When the richest man in India announced plans to build an extravagant 27-story house with some 600 staffers to maintain it, many expected to see a modern-day Taj Mahal.
One year later, Mukesh Ambani’s palatical house called Antilia comes close, with three helipads, six floors of parking, movie screenings, a grand ballroom and a series of floating gardens.
And yet, the billionaire business magnate has yet to call the house home.
New York Times’ Vikas Bajaj reports that after party guests go home, or an event is over at Antilia, the Ambanis circle back to their more modest 14-story apartment building on the south end of the city.
The theory on everyone’s mind? Something called Vastu Shastra.
An ancient Hindu architectural doctrine, Vastu Shastra teaches that directional alignments result in spiritual harmony and without them, one is sure to have bad luck.
According to Basannt R. Rasiwasia, a Vastu expert Bajaj interviewed, Antilia doesn’t conform to Vastu, in large part because the eastern side of the building doesn’t have enough windows to let in the light.
But surely the billionaire can afford to drop a few more rupees to add some windows?
Other Ambani watchers says the controversy that greeted the ostentatious home being built in a city so wracked by poverty had upset the billionaire.
Even Ratan Tata, another well-known business magnate in the country, said recently: “It's sad Mukesh Ambani lives in such opulence.”