Table of Contents
Her growing up
My mother says I was a very naughty child when I was young. I remember one incident…
How she met Mukesh?
Nita was performing Bharatanatyam during Navrati festival in Birla Matoshree. DhiruBhai Ambani and his wife KokilaBen were watching her.
The next day she got a call. The caller said, “I’m Dhirubhai Ambani.” I said, “Wrong number!” and put down the phone! But the phone rang again and the voice said, “I’m Dhirubhai Ambani, may I talk to Nita?” So I said, “If you are Dhirubhai Ambani, I’m Elizabeth Taylor!” and put down the phone. Her father was at home that day and sensed there was something happening. So when the phone rang again, he answered. After being told by her father to behave nicely she spoke to Dhirubhai and met him in his office. He asked her , “Would you like to meet my son?” I said, “Who?” He said, “Mukesh”. When she went on 14th Nov Mukesh opened the door and it was love at first sight.
How Mukesh proposed her?
“It was our sixth or seventh meeting and I was still very undecided. I said, “I need to graduate. Let’s think about it later.” We were driving on Pedar Road in his green Fiat. It was 7.30, peak traffic. We stopped at the signal and he said, “Will you marry me?There were all these horns blaring and he said, “Tell me or I won’t start the car!” That was how he proposed to me! “So she accepted to avoid a traffic jam! (Ref:NDTV good times)
During our dating days, Mukesh used to have a Mercedes, so for all our dates we’d go in that car. Once I told him, “You have to travel my way, in a BEST bus.” I said, “The best seat is the front seat on top of a double decker” and he came with me. It was my favourite bus route, because it went through Juhu beach and you could see the sea and the sand from the top. We had such a blast. Ref:Sunday times: 9 Oct
Adjustments from middle class family to Industrial family I think a transition at 21, is a transition that gets all girls anxious and all parents anxious. But I must say Papa and Mummy were so understanding and welcomed me with a large heart into their world
The first 2-3 years of my marriage, 7.00 pm in the evening was the time I had to spend with Papa. Wherever I was, I had to come home and be with him at 7. His questions would range from Stock Market to the rule in Argentina, to suddenly the politics of India…I think Indira Gandhi had just been assassinated at the time. It was such a great education for me. I used to work as a teacher in the morning so I’d leave home at 7.30 am, return after school hours and read up thinking he’s going to ask me about the Stock Market.I would be very prepared and go to him and suddenly the questions would be on “How to raise children?
I think, he gave us so much space really to explore ourselves. At the same time he was the guiding force in our lives like Mommy. They really enveloped us in their love and warmth. Mommy taught me things like cooking, she’s a great cook…taking care of the house. She initiated me as a young girl.
A few years after she got married she was told by the doctors that she would never have children. Even when I was in school, I would write long, copious essays titled, ‘When I’ll be a mother…’ Here I was at the age of 23 being told that I would never conceive. I was shattered. However, with the help of Dr Firuza Parikh, who is one of my closest friends, I first conceived my twins!”(Dr Parikh also helped Farah Khan to have her triplets)
But it was not exactly a cakewalk yet. Her pregnancy was traumatic and she delivered two months earlier in a state of medical emergency. I was in the US and Mukesh had just left me and returned to India. As soon as he landed, he got a call saying, “Get back to the US.” Mukesh, Mommy and our doctor got onto the flight. On the plane, the pilot gave the news – “You’ve been blessed with twins –a boy and a girl!” All of them were so excited.So when he arrived we were deciding the names. What to call the “Baby Boy Ambani and Baby Girl Ambani”? That’s what they called them in the hospital! Mukesh said, “I was flying over the mountains when I got the news that I have a little baby girl. So her name will be Isha, which means Goddess of the Mountains. We were flying, so our son will be called Akash. Three years later, Anant was born naturally. Her twins are 20 years old now and are in US. Isha is at Yale and Akash is at Brown. Ref:NDTV good times
She’s been a hands-on mum who insisted that husband Mukesh spend his Sundays helping with the kids’ homework. “I told him you may be busy influencing the future of Reliance and the country, but you better influence the future of your kids too. I believe that it’s not just quality but also the quantity of time spent with the kids that makes them sound individuals.”
When she planned her mother-in-law Kokilaben’s recent 75th birthday bash, she sat with Manish Malhotra and Abu-Sandeep, going over all the costings with a tooth comb before okaying the budget for the fashion show. Old habits die hard, she shrugged – “ Those initial cravings have gone. I have no appetite left for spending crazy amounts these days. You shop to feel good. But I don’t feel good wasting money.” In fact, so thrifty is Mukesh, that he continues to wear Vimal pants. His black bush coats (standarised evening wear!), are still stitched by Kachin’s ( who has been his local tailor since the age of 17).’
Nita seems quite a bargain hunter. When she had to shop for 25,000 pieces of chinaware for her home. She’s settled for 106-year-old Japanese brand Noritake, whose 22 carat gold/platinum-trimmed porcelain crockery. But she did not buy from exclusive Noritake showroom in Mumbai’s Kemps Corner, a stone’s throw from the Ambani tower. Rather, she chose Sri Lanka as Noritake is 70-80% cheaper there than elsewhere in the world, including India. This is because the Japanese brand has its largest manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka, and exports its fine china to over 100 countries from there. Ref: Economic Times Dec 2010, Invest SriLanka
Her School:DhiruBhai Ambani Internation School
On Mumbai Indians
I was really upset with Mukesh three years ago when he bought this franchise. My school had just started, Reliance Retail was fairly new, his other ventures were also in nascent stages and there he was, stepping into the totally fresh IPL field, when our plates were so full. Mukesh being a cricket enthusiast decided to go ahead and hand over the charge to professionals. I, of course, with zero knowledge of cricket barely attended a few matches in the first two seasons. For two years in a row, we were at the bottom of the table.
It was the IPL 2 disasters in South Africa that spurred me to fly halfway across the globe to be with the boys. We were playing the Rajasthan Royals and it was impossible to lose. We had to make 9 runs in 6 balls. I thought we’d win, but we lost! So I said to myself, ‘I have to learn this game.’ I selected the core team- Sachin, Bhajji and Zaheer- and we got to work on our weaknesses.”Then I started travelling with the team, holding camps, meeting the team, and the passion ignited.
This is the first part of our post on Nita Ambani. This is about her life. The next post is about her views on various topics such as money, Mukesh, her kids, her school, her passion Dance.
You might also like to read:
- Nita Ambani on Money, Mukesh, Dance, Kids and more
- Is Mukesh Ambani Flaunting His Wealth Through His Billion Dollar House Antilla?
- DhiruBhai Ambani:Father of India’s capital markets.
- Kokilaben Ambani, Mukesh, Anil Ambani, Tina Ambani(Munim)
As they say behind every successful man is a woman, she is the woman behind Mukesh Ambani and she is not hiding behind her riches. She comes across as the women very focused, hard working and very much in love with Mukesh and her children. What do you feel about Nita Ambani?