Sachiniti

May 30, 2007

Of Mukesh Ambanis Trillions And Amartya Sens Theories

Kaveetaa Kaul

Food for thought on this one..Dichotomies that oftentimes confuse the hell out of mere mortals.

Two headlines that caught my attention.

First:

Mukesh Ambani is the first trillionaire of India with brother Anil Ambani following closely at 90,000 crores.

Mukesh Ambani, based on his direct and indirect holdings in various group companies, is estimated to have control of about Rs 1,11,000 crore worth shares.

While Anil Ambani holds control of most of these shareholdings, his stakes in some other listed companies such as Adlabs Films takes his total wealth in capital market to around Rs 90,000 crore.

The resurgence of India’s economy seemingly prevalent, or so it seems. The inflation rate has touched an all time high this year, while the price of fuel sky rockets. These two brothers however have exploited every possible area of growth to their advantage and emerged winners all the way. Its not often that a self made illustrious father, goes on to pioneering Indias biggest Corporate house with his sons expanding ten fold. This was a dynasty created, not handed over. Well done and Kudos!!

“Its not creation of wealth that is wrong but money for its own sake”.

And therefore this link:

Mukesh Ambani is also in the news for his “Mansion In the Air” Antilia under construction at Altamount Road.

Some amusing details ( please refer to link for extensive information)

According to the plan, the house will rise to a height of 173.12 meters, equivalent to that of a regular 60-storeyed residential building. However, Antilia will have only 27 storeys in all, which means each floor will have a ceiling considerably higher than the current average of nearly three meters.

Six floors for parking
The first six floors — which have come up — will be reserved for parking alone, and that too for cars belonging only to Mukesh’s family. Space for a total of 168 ‘imported’ cars has been earmarked here.

Floor for car maintenance
Sources said the Ambanis would prefer to have all their cars serviced and maintained at an in-house service centre. This centre will be set up on the seventh floor.

Entertainment floor
The eighth floor will have an entertainment centre comprising a mini-theatre with a seating capacity of 50.

Balconies with gardens
The rooftop of the mini-theatre will serve as a garden, and immediately above that, three more balconies with terrace gardens will be independent floors.

The ‘health’ floors
While the ninth floor will a ‘refuge’ floor — meant to be used for rescue in emergencies — two floors above that will be set aside for ‘health.’ One of these will have facilities for athletics and a swimming pool, while the other will have a health club complete with the latest gym equipment.

Hmmm 600 staff for 6 residents (MA, wife Nita, 3 kids and mom Kokilaben)..Magnanimous?!
Could not resist the urge to insert picture..after all its the first ‘glass palace’ to be constructed in India

mukesh-house-antilia.jpg

Sorry all of the 27 floors not included…imagination should run riot at this point.

How do you guys feel about this? Frankly it left me a tad cold. No its not a question of heebeejeebees over envy , but I cannot ascertain for sure, given a chance, would I have surrendered myself to indulge in such ostentatious display of my wealth, especially with beggars at the end of my street knocking at my window, half naked, diseased and hungry.

I desist from escaping into moral tirades and this isnt one. Its not about an individuals right to spend his money in the manner he thinks best. It more about having tuned your soul and inner being to consider such ostentation and blatant display of wealth as redundant, frivolous, peripheral and maybe , vulgar.

Would life have been any less magnificent for Mr. Mukesh Ambani and his family had the mansion not happened? Is a palace a metaphor for a ‘good life’?

Money shouts, wealth whispers or so I thought!!

Read here on Mukesh Ambanis gift to wife Nita.. A jet!

Second bit of News:

Now as a complete antithesis and paradoxical to the core is the timing of this news.

Economists, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, will launch on Wednesday the world’s first concrete bid to measure individual happiness and well-being across countries and continents. It will supplement the traditional UN and World Bank indicators of national income, consumer nirvana and Gross Domestic Product.

The landmark development, focusing on human well-being instead of wealth, resulted from research undertaken in Kerala.

This is the first time some of the world’s most respected economists as well as leading figures from World Bank, UN and World Health Organisation are seriously trying to introduce a new measure of assessing poverty — in terms of happiness.

In layman’s terms, this would mean taking into account the ‘good fortune’ of the impoverished in the Third World. Thus, if dirt-poor people in the developing world display a general sense of well-being, international surveys would henceforth record their ‘wealth’ of happiness alongside their material poverty.

So material wealth is not necessarily related to the proportion of wealth at ones disposal.. so says Amartya Sen. The level of well being is independent of material possessions, impoverishment, deprivation.. Hmm.. wonder what the makers of ‘Pursuit of happyness’ would have to say of this recent theorising by our lead economist.

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody” From none other than ..Princess Diana..cute!!

Personally speaking , if an individual has acquired the skill to be happy in little, he is truly wealthy. This should not be understood as disdain for wealth..but rather an abstinence from that journey which entraps one into slavery for the pursuit of wealth.

Its too subjective a matter for generalising under a blanket assertion. A sate of mind on one scale and the world on another.. They are co-related or arent they? One exists because of the other. If there wasnt the mind..there was no wealth.

Kabir said

‘maati kahe kumhaar se tu kya roondhe mohe

ik din aisa aayega main roondhoongi tohe”

From dust we emerge and into dust we shall pass on.

