Free Essay

A Bombay Room with a View

In: Film and Music

Submitted By juneonwestcoast
Words 1392
Pages 6
A Bombay Room With A View A Look at Gender in Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham

It opens with a dialogue from Amitabh and Jeya Bachchan – “Why is it that a father is never able to tell his son how much he loves him? / But the mother? She keeps repeating it, whether her son listens to it or not.”

This is the first words we hear from the movie Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham (KKKG), a Bollywood blockbuster marketed to the masses as “all about the family”. Released in 2001, following the path of director Karan Johar’s first movie, KKKG tells a multi-faceted story that is depicted over a long time period. The film centers around a family-driven drama where we track the storyline across 3 different generations. Amitabh Bachchan plays a wealthy businessman and the patriarch of the Raichand family with 2 sons – the elder Rahul, who is revealed early on to be adopted, and the younger Rohan. The crux of the film’s drama is drawn from the eldest son’s marriage to a woman from a lower socio-economic background, against the wishes of his father. Following the marriage, the father disowns Rahul and he leaves with his bride to London. The latter half of the movie is centered on Rohan’s storyline with his love interest, Pooja, and his attempts to bring Rahul and his family back into the family home in India.

On the surface it seems we have entered yet another Bollywood film on family drama but KKKG goes beyond that. From the first few lines we can already witness the beginnings of a gender discourse – why is one gender like this and the other so different? In this review, I will elaborate on how the film establishes itself away from its predecessors and peers by creating diversified gendered identities for its female characters – specifically on the issue of gender roles in families and gender roles in the Diaspora.
Gender Roles in Families
The construction of female characters across 3 generations of the family gives the film space to create a more heterogeneous gender identity amongst its 3 characters. When we identify these 3 main female characters themselves, we can already see these diversified roles. The imagery from the first time we see the characters of Nandini, the matriarch, Anjali, Rahul’s love interest, and Pooja, Rohan’s love interest and Anjali’s younger sister, give us a clear view of each characters’ personality.

(Nandini, Anjali and Pooja in their first scenes respectively)

From the feelings that these images invoke we are able to fit these various characters into the familiar tropes that can be found in the depiction of female characters in Bollywood film such as the devoted mother and wife, shown in Nandini offering prayers for her family or the modern version of the “vamp” seen in Kareena Kapoor’s depiction of Pooja.
The character of Anjali is an example of how the film pushes gender identities within the family. In her first scene, we can see her waving the Indian flag, embodying the spirit of the “ideal” Indian heroine. She is further depicted as filial daughter to her widowed father and a protective elder sister to Pooja. However, being the lead female heroine, we also expect characteristics of the “ideal” Indian wife from her such as chastity, modesty and submissiveness. What we get however is the loud-mouth, clumsy and at times, crass Anjali who breaks away from the Sita-like wife figure who is able to be playful and relaxed around her husband.
In Nandini we also see a break from the submissive, servitude attitude we expect from the traditional Hindu wife as depicted in Bollywood cinema. Throughout the film we see her being constantly shut down by her husband when she offers her opinion but towards the end of the film, we are witness to a reversal of the roles. “My husband is just a husband... Not God” she decries. Here we see how the role of the mother clashes with wifely servitude, creating a more complex and three dimensional female character.
Re-constructing the Vamp
The figure of the “vamp” is largely subverted in the film. We have the character of Pooja who would stereotypically play the overwesternised vamp who “demonstrates uncontrolled female lust and wantonness”. In KKKG however, this character is developed further in that she does not serve as an antithesis to another chaste, idealized woman but is instead allowed to grow as a character while still retaining that “vamp” personality. The film allows us to witness the development of the character from the plain Punjab suit-wearing Pooja to the fashionable, sexy and explicitly Westernized “Poo”. This follows the trend Zeenat Aman set in the 1970s which “allowed the heroine to occupy the space of the vamp, undermining several older boundaries regarding the display of female sexuality”. However, the character of Pooja never receives the moral lesson that most vamp characters are subjected to – even in popular movies released in the same year, vampy female characters such as Preity Zinta’s prostitute character in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke or Bipasha Basu in Ajnabee were all seen to receive moral condemnation in their films. By never moralizing the sexually suggestive and assertive Pooja, the film gives space for a modern heroine to exist beyond the repressive confines that dictate most female characters.
Gender Relations in the Diaspora
The film depicts a marked difference between the romances of Rahul and Anjali, which happens in the context of India, and Rohan and Pooja, a more “modern” romance that happens within the diaspora. When we compare the song and dance numbers of the 2 couples - Yeh Ladka Hai Allah for the elder and You Are My Soniya for the, we see a contrast in not just music and dance but also in the costumes. However, one is never established as better than the other- the traditional but playful gender relationship between Rahul and Anjali is never seen as superior to the more Westernized relationship between Pooja and Rohan where the woman is the sexually aggressive character and the man is the one to feign disinterest. We are also able to further see the effects of the diaspora on the same gender but over different ages. The assimilative younger sister, Pooja contrasts with Anjali who steadfastly holds on to a cultural Indian lifestyle.
Conclusion

