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Author: Hamish McDonald
Publisher: Roli Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788174368140
The Reliance drama by now had almost every element of an Indian soap opera. It had wealthy tycoons, brothers fighting each other, sleazy political netas (patrons), clever financiers, angry wives, religious seers, a disputed inheritance, private eyes, allegations of forgery and phone-tapping, officials to be active, frustrated investigators and a chorus of reporters besieging the main characters.
Most important of all, it had the mother, respected and loved by all for her innate and unsophisticated wisdom, able to cut through to the main emotional issue.
Anil later recalled that Dhirubhai’s personal physician, a Dr Pandey, had predicted the morning of that Saturday that his patient would chose such a day to die. “Sir planning mein chaltey hain na?” Pandey said. “Sir Jayenge to Saturday raat ko hi jayenge.” (“Sir plans before he does anything? If sir goes then he will on Saturday night.”) As he explained. “Sir is a person who will not inconvenience anybody. If he goes on Saturday night, it will be after a day’s work.
The funeral will be on Sunday. As that’s a holiday, there will be no office, people can attend, there will be no traffic for the funeral site. It will be over by evening and on Monday morning, everyone can get back to work.”
Dhirubhai indeed died later that day, shortly before midnight. Anil recalled getting home at 2.30 a.m., grabbing some sleep, then going to tell Kokilaben around 5 a.m. she saw my face, folder her hands and asked: “ When did it happen?” I told her and she said, “Did he go peacefully?” I said, “Yes, he had a big smile on his face.”
Ambani & Sons is the riveting story of one of the wealthiest families in the world. Dhirubhai Ambani was a rags-to-riches tycoon whose company Reliance, is now one of India’s major corporations. His sons Anil and Mukesh took over after his death in 2002 and their respective arms of the company are bigger than the parent ever was.
However, a family feud of colossal proportions, that has had political reverberations, ensued. The Ambani tale contains a bigger story about modern India, not only as an economic powerhouse, but about the complicated links between government and big business.
‘The Ambani story is central to an understanding of the India of today’
--- Philip Bowring, international Herald tribune
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