Since my social set is slightly different from Mukesh Ambani’s, I am not in a position to tell you what on earth he does in his new 400,000 square foot, 27-floor house in Mumbai. I have a fair idea, though, of what I would do in his place.
After a gruelling day in office spent chewing over deals, barking orders and making my underlings run around, I would naturally be dog-tired when I arrive at my mansion. The chauffeur parks my limousine near my other 159 cars and I take the lift to the lobby where I will pause to gloat over the golden chandeliers and the silver staircases and take a photograph to send to Bill Gates with the simple caption, ‘Mine is bigger’. I will then proceed to my spa, where my personal masseuse would give me a relaxing massage with herbal oils and what not. Next, I would choose what to wear from my 3,297 pyjamas and 1,132 slippers. My valet dresses me in a pair of polka dotted bright yellow swimming trunks and I stroll down to my swimming pool while a serf carries my personal toy duck.
After playing with my duck and shooting down the water slides, I get my minions to dry me and dress me in my mauve pyjamas and I then go down to my money bin, which occupies all of the 15th floor. It’s half-filled with thousand-rupee notes and I have a wonderful time diving into the sea of rupees and thrashing about joyfully. The exercise makes me thirsty, so I head for the bar, naturally choosing some of the most expensive scotches in the world, like the Glenfiddich 1937 collection. Mukesh is a teetotaller, so he’ll probably have jal-jeera.
Soon it’s dinner-time. Since the rooms are so vast, servants will have to carry me on their shoulders. The house has a separate theme for every floor and that should extend to the dining rooms. So I can have Chinese on one floor, sushi on the next and Continental on another. Mukesh is a vegetarian, but maybe he has a floor dedicated to theplas, one to dhoklas, another to panipuris.
After dinner, I move to my karaoke room, where I will sing Bollywood hits loudly and tunelessly, while all 600 servants lined up there break into compulsory applause. I then meet my family for a little skiing on the snow slopes created in the ice room. I will press my nose to the glass wall and look down in disgust at the little people scurrying in the hot streets below to their miserable hovels filled with poverty and disease.
To feel better, I spend some time in my money room which has screens showing up-to-the-minute details of how rich I am, comparing my net worth with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the like. My wife whispers encouragingly, “Just think, darling — 27 floors now, 54 floors five years later and ten years from now we could even have a home with an auspicious 108 floors.”
Reluctantly, I go to bed. The water bed is my favourite, my second favourite being the one filled with dollars. The bed will rock me gently while lullabies play softly in the background. My best tape — the one I always listen to with immense satisfaction just before going to sleep — is an old recording, done when I was four years old, of my younger brother howling in pain when I pinched him. Who knows, maybe Mukesh has a similar much-loved soundtrack.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal