Mukesh Ambani is at the top of the growing list of billionaires in India, where some are proud of his ostentatious house while others see it as shameful in a nation where many children go hungry.

The $1-billion home, seven years in the making, is 400,000 square feet on 27 floors, all for a family of six.

Don't worry about parking. The building, which looms over the city's skyline like a Lego set gone awry, boasts a 168-space lot. Or avoid Mumbai's nightmarish traffic altogether by landing on one of three helipads.

Need to cool off after the stressful drive? Of course there's a swimming pool and yoga studio. Or, by some accounts, an ice room to escape the Mumbai heat, infused with man-made snow flurries. Then there's the mini-theater, three balconies with terrace gardens, the health club, spectacular views of the Arabian Sea (and the Mumbai slums).

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is also home to some of Asia's worst slums. In a nation with 42% of the world's underweight children younger than 5, according to Washington's International Food Policy Research Institute, such wealth can be inconceivable, said Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.

"There are many billionaires here, but they don't reflect the economic health of our country," Gupta said. "I don't necessarily think most people see them as folk heroes, although some would."

Reaction to Ambani's new house has ranged from the gushing — "The new India! Well done," wrote one Twitter user — to the aghast. "Knowing that there are millions of people starving, w/o clean water, and adequate shelter, makes this hard to read," wrote another.

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2 Responses
  1. anney Says:

    That's a very expensive home!

  2. Mayet Says:

    goodness! that's one mighty house there!!

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Funny cartoon of the day