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56 Comments »

  1. “sabse bada rupiaya!”

    They are providing employment to crores of people fair enough , but then with Reliance fresh outlets all over the country , what about the small vendors? how are they going to live?is it fair hitting at their livelihood?some policies of the U.S or west in general doesn’t hold good for our country… our economists should understand this.Today , U.S is looking for patent of yoga and lot of other things related to India which is dangerous and our Govt should take concrete action on this.People in the west lead mechanical lives and i hope this syndrome doesn’t hit us … but the fact is we are slowly but surely getting there.We should take good things from the West like punctuality,accountability etc…Children no more want to look after their aging Parents.We may even need to take appointment to have dinner with our very own family members( this culture is more prevalent in the west )

    Our business tycoons should learn from people like BILL GATES and BUFFET who are giving back so much to the society …..

    the more one gets (money) the more he/she wants -this disease has no medicine.

    Comment by Laxmi — May 30, 2007 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  2. Laxmi

    One can also say that the less one has the more a burden on society he/she becomes. Why do you think the pursuit of making money is a sickness while sitting on one’s arse is a sign of nobility ?

    If you think money is nothing then let me (sorry Kav, delete this but I do not have the heart to edit the speech) post a speech from an infamous book.

    “So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
    “When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?
    “Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
    “But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.’
    “To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss—the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery—that you must offer them values, not wounds—that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade—with reason, not force, as their final arbiter—it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability—and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
    “But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality—the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
    “Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
    “Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth—the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
    “Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
    “Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
    “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money—and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
    “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
    “Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
    “But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich—will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt—and of his life, as he deserves.
    “Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard—the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money—the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law—men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
    “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’
    “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world? You are.
    “You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood—money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves—slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer, Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers—as industrialists.
    “To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money—and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being—the self-made man—the American industrialist.
    “If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose—because it contains all the others—the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity—to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted of obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.
    “Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide— as, I think, he will.
    “Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other—and your time is running out.”
    The above is an excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, by Ayn Rand. It is reprinted with permission from the Estate of Ayn Rand.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — May 30, 2007 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  3. Kav

    I am sorry for posting such a long post. But we are talking about money and 1 get emotional about money.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — May 30, 2007 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

  4. Shaan,

    I can quote 1000 such quotes condradicting your point of view but i don’t want to.Different people different views… and thats what makes this world interesting .Your are always entitled to your opinion and i respect that.I know you might even comment on this comment as well .. i don’t mind..take it easy ..cheers..

    Comment by Laxmi — May 31, 2007 @ 6:52 am | Reply

  5. Laxmi:

    I hope you understand It was not meant to be personal. I just get riled up when people just accept as some kind of wisdom that money is evil. One person even recently told me how business owners just collectively scheme to screw (as in mess up) their workers.

    I welcome your response. Pick any point in that post and attack it.

    Honestly the Ambani story put a spring in my step today. I was inspired by it. People today could see an extra positive glow in my attitude. I am happy for M.A. (might I add a product of US education). How can I tell you that it makes me so proud to look around and see many mini US.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — May 31, 2007 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  6. I am quite confused as to the topic of discussion. Anyway here is my 2 bits. On M.A’s palace mansion, I think that it is a totally loud and megalomaniac proclamation of his wealth. He would have been more respected had he kept it low..like his father. The two brothers warring with each other has led to this , is my guess. this showing off that ‘look how big I am and I can build the largest mansion in India. Soon Anil will follow.

    About Amartya..its fine but how does he plan to gage the level of well being?

    Comment by dilip — May 31, 2007 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  7. ‘… for a dont care toomuch for money…
    for money cant buy me love..’
    – the song ‘cant buy me love’ (lennon & mccartney)

    ‘money don talk- it swears..’ – bob dylan song ‘ its all right ma..’

    and the bible sayeth!! ‘the love of money is the root of all evil..’

    i find no connection between the post n the long refute by shaan.. and boy! it sucks! the way the elder ambani brother is displaying his financial muscles!! have we forgotten the poverty stats? or is it that ambanis have done enuf!! what have they don except for the cute page 3 publicity of his wife over sum rocking educational institutes n all…

    have u heard of mani bhowmick?? his efforts to sponsor poor kids? his donations… have u heard of american indians adopting villages, schools… i mean come on!!! a 26 storeyed building with 160+ cars??? makes me feel sick… sorry sachiniti, i dunno, if i continue with this.. ill lose it… and its sad that a man of that level would never know that its gross! he and his brownie point winning brother.. minting money.. moving the nations, lubricating the governments n the political-servants of this nation!! jobs, employment n gdp!! ha!! at what cost? using what resources? the oil! the natural gas! who has borne all these raw materials that have fueled their fiery progress??? industrialists, business men et all… for them its money!!

    have you heard of warren buffet?? shaan, check out his way of life.. hez the second richest man in the world… check out his life style, his way of working n his commitments to the global community!

    its sad.. that india, still reeling under the dis-balanced financial growth n massive poverty strives.. has such myopic power hungry money minded showbiz loving corporate bullies…

    and we talk of equality… huh.. the land of diversity, india would never i guess iron out these crests n troughs.. we are too goddamned selfish!! muskesh ambani- personally i give a rat’s ass cause all along the brotherz have played their political n financial cards well to milk out the maximum from the immature but ambitious indian economy.. but with this so-called ‘house’ being planned… it just stinks!!

    am sorry kaveeta.. even i have lost a lotta reasoning in this comment but i guess money is not what moves the earth n still!! even now… we survive not for money.. and its sad that for some inspiration is just the green backs n the financial counters!!

    we all need money!! WE.. WE- the people of india!! hell!! mukesh ambani would not have learnt this in his neo-western educations… and tell him, the hells above don have cash registers to over-haul the shit that he has collected here!!

    its just an awful show of wealth n power- sickening!! n i wish i can throw a stone at his glass house but again… that wud be against my ethics!!

