The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Prayers for Anil, party for Mukesh

Hyderabad/Panaji, June 19: Mukesh Ambani spent the first day of separation in pleasant Goa, amid familiar faces and the merriment surrounding the wedding preparations of a close friend’s daughter.

Anil Ambani started his “new life” and quest for a separate identity with a quick trip to Tirupati to seek Lord Balaji’s blessings “for all future enterprises”. He then rushed back to Mumbai to get down to business.

His was virtually the only face missing in the sea of Ambanis gathered in southern Goa for the marriage of the daughter of Anand Jain, a confidant of Mukesh and bete noire of Anil.

Almost the entire national media seems to have made a beeline for Canacona where, at Monday’s wedding party, the entire Mukesh camp will be seen.

Away from it all, Anil arrived early in the morning at Tirupati’s Renigunta airport in the Reliance company jet, Bombardier, with wife Tina and their two sons. The family was driven straight away to the Tirumala hills.

“We came to thank the Lord for bringing about a smooth and comfortable end to our family feud,” Anil told reporters. He said he had arrived to keep a vow he had made when he visited the temple the last time.

That was in November last year when the row with his brother had just broken. He had looked tense and spent as long as half an hour in the sanctum sanctorum then.

This time he looked relaxed and, probably with the huge load of the pending business in mind, was rushed through the Vaikuntam complex for a quick darshan.

Temple officials said the couple spent some 15 to 20 minutes in the sanctum sanctorum. “Anil Ambani appeared very emotional during the darshan. He was consoled and assisted by his wife,” the temple spokesman said.

A temple worker said Anil stopped to pray twice before the image of Goddess Lakshmi near the sanctorum.

He and Tina were blessed by the priests at the Ranga Mantapam, where they were presented with prasadam, a bottle of the holy theertham and a box of sandal paste.

Earlier, the Ambanis emptied two bagfuls of currency and gold ornaments into the hundi (donation box). They were generous with the priests who blessed them.

“Every time they paid someone, it was a Rs 1,000 note,” an awe-struck temple employee said.

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