To conclude, by developing more diverse roles for women to portray, KKKG pushes the boundaries of Bollywood film to be more accepting and inclusive of different types of female characters beyond its usual tropes. While the film does not always create a progressive female story – the storylines of the female characters as still intertwined firstly with the main hero’s and romantic relationship serve as the main goal of the characters, it still serves as a forward thrust for the gender discourse in Bollywood.

Citations
Kasbekar, Asha. "Hidden Pleasures Negotiating the Myth of the Female Ideal in Popular Hindi Cinema." In Pleasure and The Nation, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Gehlawat, Ajay. "The Construction of 1970s Femininity, or Why Zeenat Aman Sings the Same Song Twice." South Asian Popular Culture, 2012. Accessed September 15, 2014.

Banaji, Shakuntala. "20-25, 55-80." In Reading 'Bollywood': The Young Audience and Hindi Films. Basingstoke [England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

"Sexuality, Sensuality and Belonging: Representations of the "Anglo-Indian" and the "Western" Woman in Hindi Cinema." In Bollyworld Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens, edited by Raminder Kaur, by Geetanjali Gangoli. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2005.

Khabi Khushi Khabie Gham. Directed by Karan Johar. 2001. India: Yash Raj Films, 2002. DVD.

Uberoi, P. "The Diaspora Comes Home: Disciplining Desire In DDLJ." Contributions to Indian Sociology: 305-36. Accessed September 15, 2014.

--------------------------------------------
[ 2 ]. Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham, directed by Karan Johar (2001; India: Yash Raj Films, 2002), DVD.
[ 3 ]. Kasbekar, Asha. "Hidden Pleasures Negotiating the Myth of the Female Ideal in Popular Hindi Cinema." In Pleasure and The Nation, 290-291. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.
[ 4 ]. Kasbekar, "Hidden Pleasures Negotiating the Myth of the Female Ideal in Popular Hindi Cinema.", 2001
[ 5 ]. Kasbekar, Asha. "Hidden Pleasures Negotiating the Myth of the Female Ideal in Popular Hindi Cinema.", 298-299, 2001.
[ 6 ]. Gehlawat, Ajay. "The Construction of 1970s Femininity, or Why Zeenat Aman Sings the Same Song Twice." South Asian Popular Culture, 2012, 58-60. Accessed September 15, 2014.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Euthanasia

...suffering with incurable disease and proceeding towards death slowly whether in such situation can he end his life? It is the most debatable questions whether a person should have a right to die like a right to live. In our constitution there is provision for Right of Life under Article 21. But there is no such Right like right to die. On the other hand, if any person tries to end his life, he is made punishable under section 309 of Indian penal code. The question first arose in case of State of Maharashtra v. Maruty Sripati Dubai, 1987 Cr. LJ 549 that whether the ‘Right to Die’ is included in Art. 21 of the constitution before Bombay High court. In this case a Bombay police constable who was mentally deranged was refused permission to set up a shop and earn a living out of frustration; he tried to set himself a fire in the corporation’s office room. The Bombay High Court held that the right to life guaranteed by Art. 21 includes a right to die, and consequently the court struck down section 309, I.P.C. which provides punishment for...