    Comment by saptarshi — May 31, 2007 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

  8. Shaan I guess you gonna have to deal with this friend! Sapt has echoed my view point as have Laxmi and Dilip…Its not about gaining wealth..its the grandiose, unnecessary show of it..India is a third world country, reeling under the onslaught of mismanagement, corruption and negligence. By all means accrue wealth, take the economy where it ought to..but restraint would have been advisable. Americans, Europeans can get away with this blatant display..their homelands dont stink. But here the disparity is a chasm which is colossal. Such lavishness and luxury screams of apathy and inconsideration..as if showing a thumb to the have nots.

    Azim Premji travels economy..and he is a global name today!

    And quoting from the above quote of Ayn rand , which BTW is not a Bible atleast for Asian countries, but she too seemed to have included a caveat thus :

    “And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.”

    Such societies need statesmen, philanthropists, socialists in greater numbers Shaan.We need patriots and patriotism especially in those who can afford to translate that emotion in areas which deserve it.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  9. Saptarshi:

    Yes I know of Warren Buffet. I will tell him hello on your behalf when I see him next. He is a wonderful person and has a large mansion too. BTW the richest man in the world lives in a mansion, which about ten/tweleve years ago was worth approx 60 million dollars (based on construction cost).

    I don’t know if there is a basis on which a discussion can be constructed knowing that you could not see any connection between my response and the post (including the comments on the post). You talk about individuals and their charitable efforts and it is my turn to wonder how that changes the prices of eggs in Belgium. How that makes money the root of all evil ?

    I mean no disrespect, but I it is very hard for me to digest that the knowledge of the existence of some hard working law abiding citizen’s fruits of labor (a large mansion and some cars), makes you feel ill. Would that illness be on account of envy and jealousy? You quote the Bible, and yet exhibit, might I say, envy and jealousy. You exhibit envy and jealousy, and yet claim to posses ethics? I am in a tailspin. Things are getting very dizzy for me. My simple brains equate hard work with nobility and hard work also with making money. Somewhere I my inner voice says, “Work is Worship”. I will be honest on this issue I am more likely to go with my mentor who told me “Greed is good, Greed Works”.

    On reading Kav’s post, I was very proud, my chest got all puffed up on knowing that in my birth nation such wealth creation is possible. True there still exists a lot of poverty. I agree that a lot of progress needs to be done. Nonetheless, should we penalize a hard working person for the fact that others don’t work (or can’t. work). What rights do we posses to limit the dreams of a law abiding citizen ? What right do we have to tell someone that he can only have this such and not as much as he can earn ?

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 2:38 am | Reply

  10. Kav

    “Unnecessary Show” is a very subjective term. Then again how will India’s existing problems reduce if such a mansion is not built ? I bet you there are some in India who will begrudge you your “facial” from your gossip dispenser for about the same reasons. Do you think it will be fair for them to question you and your choices?

    I used to say for the longest time that good education and knowledge of English language will fuel India’s growth. Today I will add existence of large mansions to that list. Because while a man (or woman) dreams all is possible. Take away his dreams and life is not worth living.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 2:47 am | Reply

  11. boss… i din know u were the pager boy of mr. buffet… anyway do pass on the hello for sure!

    and amen!! u got the vibes pretty wrong.. moi being J of some filthy rich dude is kinda weird coz u don even know how much i make n whether am happy abt it?? life is literal not metaphorical.. and hence show of power n money aint have to be done in such an absurd manner!!

    u seem to be like a rat drawn to the piper… u feel proud of a trillionaire huh? u don feel INDIA SHINING as a nation worth a dime? power n capacity like knowledge needs to be shared not flaunted!

    law abiding?? man.. u seem to live in a fool’s paradise, in case u do not know the tricks of the trade n all the grease that goes to lubricate the corporate in a worm-eaten system of ethics!
    warrenB does has donated money that is three times the sum of that construction cost that u have quoted.. n plz the low profile life that he leads is for all to see- in case u din get the ‘show-off’ angle of the issue… u are betting the wrong way man- ull lose ur money!

    dream is not money! evaluation is not money! and yard stick in person is not money but the capacity to affect the junta!! yes!! that money can be used to better the lives of at least a hundred people- that wud make a difference to team india. that wat is unnecessary and absurd need to be pursued!! in a country where people don get two square meals u talking off egg prices in belgium?? here it affects!! every penny matters to an indian! and lets not be sacrcastic abt it.. coz i do get ur point that u live for the self… but the point is u live in a society n hell!! u give it back in the same proportion!!

