shalini Passi’s New Delhi home is a work of considerable sophistication, and although she worked with a Delhi practice on early versions of the design (Passi has no formal architectural training), the house is emphatically her own vision.” Wah, so conveniently Mrs. Passi stole the credit from MorphoGenesis, the top-class architect/designer who painstakingly did each and every bit of the Passis’ fabulous house in Golf Links. “She worked with a Delhi Practice on early versions of the design…” is what Wallpaper states. I don’t understand this need for people to hog all the limelight and not give credit where it’s due. Even the lighting was done by an international lighting company.
If Shalini Passi did the entire interiors the house would have looked as cluttered and garish as she looks here while posing in front of the rose-motif mosaic-tiled bathroom in a leopard print dress by Dolce & Gabbana!
This is the same house where Shahrukh & Gauri came to on conditions of - ‘Absolutely No Media’ – to be allowed by the Passis. But now Shalini must be happy with Wallpaper not only showcasing her house but also capturing her in various dramatic posees in her designer labels.
I have heard that Shalini and Sanjay Passi have hired a sort of manager who takes any guest visiting their new house on a guided tour (even if one isn’t keen), which lasts almost half-an-hour. Now once you flip through the Wallpaper, opulence oozes from every corner of the house. Wonder if Ratan Tata would had mentioned the Passi house along with Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla if he had seen it. On second thoughts, no Ratan Tata wouldn’t have done that coz a li’l birdie said Tata and Sr. Passi are bum-chums!
P.S. Photo Credits: Wallpaper
It seems the Desi Richies are going through a phase of outdoing each other in building expensive mansions. After Mukesh Ambani’s mind-boggling Antilla, Anil Ambani took off to building one for self and now Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is building the most expensive mansion ever erected in Scotland, next to the famed Gleneagles golf resort in Auchterarder, Perthshire.
The London-based tycoon, Europe’s richest man and the fifth richest man in the world with a fortune of $28.7 billion, is spending a record $23 million on the posh estate, including the $6 million mansion he tore down to make way for his new luxury fortress. His lavish private palace in London is reckoned to be the city’s most expensive as well. Costs on the Perthshire project soared after Mittal decided some of the finished weren’t up to standard.
At one point he demanded a $125,000 bathroom be torn out and done over. It seems Mrs. Mittal is going to use the posh mansion more than her husband. The six-bedroom main residence will have furnishings by Ralph Lauren, a state-of-the-art entertainment system, two kitchens and staff quarters among other amenities.