Words: 1268 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Mary Ellen Mark-a Photographer

...and joined my first photography group. I used Marks inspiration to photograph poverty, war, and to capture portraits of lives not seen by others. At 15, I was given my own exhibit and I was able to show others photographs that said a thousand words. It was a success and after that moment I knew what path I wanted to take in my life. Mary Ellen Mark has a very distinct style, typically narrating the lives of people that are in extremely heartbreaking situations, such as physical abuse, prostitution, poverty, and drug addiction. Marks ability to capture the brutal honesty of her subjects is extremely unique to her style of photography. She blasts through the scarred walls of her subjects and exhibits their raw vulnerability leaving no room for sentiment. Mark has often said that the reason she is able to capture her subjects in such an accessible state is because she is a woman. 1 Marks subjects are people and in every photograph she does as she preaches which is as quoted by Mark in her book “ Mary Ellen Mark: 25 Years”, “"I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject....

Words: 2206 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Taj Hotel Group

...Subir Bhowmick waited outside the office of R.K. Krishna Kumar, managing director and head of the Taj Hotel Group. Bhowmick wanted to ask Krishna Kumar to reexamine what the company was trying to accomplish by assigning a particular manager to run the Taj Kumarakom, a smaller property in a highly competitive market. Since assuming management responsibility for the Taj Group in 1997, Krishna Kumar had introduced many changes, the most conspicuous being a new performance management system that represented the first time that promotion and pay had been determined by a formal review and evaluation process. Krishna Kumar had also introduced a formal career development process whereby employees were tracked and groomed for key positions throughout the Taj system. But Bhowmick worried that these systematized assessments might not always identify the right person for a particular job. He knew the candidate who had been selected for the general manager position at the Taj Kumarakom. He also knew some of the other candidates well; indeed, he had had another manager in mind for the job. tC Bhowmick had been in the hotel business his entire life and was practically a legend within the Taj. As chief operating officer of the luxury hotel division, he was in charge of properties that brought in more than 60% of the company’s profits. He had successfully identified and groomed leaders for the Taj Hotel Group throughout his career. Bhowmick was going to ask Krishna Kumar......

Words: 6562 - Pages: 27

Premium Essay

Best Indian Restaurants In London

...very tricky to pick Best Indian Restaurants, as many of them are at par. Keeping in mind the taste and popularity here’s a list of Best Indian Restaurants in London. Benares: Benares is an upscale and exclusive Michelin Starred restaurant in the Mayfair area of central London, owned and managed by Chef Atul Kochhar. He is the first Indian Chef to be awarded with highly coveted Michelin Star (Twice). The Interiors are nicely done; the food is exquisite and really unique. Benares is quite expensive, but favourite among food lovers. Benares is all about modern Indian cuisine with contemporary British twist. It has been rightly raising the culinary bar to the extraordinary heights. Check their website benaresrestaurant.com to get a 360 degree view of their restaurant. Where: 12 A, Berkeley Square House, London, W1J...

Words: 1001 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Doctrine of Escheat in India

...Year Trimester VSubmitted by : Satya S. SahuID NO : 2088Submitted on 17 November 2014 | | | | National Law School of India University Index of Authorities Constitutions * The Constitution of India, 1949. Statutes * Government of India Act, 1915. * Hindu Succession Act, 1956. * Indian Succession Act, 1925. * Special Marriage Act, 1954. Cases * Chiranjilal Shrilal Goenka v. Jasjit Singh, (1993) 2 SCC 507. * Lakshmanammal And Anr. vs Tiruvengada Mudali (1882) ILR 5 Mad 241. * Collector of Masulipatnam v. Cavaly Venkata, (1860) 8 MIA 500. * State of Bihar v Radhakrishna Singh & Ors. 1983 SCC (3) 118. * Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Co. Ltd v. Bombay, (1958) SCR 1122. * Shafiq and Others v. Asstt. Director of Consolidation and Others, 2011(9)ADJ24. * Reshamlal Baswan vs Balwant Singh Jwalasingh Punjabi 1994 (0) MPLJ 446. * Ramcharan v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2006 Raj 101. * Mohammed Arshad Chowdhry v. Sajida Banoo, (1878) IL 3 Cal. As a general rule, the transfer of title of property from ancestors to their offspring has been given recognition and enforced since time immemorial. It’s also a settled proposition that the law, decides on who to confer the right of succession in case of intestate property. Statutes of distribution, based on a host of grounds (primogeniture, a preference for males over females., etc.) prescribe the sequence......