    isnt it a joke having 160 cars?? at least in india, in 2007?? i mean come on!! if i have to show off my success in creating such a waste-pit.. boy!! ignorance is bliss!!

    n once again… money is not everyone lives for.. take words on face value.. and boss! being jealous of ambanis?? aint have time for such vibes… i do my share of gud… i can sure let u know all that.. but again wud that change the eggz rates @ belgium 🙂

    Comment by saptarshi — June 1, 2007 @ 3:58 am | Reply

  12. sachiniti…

    its ur space outta here n its a great one at that… werin sumone just aint having a rationale… n therez a truck load of sarcasm in his expressionz.. shaan.. for money makes u lose the nuances, but we, the people, en mass havent lost it yet n so… won wanna cross the line on ur blog- just wanna say.. its funny.

    Comment by saptarshi — June 1, 2007 @ 4:06 am | Reply

  13. and amen!! u got the vibes pretty wrong.. moi being J of some filthy rich dude is kinda weird coz u don even know how much i make n whether am happy abt it??,

    All I have is the thoughts you have expressed and the words you have used. My experience tells me that one plus is equal to two.

    u don feel INDIA SHINING as a nation worth a dime?

    India shines when Indians shines. Atleast we know one is shining bright.

    law abiding?? man.. u seem to live in a fool’s paradise, in case u do not know the tricks of the trade n all the grease that goes to lubricate the corporate in a worm-eaten system of ethics!

    No murder, No body, no weapon, yet you seem to have found him guilty.

    in case u din get the ’show-off’ angle of the issue… u are betting the wrong way man- ull lose ur money!

    Who defines what is “Show Off”. Where do we draw the line. In India, drinking coffee at “Barista” can be used as a reason for calling someone a show off.

    that money can be used to better the lives of at least a hundred people- that wud make a difference to team india.

    There have been social studies done this very subject. Giving money to someone who has not earned it does not work. I am sure such studies mean nothing to someone who counters with ramblings of a pot headed hippie to one of the most influential speech in modern times.

    isnt it a joke having 160 cars??

    I know people with less money who have more cars.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  14. Shaan I believe you are selectively taking on points and responding to just those while leaving the others unanswered. This not just derails the the dialogue but also contextually alters its implications.

    My contention is amply clear from the post and comment #8.

    A while ago I was having a discussion with a ‘vidhwaan’.. on ‘what ails our country’. It took me some time to realise that this was a gentleman who was speaking from the U.S. which to a large extent de-humanised his words..In the sense he was almost deifying himself and his stand. What I mean to imply is that when you live in India it is then that you are able to see in all clarity her problems and her pains. Its being here and living, breathing, its polluted air that opens up your eyes even if it clogs your lungs.

    Indianness has various denotations to it..and that is redundant here. What is of consequence however is a certain grain of ‘doing good’ that pervades all of its theories. We are brought to believe strongly in charity, simplicity, and caring for the feelings of those less fortunate. Among them i think its paramount like I said not to rub in your ‘good fortune’ on those who are struggling to live. Its a feeling that comes from deep within..and needless to add that you either nourish that thought or let it wither away.

    As for my gossip monger..although the example is highly specious , considering that its hardly akin or anywhere close to the luxury in question here, do I need to remind you Shaan that it is in the privacy of my home and not in a slum where perhaps a glass of pure drinking water is a boon?

    Its not about charity, about distributing your zillions to the needy nor is it about curbing a mans dreams. Its about opting to be the first to build an opulent mansion, instead of say an old age home for the thousands of widows lying half naked in Varansi ( only an example) ..Its just unfortunate that his dreams comprised of glass palaces !

    We all have within us the power to create our own cosmic history.. we are all beings of light. It depends on what we opt to create. ..A destructible glass palace, or indestructible good karma.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  15. Sapt..Relax pal..Its important to be open to views. It sharpens your own capacity to think clearly and lucidly..at the same time affording new visions to your thoughts. Shaan does not mean to be ’sarcastic’ from what I gather.He is just fully entrenched in his slant just as we are.. sit back and enjoy

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  16. “we are always trying to convert people to a belief in our own explanation of the universe.we think that the more people there are who believe as we do, the more certain it will be that what we believe is the truth.But it doesn’t work that way at all”–Paulo Coelho , The Pilgrimage

    “sarve ganna sukhino bhavanthu….”

    Comment by Rakesh — June 1, 2007 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  17. Couldnt help but comment on this Shaan “Because while a man (or woman) dreams all is possible. Take away his dreams and life is not worth living.”

    Unfulfilled dreams lead on to deep rooted frustrations,which when pent up explode into violence. There is nothing more dangerous than a huge mass of frustrated individuals..and that is what seems inevitable if this chasm between the haves and have nots takes on such ridiculous proportions.

    When you give them dreams also provide them means to fulfill those. How different is it otherwise from mocking their plight while gloating over your own.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  18. Kav

    I get it, you are not against someone enjoying his/her fruits of labor but against the pains it causes in the have nots.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  19. Ummmm. why do I get this gnawing feeling Shaan that you are facetiously missing the point. You seem/are a bright young articulate sharp individual.

