Thursday, February 24, 2011


We were visiting a friend's house the other day, because he was ill. He didn't look the part, and not finding much to sympathise about, we began joking around, checking Facebook (yes, it is the end of the world if you check Facebook when all your friends are right beside you), and also, staring out of the window. One of our stares registered Antilla, Mukesh Ambani's residence, the one he built for his wife. The building reminded me of a particular paragraph from a particular book:

"The residence of Mr. Peter Pett, the well-known financier, on Riverside Drive, New York, is one of the leading eyesores of that breezy and expensive boulevard. As you pass by in your limousine, or while enjoying ten cents' worth of fresh air on top of a green omnibus, it jumps out and bites at you. Architects confronted with it reel and throw up their hands defensively, and even the lay observer has a sense of shock. [...] It is a house that is impossible to overlook; and it was precisely for this reason that Mrs. Pett insisted on her husband's buying it, for she was a woman who liked to be noticed."

Doesn't this excite you? Don't you notice the similarities?
  1. Mumbai is a lot like New York. Or isn't it? It must be.
  2. Antilla is one of the leading eyesores of south Mumbai.
  3. Architects confronted with it do reel.
  4. It does bring on a sense of shock.
  5. It is impossible to overlook.
  6. Mr. Ambani bought it (built it, same difference) for his wife.
Also take note of the discrepancies:
  1. Mr. Ambani is more than just a well-known financier.
  2. You don't pass by in your limousine in Mumbai. You halt every two minutes on account of the traffic.
  3. The buses are red, not green; and you'd be hard-pressed for fresh air. No offence to BEST, though. It is a perfectly efficient and well-managed bus service.
  4. There is no writer to equal Wodehouse in Mumbai or anywhere else in the world.

P.S. For those wondering where Wodehouse enters the equation, it's because the afore-quoted paragraph has been written by him. The book is called Piccadilly Jim.


  1. Nice post.
    When I first saw the photo of that, I was aghast. God, he really does throw money around, I thought. Wanted to blog about it. But just could not find enough witty things to say about it.

  2. Hahaha. Thank you. Yes, there have been so may posts I haven't written for precisely that reason.

  3. Does not look like a Home from any angle. Seems like a steel factory at least from outside.


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