Words: 3724 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Art Paper

...right in the heart of historic Cannery Row and on the Monterey Bay, where mesmerizing ocean views, bay breezes and coastal scenery will captivate your soul and enchant your guests. Wedding ceremonies are staged on an expansive courtyard facing the sapphire-blue waters of the bay. Couples say their vows against this stunning azure backdrop, enlivened by marine life such as frolicking sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions. To enhance enjoyment of this picturesque setting, your social hour can take place in the inspiring ocean air as well. While the wedding party is posing for pictures, guests can enjoy the hotel’s boardwalk and pier, which extends out over the bay. Cut-outs on the boardwalk reveal tantalizing peeks down into the tidal zone and the teeming underwater world of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We specialize in offering all of the extras that will make your wedding memorable: Wedding Showers Engagement Parties Rehearsal Dinners Wedding Ceremonies Wedding Cocktail Hours Dinners and Dancing Late Night Snacks Farewell Wedding Brunch Hotel Guestrooms Wedding Party Suite Spa Services to Include Hair and Makeup Ocean Terrace Ceremony and Reception Ocean Terrace Ceremony The Ocean Terrace is perfect for intimate ceremonies, starting with a minimum capacity of 25 guests and a comfortable maximum of 80 guests. The Ocean Terrace boasts breathtaking Monterey Bay views protected from any coastal breeze. Ceremony rental begins at $1,000. Optimal ceremony......

Words: 3539 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Angel Broking

...EXECUTIVE SUMMARY As a partial fulfillment of my MBA curriculum I have undergone six weeks summer training at “ANGEL BROKING.” I have done my summer training project at Jamnagar branch from 1st of May to 15th of June. The Angel Group has emerged as one of the top 5 retail stock broking houses in India, having memberships on BSE, NSE and the two leading commodity exchanges in the country i.e. NCDEX and MCX. Angel Broking Ltd is also registered as a depository participant with CDSL. Angel has exceeded customer’s expectations by providing world-class service. I was placed under the marketing and sales department and I have learned a lot in carrying out marketing task for Angel Broking. I have done marketing in retail client segment. I have also carried out a project during summer training. The title of my project is “Present and the Future Scenario of e-Broking in Jamnagar city area” The questionnaire was used as data collection instrument and both open ended and close ended type of questions were used as per the requirement. From the survey it was found that currently the concept of e-Broking is not so prevalent in the market, but its future can be made bright by properly conveying its benefits. More details about the project are available in later part of this report. INTRODUCTION TO ANGEL In a shot span of 18 years since inception, the Angel Group has emerged as one of the top five retail stock broking houses in India, having......

Words: 15191 - Pages: 61

Premium Essay

Satyagraha

... he literally changed the world. The millions of Indians who treated and acted upon his word as if it were supreme command did so because he “was a man who did what he said and lived an exemplary and transparent life.” (Kamat, 2007). Satyagraha literally means to cling to truth. “Truth can be obtained only by loving service of all, i.e. by non-violence. The values that Gandhi adhered to, lived by, and taught as a Satygrahi included; remaining disciplined in self-control, simplicity of life, recognition of the unity of all life, suffering without fear or hatred, and wholehearted and disinterested service of one’s neighbors. The vows that he elaborated for members of his Satyagraha Ashram at Sabermati are, of interest from this point of view. They were truth, non-violence, brachmachayrya (celibacy), fearlessness, control of the palate, non-possession, non-stealing, bread-labor, equality of religions, anti-untouchability (meaning that no one’s work was above any other, i.e. no untouchables), and swadeshi ( literally translated as self-sufficient; in this context meaning only to use home-spun cloth rather than purchase it from England). (Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha), 1961). This doctrine that he preached and lived was derived from several sources. However it can most fundamentally be traced to the Gita principle of karmayogin, (which means bringing the principles of the Vedanta and yoga into life), as well as to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, also, to writings of......