    I am not against anything…just perturbed a bit over an ostentatious display in a city where more than half of the populace live in slums. The Ambanis have lived in mansions forever and that was fine. This (Antilia) is a bit much!

    And pray! Why isnt anyone commenting on the newest barometer of well being as espoused by the distinguished Amartya sen? This was meant to be a post on two differing standpoints, both equally potent…Have I mis conveyed?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  20. One of the reasons why I don’t linger very long in India (during my visits) is this very reason. I go to restaurants have a great meal and then come out of the restaurant and see so many beggars that the guilt just kills all the joy. So I know and understand what you are saying. Nonetheless, a fews words (a fews sentences) on some of the comments (not just yours) led me to believe that a case was being made that it is money itself that is evil. Hence I responded. Surely you can understand the anguish when some ramblings from pop culture from a pot headed hippie is used to counter the words of a person who has influenced some of the most brilliant minds of our times.

    Anyway all water under the bridge now.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  21. Oh No money, per se, is not evil..I would never ever come close to saying that. I said this clearly “These two brothers however have exploited every possible area of growth to their advantage and emerged winners all the way. Its not often that a self made illustrious father, goes on to pioneering Indias biggest Corporate house with his sons expanding ten fold. This was a dynasty created, not handed over. Well done and Kudos!!”

    Ahh well..a little discussion ne’er hurt no one 🙂

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 1, 2007 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  22. There is nothing wrong in earning(ethically) money , money is important in life and we need it .Sometimes the money or moneymakers make new or break even the existing relationships for this honey ‘money’.One shouldn’t live just for money or stoop to any level for just money.

    Comment by Nitin — June 1, 2007 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  23. True and in the efforts of such individuals the country grows also. But this sickness of looking down on productive people is all over the world. It does not matter if you do things within the privacy of your home or not. It your water cooler has a brand name water as opposed to generic water then “you are showing off”. Ultimately the same argument is used, “while there are millions starving in Africa etc how can you indulge in such and such”.

    But if a mansion is not built would it solve anything ? On the other hand think about it, when a mansion is built the trickle down effect to the economy is tremendous. Those that want to do something for the masses should wish that more mansions be built. Consumption is a a powerful charitable gift to the economy. I believe that more mansions will solve the problem rather than more people giving money away in charity (although I am not against charity, hence no hate mail). My belief is supported by many scholars who have given some real thought to these issues.

    Nonetheless today we live devoid of reality. Fear, envy, and hysteria rules. All or a sudden we mankind are being accused of causing “Global Warming” while no one have ever been able to scientifically state what the optimal temperature of the earth should be. No one has ever been able to balance the BS we hear with the fact that a 1000 years ago Greenland was truly Green (hence the name). We know that the earth cooled down in the last 1000 years and perhaps today is on a warming back cycle. Scientist say that these cycles are beyond human control. But shame on the consumption of the rich, shame on USA (before this goes into another attack Shaan mode allow me to state tha6t conservation is near wrong, but what is being said here is the irrational reactions and conclusions).

    There is way too much envy and hatred. I ask people to focus on what I say rather than my motives. Attack the substance rather than me. But if you must, no big deal that too is OK.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  24. Conservation is never wrong (sorry typo in previous post).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 1, 2007 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  25. good food for thought (pun intended) in this world of haves,have nots and havesomes. kind of echoed thoughts going on in my mind ever since reliance fresh came to town. It is a coincidence that MA owns the setup. But this disparity will lead to frustration amongst the havenots.
    The havenots get affected when their roji roti is in danger and not by a Merc whizzing past. The stone throwing on an RF outlet (Ranchi and Indore, I believe)hopefully should not be an infectious trend.

    I think the angst on the MAnsion is between the haves and the havesomes. A case of
    “Neighbors envy owners pride”.

    And has MA on his own accord furnished details of his mansion plans. Isn’t the newspaper reporting this fishing for sensationalism ?

    I am sure the pursuit of happiness by the economist surveyors will find Indians amongst the happier lot (if not happiest)

    Comment by jidda — June 4, 2007 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  26. Hi Jidda,
    you asked “And has MA on his own accord furnished details of his mansion plans. Isn’t the newspaper reporting this fishing for sensationalism ?”

    The newspaper may have reported it..but this was hardly something one can keep under wraps. Its a Tower going up 60 floors high ( converted to 27) to be ready next year so try as one may, to put it mildly, its not something one can miss easily. The purpose being to garner attention, how can one blame the media for beaming news which is more than apparent? And I’m quite sure MA and family are thrilled to bits.

    And perhaps you escaped the contention..its not about neighbors, or the world at large, its more about the inner world and the choices that define its state of evolution. Whether its a matter of ‘pride’ as you described it, to be the owner of a glass palace, is highly debatable..according to moi.

    It was also about whether we agree with amartya sen when he opines that wellness is a state of being , not a bank balance.

    About the reliance veg outlets..well it was bound to happen sooner than later. All malls today do have veg and fruit corner. Who can you blame? Multiplexes have killed single theatres, , progress is often measured by convenience afforded to the middle class. So well India is posited remember 🙂 I am disturbed about this ‘youth activism’ and justice vendors ..its getting to be rather rampant.. RDb has been quite an inspiration now, hasnt it!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 4, 2007 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  27. I can draw two things:

    1. MA is right when he says instead of “garibi hatao” :: “Amiri badhao”,

    and we all need to do it : Create Wealth …

    2. We do feel guilty, when we see underpriviliged people.

    But they need only 1 important thing: give them EDUCATION,
    (learning has no age bar, it can be of any thing including job skills),
    AND it’d be most powerful weapon WE give them , and its more Stealthier weapon than GUN and MONEY put together.

