Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day was warm and sunny and as usual we all ate far too much, especially as Helen had made a real Christmas pudding and, as we hadn’t tasted one of those for quite a while, I suppose we could be forgiven our over-indulgence. I remember all the Christmas puddings of my childhood that contained sixpenny pieces to be discovered, wiped clean and kept. By three o’clock I felt like a python or boa constrictor and was nodding off in my chair. Douglas’s rice pudding with pina colada ice cream centre was a hoot as he had it in a Victorian pottery jelly mould and had kept it in the freezer overnight which meant it was rock solid and virtually impossible to remove. When eventually it was it was now virtually impossible to spoon but, I am informed, it tasted okay. Didn’t try any myself as I was stuffed with Helen’s pudding but it was certainly a hysterical talking point.
An Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani hosted a lavish house-warming for his new 27-storey residence, believed to be the world's most expensive home. About 80 people attended the party and one guest described the house as "the Taj Mahal of the 21st Century". She described "what has got to be the biggest, glitziest ballroom in India - the Palace of Versailles is a poor cousin. There is a lot of marble; there is a lot of mother of pearl. There are areas and gardens and lotus pools and an absolutely beautiful Krishna temple. There is art, there's sculpture, there is a huge bar, there is a swimming pool.” She said the house was built to the personal taste of Mr Ambani, and that people should not "grudge him his indulgencies. He generates a great amount of employment for those very poor and contributes to the economy," she added.
The house, which has a temple on the ground floor and a library on the top, was designed she said according to Vaastu principles, an Indian tradition similar to Chinese feng shui.
Looking at a photograph I would describe it as without doubt an eyesore and the ugliest home ever built. Reports suggest the residence is worth more than $1bn (£630m).The skyscraper in Mumbai (Bombay), which overlooks sprawling slums, is said to have a cinema, swimming pools and a helicopter pad, and is named "Antilia" after a mythical Atlantic island. Local newspapers said the house would require 600 members of staff to maintain it, and the first electricity bill, for September is costing Mr Ambani 7m rupees (£98,000).The house has sparked some controversy, with anti-poverty campaigners underlining the contrast between the luxury of the house and the plight of those who live in Mumbai's slums, which house about half of the city's 18 million people. Ambani is one of the world’s richest men, with an estimated fortune of £17bn.
Krishna certainly favours some. I wonder if he’s happy; if not at least he’s happy in comfort.


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