Words: 2061 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

80 Days

...FOGG AND PASSEPARTOUT ACCEPT EACH OTHER, THE ONE AS MASTER, THE OTHER AS MAN M r. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron—at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old. Certainly an Englishman, it was more doubtful whether Phileas Fogg was a Londoner. He was never seen on ‘Change, nor at the Bank, nor in the counting-rooms of the  Around the World in 80 Days ‘City”; no ships ever came into London docks of which he was the owner; he had no public employment; he had never been entered at any of the Inns of Court, either at the Temple, or Lincoln’s Inn, or Gray’s Inn; nor had his voice ever resounded in the Court of Chancery, or in the Exchequer, or the Queen’s Bench, or the Ecclesiastical Courts. He certainly was not a manufacturer; nor was he a merchant or a gentleman farmer. His name was strange to the scientific and learned societies, and he never was known to take part in the sage deliberations of the Royal Institution or the London Institution, the Artisan’s Association, or the Institution of Arts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact,......

Words: 65314 - Pages: 262

Free Essay

The Collected Works of Mahatma

...1. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA DETENTION C AMP, January 27, 1944 ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (HOME DEPARTMENT) NEW DELHI SIR, Some days ago Shri Kasturba Gandhi told the Inspector-General of prisons and Col. Shah that Dr. Dinshaw Mehta of Poona be invited to assist in her treatment. Nothing seems to have come out of her request. She has become insistent now and asked me if I had written to the Government in the matter. I, therefore, ask for immediate permission to bring in Dr. Mehta. She has also told me and my son that she would like to have some Ayurvedic physician to see her. 1 I suggest that the I.G.P. be authorized to permit such assistance when requested. 2. I have no reply as yet to my request2 that Shri Kanu Gandhi, who is being permitted to visit the patient every alternate day, be allowed to remain in the camp as a whole-time nurse. The patient shows no signs of recovery and night-nursing is becoming more and more exacting. Kanu Gandhi is an ideal nurse, having nursed the patient before. And what is more, he can soothe her by giving her instrumental music and by singing bhajans. I request early relief to relieve the existing pressure. The matter may be treated as very urgent. 3. The Superintendent of the camp informs me that when visitors come, one nurse only can be present. Hitherto more than one nurse has attended when necessary. The Superintendent used his discretion as to the necessity. But......

Words: 156973 - Pages: 628

Free Essay

Liqour Prohibition Act: the Case of Gujarat

...ABSTRACT The paper looks at the interactive relation of the prohibition act with market and stakeholders. The findings are based on interaction with different stakeholders and uses a qualitative research approach. LIQUOR PROHIBITION ACT: THE CASE OF GUJARAT Focus on Public Policy & Marketing Rahul|Edwick|Vishnu IRMA PRM 35 About the Authors Edwick P. Bilung P35027 PRM 35 Institute or Rural Management, Anand. Contact: p35027@irma.ac.in Rahul Singh P35170 PRM 35 Institute or Rural Management, Anand. Contact: p35170@irma.ac.in Vishnu Vijayan P35106 PRM 35 Institute or Rural Management, Anand. Contact: p35106@irma.ac.in Table of Contents Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 4 The Prohibition Act .................................................................................................................... 5 Background ................................................................................................................................ 6 Objective & Scope ............................................................................................................ 7 Objective of the study ............................................................................................................... 7 Scope of the study ...............................................................

Words: 3587 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Commercial Bank

...M. K. Gandhi AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR The story of my experiments with truth TRANSLATED FROM THE GUJARATI BY MAHADEV DESAI GANDHI BOOK CENTRE Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal 299, Tardeo Raod, Nana Chowk Bombay - 7 INDIA 3872061 email: info @ mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org www: mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org NAVAJIVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE AHMEDABAD-380014 Chapter 1 BIRTH AND PARENTAGE he Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem to have been originally grocers. But for three generations, from my grandfather, they have been Prime Ministers in several Kathiawad States. Uttamchand Gandhi, alias Ota Gandhi, my grandfather, must have been a man of principle. State intrigues compelled him to leave Porbandar, where he was Diwan, and to seek refuge in Junagadh. There he saluted the Nawab with the left hand. Someone, noticing the apparent discourtesy, asked for an explanation, which was given thus: 'The right hand is already pledged to Porbandar.' Ota Gandhi married a second time, having lost his first wife. He had four sons by his first wife and two by his second wife. I do not think that in my childhood I ever felt or knew that these sons of Ota Gandhi were not all of the same mother. The fifth of these six brothers was Karamchand Gandhi, alias Kaba Gandhi, and the sixth was Tulsidas Gandhi. Both these brothers were Prime Ministers in Porbandar, one after the other. Kaba Gandhi was my father. He was a member of the Rajasthanik Court. It is now extinct, but in those days it was a very influential body......