    For that MAs need not stop building their mansions, but have to be like Sunil Bharti Mittals who run education programs in 200 schools in Tribal India and adding.

    Lastly why none of us Questions the Government;
    its the main CULPRIT, and no one is questioning,…in our country where parties win elections promising things like electricity, roads , water etc….which are taken for granted in developed countries, …. we the people are responsible for it once again…..now any new ideas how to FREE India of these Brown Angrezs ???

    Comment by Pawan Gangwar — June 5, 2007 @ 9:28 am | Reply

  28. Pawan, while I do understandd your viewpoint, yet in my opinion, ground rules to behavioural ethics differ especially when you have no incumbent pressures to do otherwise.

    Is education a panacea for ills that plague India? Arent the educated youth rotting away in call centers since the country has not provided avenues for productive absorption ?

    You have so touched on the core issue when you allude to the fact that Mittals have provided such an illustrious precedent. In the absence of any such magnanimous ventures or ambitious plans by MA when instead a blue print of a lavish mansion announces the dreams , then it does disappoint.

    As far as the Govt goes.. who are we to question their ways? we are only the aam junta who is totally aam while they are Khaas.. so much that even those behind bars, not only fight but win elections. What more can one say about our aam junta.. they are so Mahaan.. so the country in turn has to be Mahaan.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 6, 2007 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  29. Kaveeta- agree with you on with this one. This is an ostentatious display of wealth. But i dont blame mukesh or anil. Instead its their father- dhirubhai who is at fault. How does having (e.g. old man ambani)selfish billionaires with such strong ideas of passing all their wealth to their kids- beneficial to society in any way. I am not denying that mukesh and anil have not expanded their father’s wealth. However if their father donated a substantial part of his wealth to good causes, rather than pass it down to his sons- do you think his sons would have achieved (in terms of personal wealth) what they have today?
    What is strange is that the 300 richest people in the US account for more than 38% of the total charity contributions in the country (US) but in india i am sure that the number is nowhere near.
    What should we do address this issue when the indian social structure (caste system etc.) and family structure (emphasis on family over the self, joint families etc.) encourage hoarding, display and passing on wealth (in entirety) to future generations.
    I think the problem is with indian society. Indian family and social structure is incompatible with the (utopian) ideals of capitalism, which is equal opportunity for all.
    Warren buffet (American) the 2nd richest man in the world has written a book on this issue and he himself is donating more than 90% of wealth to charity- not to mention many other americans in the forbes 10. I guess these (US billionaires)do not have to break free from the shackles of an oppressive socio-cultural and family system, like we indians do.
    Economic theory tell us that -Any capitalist system survives on the system of creative destruction. Every new generation of entrepreneurs innovates and breaks business systems of the old thereby leading to redistribution of wealth and the creation of a new ultra-rich class at the expense of old ones. Transfer of wealth from generation to generation destroys this system and creates an oligarchy. It is essential indian billionaires are educated in economic basics and told to look beyond complete self-interest and to also consder economic growth of society on the whole. After all the two are inetricably linked.

    Comment by Murat — June 10, 2007 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  30. Hi Murat,

    Pleasantly surprised to note your agreement. So the score stands at 2:1 if I am not mistaken.

    Children, as a rule of evolutionary science, are supposed to better their parents. If Dhirubhai has not set a precedent, one would have imagined that just as the sons have taken forward his legacy in financial spheres, a philanthropic bent of mind would have somehow made a dent in their psyche.

    Yes you are right when you say that our socio-cultural system is not conducive to charitable acts. Benevolence, magnanimity, returning back to society as a matter of duty are alien thoughts for the wealthy in India..which is clear from the fact that there is hardly a precedent worth the mention.

    Is hoarding akin to multiplication of wealth? I am not an economics expert, but even to my ignoramus like mind, I would think that apportioning a bit for raising the general level of economic well being of your society would somehow translate into wellness for you from a larger perspective.

    What is the root cause? Insecurity, fear, of losing what has been accumulated, of losing out on listings of the top ten whatever, of shrugging your shoulders over the hassle of charitable acts, absence of credible experts on the matter (most NGO’s are rumored to be scams).Of course in the final analysis, these are mere excuses, but can also be considered deterrents.

    you said ” It is essential indian billionaires are educated in economic basics and told to look beyond complete self-interest and to also consder economic growth of society on the whole. After all the two are inetricably linked.”

    Sums it all.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 10, 2007 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

  31. I’d like to add that bereft of blue prints for acts of charity, MA’s timing for blue print of his palace instead, left one a tad unsettled. After all one cannot compel another into using his wealth for his country or his fellow men, but we as a society can reject his use of it.

    If an oligarchy is being permitted or rather conditions conducive for its emergence are being presently negotiated in India, then does that bode well for the country? Wonder what the Finance Minister and his coterie opine on the matter!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 10, 2007 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  32. Just wondering you said “After all one cannot compel another into using his wealth for his country or his fellow men, but we as a society can reject his use of it.” What do you suggest? I think we should boycott all Reliance products. Oh, wait a minute- wouldn’t that mean returning back to the middle ages as we wouldn’t have vegetables, electricity, telephone systems, fertilisers, petrochemicals etc. etc. The problem is indian society’s post-independence socialist ideals (read licence raj) created these monsters (family controlled multi- billion dollar corporations) and now we have to keep sustaining them- in order not to perish ourselves.
    I think the FM should pass a law placing a 75% inheritence tax on people with inherited assets over £70m (Sunday Times definition of ultra-rich). This will force these guys to donate their wealth/assets to charities and trusts (at the end of their lifetime)- and help create a TRUE free market where the process of creative destruction is not affected by generational wealth inequities.

    Comment by Murat — June 10, 2007 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  33. Oh, I didnt realise you were keeping scores. If thats the case then its 2-2.
    I quite liked your piece on legal recognition of live-in-relationships. Agreed with your views on that one too- however i refused to comment especially after Khan and others made it a Mars vs. Venus issue and everyone kinda lost the original point you were trying to make.

    Comment by Murat — June 10, 2007 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  34. one cannot compel another into using his wealth for his country or his fellow men, but we as a society can reject his use of it.

    On what basis can society demand or expect a person from not doing what he wants with his assets ?

    A few days after you put up this post, it was also on http://www.drudgereport.com (Based on a report from UK) also. Most people who responded agreed with me. I guess that states that people in the west have a very different view on personal property etc. I for one find it scary (especially the latent envy expressed in one of the comments by a guest) that society would have any expectations. For me and much of the west, after a person has paid his tax he should be free of all such worries. His obligation to the society is over at that point.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 11, 2007 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  35. Hi Murat,

    It would be more productive Imo if inequities straighten out by progressive Governmental policies in spheres relating to education, vocational training, corruption free regulations, entrepreneurial guidance and a myriad other stringent measures which would help create a balance.

    I may sound cynical, but FM’s strictures are often an eye wash. They will and have always favoured the rich and wealthy. Even if they do come up with a regulation of the kind you suggest, one can say with utmost certainty that enough loopholes will be provided for evasion of the tax. Which brings us back to the point that until and unless it is not voluntary and does not emerge from inner volition, such measures will come to zilch. Lets not forget that this is India.. here one can get That Rich ( MA kind)only with the blessings/complicity of those in Power. One never knows for sure who is in cahouts with whom. So who will bell the cat?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 11, 2007 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  36. And more the merrier Murat…an opposing viewpoint is as welcome as one that agrees with me…especially in rough weather, a show of solidarity is well.. comforting.. though I would like to quote Disraeli’ ” My idea of an agreeable person is one who agrees with me” ..kidding

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 11, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  37. Hi Shaan,

    You said” On what basis can society demand or expect a person from not doing what he wants with his assets ?”

    This was directly after I averred much the same ” one cannot compel another into using his wealth for his country or his fellow men, but we as a society can reject his use of it.”

    We can verbalise our objection, inconsequentially perhaps till kingdom come!! but that is all we can do.. How can we demand?

    In response to your citing drudgereport and some being in agreement with you there, allow me to cite, a day after I put up this post dear Shaan what appeared at Ndtv blogs was in consonance with the contents of my post :

    http://www.ndtvblogs.com/views/viewcomments.asp?gl_guid=&blogname=churumuridotcom&q_blogid=15069

    Its not about numbers agreeing or disagreeing with us Shaan. At the risk of reiteration, even in the original post, I had opined keeping a personal viewpoint.. thus:

    “Frankly it left me a tad cold. No its not a question of heebeejeebees over envy , but I cannot ascertain for sure, given a chance, would I have surrendered myself to indulge in such ostentatious display of my wealth, especially with beggars at the end of my street knocking at my window, half naked, diseased and hungry.” I felt a certain way and expressed it.

    I do believe that stationed in India one tends to have a diametrically opposing stance as compared with those in the west, no matter how closely affiliated they might feel to Indias problems. Western culture influences are just that .. “western’.In certain respects universal application gets to be well nigh impossible. Can you imagine a mother in law in the west burning to death her daughter in law over Dowry? But it happens here.. Maybe an off topic example but meant to convey how different we are as a society, how unique..paradoxically.

    Ethos differs, conditions vary, sentiments/sensitivities/sensibilities are tangentially different.. so in all fairness, value systems, perspectives, rights and duties, obligations cannot come under a blanket Humanistic viewpoint. If conditions differ, rules differ as well.

    But worry you not.. The construction is on in full swing..as are walk outs. Latest reports suggest the architects have left over the continual changes an demands being made structurally:

    http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=166185

    And the ‘class’ palace gets its ‘glass’,gloss and glitter!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 11, 2007 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  38. Btw Shaan.. I hope I have been granted a standing invitation to visit your ‘glass palace’ or the likes..whenever !

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 11, 2007 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  39. Kav

    I accept your concerns. Society has a right to debate especially on this issue, given the environment in India. Debates and discussion are very constructive. I love an environment where things are discussed. Nonetheless people have to accept a person’s right to the fruits of his labor too.

