The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Post-business brawl, blood's thicker
- Ambani family reunites on Dhirubhai's birth anniversary

Mumbai, Dec. 28: After yesterday's boardroom confrontation, the paths of the two Ambani brothers crossed again today. But this time their hands were folded in prayer to commemorate Dhirubhai Ambani's birth anniversary even as their mother Kokilaben kept vigil.

The ceremony, which was held in the evening, saw the families of the two brothers coming together in the lobby of Sea Wind ' the 19-storeyed Ambani residence ' which houses a temple with the family deities and a huge portrait of the late Dhirubhai Ambani. Sisters Deepti and Neena were present with their husbands.'It's like any other day,' sources close to the family said.

The brothers have rarely met since November 18 when the battle between them over ownership issues spilled out in the open with Mukesh's comments to a television channel.

But the sources said they do not allow business differences to come in the way at home. On December 12, Mukesh's children attended Anil's son Jai Anmol's birthday party.

Even yesterday, after all the bad blood at the board meeting, Anil, with wife Tina and the children, went to Mukesh's house for dinner to celebrate the birthday of his elder daughter Esha.

Both brothers had initially said they would accept whatever Kokilaben decided as talk swirled about a division of assets. On Monday, the board of directors of Reliance Industries backed Mukesh on all issues, reaffirmed his pre-eminent position within the Rs 99,000-crore group as chairman and ruled out the dismemberment of the flagship company.

In Sea Wind, the brothers reside on different floors. Even as the families go their own way, the family temple conducts daily aartis attended by Kokilaben whenever she is in town.The evening prayer saw most of the family members attending it. Kokilaben apparently prayed for peace in India's first business family that has been riven by the battle between the siblings.

During the day, there was a slight lull in the Reliance offices after all the frenetic behind-the-scenes activity that had taken place in the lead-up to yesterday's board meeting. Both camps are scheduled to hold a series of meetings in the New Year and the lull could only presage stormy days ahead.

In the morning, Mukesh and his cousins ' Nikhil and Hital Meswani ' arrived at a five-star hotel in the suburbs for a chemical engineers' conference.Mukesh, a chemical engineer, delivered the keynote speech at the seminar that was attended by leading lights from the scientific community, including R.A. Mashelkar, the director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.Mukesh just smiled but did not speak to journalists and proceeded to his headquarters at Maker Chambers IV at Nariman Point to do what his father always wanted his sons to focus on: work.Anil went to Reliance Centre, the Ballard Estate office he lords over.

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