Words: 171673 - Pages: 687

Premium Essay

Legal History

...Bombay High Court 1 1862 - 2012 A Journey of 150 Years through some Memorable Judgments Part 1 2 PREFACE A tiny kernel of an idea planted by Justice Mridula Bhatkar took root, and has resulted in a humble effort to present before you a compendium of the crux of some of the judgments of the Judges who have served the Bombay High Court since its inception in 1862.1 The initial idea was to document one judgment of the First Court from each year which was modified to include a judgment of the Bombay High Court of each year. I soon realized that it was too expansive an idea to merit a single judgment a year. I could collect and collate, as many as ten judgments which would qualify to show the development of the law we desired to portray. Having found too vast a number of such judgments, I had to settle at a more reasonable figure of about five judgments each year to showcase the progress this Court has made from its illustrious beginnings. Our Chief Justice Mohit Shah and our Justice Chandrachud wholeheartedly supported the idea to complement the Book published on this the sesquicentennial of our Court. As the number of Judges grew, fewer judgments of each Judge would be selected as illustrations. These judgments are not the only path-finding groundbreaking ones; they are also ones with simplicity and legal elegance. The number of judgments we settled upon just would not permit all deserving judgments to be compiled; only a few have been picked from each year as the first......

Words: 139867 - Pages: 560

Free Essay

Dhirubhai Ambani

...NTRODUCTION: AN INVITATION TO BOMBAY The envelope was hand-delivered to our house in Golf Links, Tan enclave in New Delhi whose name captured the clubbable lifestyle of its leisured and propertied Indian residents, soon after we had arrived in the middle of a north Indian winter to begin a long assignment. It contained a large card, with a picture embossed in red and gold of the elephant-headed deity Ganesh, improbably carried on the back of a much smaller mouse. Dhirubhai and Kokilaben Ambani invited us to the wedding of their son Anil to Tina Munim in Bombay. In January 1991, just prior to the explosion in car ownership that in later winters kept the midday warmth trapped in a throat-tearing haze overnight, it was bitterly cold most of the time in Delhi. Our furniture had still not arrived-a day of negotiations about the duty payable lay ahead at the Delhi customs office where the container was broken open and inspected-and we camped on office chairs and fold-up beds, wrapped in blankets. The Indian story was also in a state of suspension, waiting for something to happen. The Gulf War, which we watched at a big hotel on this new thing called satellite television, was under- cutting many of the assumptions on which the Congress Party’s family dynasty, the Nehrus and Gandhis, had built up the Indian state. The Americans were unleashing a new generation of weap- ons on a Third World regime to which New Delhi had been close; its Soviet friends were standing by, even agreeing......

Words: 103700 - Pages: 415

Free Essay

Ambani Story

...NTRODUCTION: AN INVITATION TO BOMBAY The envelope was hand-delivered to our house in Golf Links, Tan enclave in New Delhi whose name captured the clubbable lifestyle of its leisured and propertied Indian residents, soon after we had arrived in the middle of a north Indian winter to begin a long assignment. It contained a large card, with a picture embossed in red and gold of the elephant-headed deity Ganesh, improbably carried on the back of a much smaller mouse. Dhirubhai and Kokilaben Ambani invited us to the wedding of their son Anil to Tina Munim in Bombay. In January 1991, just prior to the explosion in car ownership that in later winters kept the midday warmth trapped in a throat-tearing haze overnight, it was bitterly cold most of the time in Delhi. Our furniture had still not arrived-a day of negotiations about the duty payable lay ahead at the Delhi customs office where the container was broken open and inspected-and we camped on office chairs and fold-up beds, wrapped in blankets. The Indian story was also in a state of suspension, waiting for something to happen. The Gulf War, which we watched at a big hotel on this new thing called satellite television, was under- cutting many of the assumptions on which the Congress Party’s family dynasty, the Nehrus and Gandhis, had built up the Indian state. The Americans were unleashing a new generation of weap- ons on a Third World regime to which New Delhi had been close; its Soviet friends were standing by, even agreeing......

Words: 104665 - Pages: 419