    On the issue of the building. I have personally seen architects walk out and designers walk on on such projects. A dream cannot be quantified. It is very frustrating when a person has to create in three dimension something that exists only in someone else’s mind.

    My so called “Glass Palace” is somewhat more traditional in design and scope. Those that enter its door do not even suspect that I am Shaan Khan.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 11, 2007 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  40. Thanks Shaan for recognising my concerns.

    It would have been so heartening to see the Ambanis labor over plans and demand changes from architects for say a shelter for underprivileged women/children in the hinterland as well.

    And of course the eternal question’ Who is Shaan Khan?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 12, 2007 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  41. A wise man once said rather than give a fish very day to the poor, teach them how to fish. This statement can be seen from various perspective. The perspective I am trying to project can better be understood when you look at that via Ruskin Bond’s “Only the rich gave any alms to placate their conscience” (A Room with a View).

    Charity to cover guilt is not charity. Nonetheless any effort that can repair humans spirit and ability is commendable.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 12, 2007 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  42. Where did ‘guilt’ creep in? What was explicitly mentioned, earlier on was ‘volition’.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 12, 2007 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  43. I am in agreement with Ruskin Bond’s observation that in Desiland a lot of people just give charity to cover their guilt. There is no focus or follow through or involvement. Even those charities (i.e. originating from Desiland) that come over here (i.e. USA) seeking funds, their attitude is give us money and don’t worry about anything else. Leave the rest to us.

    My point is that most good intention end up being a waste. Money has never solved any problem. Throwing money at anything achieves nothing. It is human effort, dedication etc that wins battles and overcomes hurdles etc. It is mostly a person’s desire that makes him get up at wee dawn and go out and struggle. Take that away and the most hardworking person will instantly become lazy.

    I really would like people to maybe smile more often and give their time in charity and if they do give (also a good thing) then get involved. Follow President Carter’s model in some ways.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 12, 2007 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

  44. You reacted somewhat differently, to put it mildly when I wrote of Richard Gere and his foundation!

    My pointers are similar Shaan.. do something.. anything that bespeaks of using your resources for the betterment of those less privileged/diseaed/hungry/uneducated/whatever

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 12, 2007 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  45. See the difference that Richard Gere makes with his personal involvement. I remember that once a group took him to Palestine/Israel. The Israeli army (so as to prevent him from meeting average Palestinians) declared a city wide curfew. His Israeli provided guards refused to go with him, yet he went with just ordinary Palestinians into the crowded alleys and talked to them. That takes courage. Money cannot replace that.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 12, 2007 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  46. Now Shaan..thats so amusing! Have the privileged in India been de barred from ‘personal involvement’? Now where is there any implication, even remotely that one’s inference was towards ’empty monetary involvement’. In fact , in the Bhagavad Gita , charity if only of funds is considered the lowest form while giving of self..the highest..something that I have spoken on Sachiniti often.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 12, 2007 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  47. So when is THE building going to ready ?

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 13, 2007 @ 7:39 am | Reply

  48. Links confirm 2008. I guess it will end up on the tourist guides itnerary soon enough!!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 13, 2007 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  49. […] the news screaming across Mumbai Mirror, amazed, amused, somewhat envious but mostly scandalised. First Antillia and now this..though I must candidly admit I find the couple hugely endearing. Nita is […]

    Pingback by Mukesh Ambani Gifts Wife Nita- 240 CR Jet!! Srk Gifts Farah A Merc!! « Sachiniti — November 2, 2007 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  50. Antilia looks more like a residential factory rather than a home exuding warmth.
    They could have bought a big mall in Bangalore and created an artificial sea for everybody to enjoy…it would have very economical for them.

    Comment by Venkat — November 4, 2007 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  51. But why Bangalore? Or to be politically correct bengalooru (?)The ‘onida’ neighbours are here in Mumbai..if you know what I mean.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — November 5, 2007 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  52. Kaveetaakau and Shaan….I thoroughly enjoyed all of your conversations. Phew!!!!

    Whats next?

    Comment by Dort — June 20, 2008 @ 3:29 am | Reply

  53. Its not his responsibilty to take care of anybody’s employement. He has every single write to spend money where ever he want. Reliance is for making money for him, not for serving the country that is just a sideproduct

    Comment by arvindillions — March 12, 2009 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  54. BTW if any body is still keeping scores, i support Shaan’s side

    Comment by arvindillions — March 12, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  55. Heyy,
    I am for one proud that a home like this has been built india, and not Russia, US, or even our arch enemmy and giant dragon China. That apart I am aghast. I think its his most tactile gift to his family, to be his legacy. To remind people here lived Mukesh Ambani, one of the world’s richest, most powerful men.

    Comment by satrajit ghosh dass — October 9, 2009 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

    • Ones legacy is ones Karma. Right action.. There cannot be a more worthwhile gift to ones family imo. People live on by their actions and then their houses are re visited with awe even the most humble environ eliciting a wide eyed wonder and intrigue such as ‘here lived Rabindranath Tagore’ or ‘this ‘small room was where Mirza Ghalib spent his last days’ or the sabarmati ashram of Mhatama Gandhi who moved and altered world history from his rural simple abode.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — October 10, 2009 @ 5:54 pm | Reply


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