The Ambani siblings — Anil and Mukesh — landed in separate choppers at Chorwad, Junagadh district, to celebrate the 80th birthday of their late father and Reliance Industries Ltd patriarch Dhirubhai Ambani. The two brothers were on Tuesday seen together for the first time after they did away with the no-competition agreement last year.
Kokilaben, wife of Dhirubhai Ambani, had yesterday said “Hum sab saath hain” triggering speculation that the two brothers, who bitterly fought over their business interests after the Reliance empire was split, would call it a truce today. But there were no formal handshakes for the villagers or the media during the meet that had trooped to the beach town. For the villagers, it was not the high point of the celebration either.
At 9.45 am, Anil, landed at a special helicopter pad, 20 km away from Dhirubhai No Delo, a high-walled closed door mansion, where Dhirubhai spent his childhood. He, with his wife and two children, took off in a waiting Mercedes to Dhirubhai No Delo, a 20-km drive. Mother Kokilaben welcomed them at the Delo.
Elder brother Mukesh landed at 2 pm, again in a helicopter. After the pooja at home, at around 6 pm, the Delo’s doors opened again.
The two brothers came outside, one after the other, each took separate cars, with the mother following them in the third vehicle to the Chorwadi mata temple where a pooja and dinner was organised.
The shrinking of distances between the brothers remained a speculation with onlookers getting only a glimpse or two.
But for many in Chorwad, it is not quite a big issue. Their memories are tied to Dhirubhai, who last visited the town to celebrate his birthday in 1995. Dhirubhai had then called upon all his friends and neighbours, walking the lanes and bylanes around his mansion.
Anil and Mukesh, guided by mother Kokilaben, performed pooja at the Delo along with other family members.
“I had greeted him half way as procession led by him left from his home to temple,” says childhood friend Vaghji Rathod, a retired school teacher.
“He hugged me and shouted, ‘Oh my guru’.” Chorwad Nagarpalika President Hira Chudasma says, “Rathod used to teach Dhirubhai maths, a subject he did not like much.” Taking the whole village along, Dhirubhai flanked by family, went to Chorwadi Mata Temple.”
Not only Chorwad, but people from three other villages were invited for the feast. It was followed by traditional Garba, which