Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maniratnam, Biographies and Biopics

There are too many good books out there. But, there are very few books which make you mutter Oh My God and Holy Cow every now and then! No, I am not talking about porn or soft porn books.
To me one among them was Barbarians at the Gate, the LBO of RJR Nabisco. I felt it was the mother of all books when it comes to giving the insider view of how the company works.  I also felt, never ever such a book could be written on Indian companies.
Well, only recently I read Polyester Prince, of course not written by an Indian! Though wiki says it is banned, Guha says it is just unavailable!

It is not just the biography of Dhirubai Ambani not the history of Reliance. In a sense, it is very much the history of India itself, its economy, stock market, politics, the mindset of the people.

The contents are much more explosive than any Hollywood and Bollywood movies. (at least for me)

It does explicitly names the people involved and the deeds done by them. At certain places, though author explicitly doesnt names the people, it is pretty obvious where he is pointing his fingers!

Though i was outraged and enraged at the things (allegations) Ambani has did, I do admire the sheer  Geniusness and the capability of Ambani to run the company, stock market and the Government of India itself.

I have heard personally from one of my friend who worked in building one of their plant, it was one of the best in the world. Best of the machinery, best of the technology in the world and No compromises on that. You could also conclude the friend who told me was also the best and he knew what he was telling me.He also did tell me the operating cost[the cost of converstion of one barrel of crude oil to other useful forms] was much more less than Shell by many factors.
I am very sure this was the guiding and founding principle from their early days and all their plants or operations would have adhered to the same standard.

If only Ambani did play the stock market as mentioned in the book all you wallstreet finance whiz kids, who couldnt avert Lehman or any other such crisis, go spend a fortnight on the grave of Ambani!

And for the influence, If only lobbying had been legal and structured in India, would we still consider what Ambani did was wrong?

I also couldnt help thinking if this much could be culled out by an Australian, how much dirt or as Ambani himself says, what else lies under the beautiful fountain he has built over!

Though the author washes much of the dirty linen and brings out the skeletons from the closet, I think he himself admires and applauds Ambani in a back handed manner. Also long back, he has pointed out at the possibility of rivalry among the brothers.

No one can better sum up about the Ambani and be the best jury rather than the concluding pages of the book!

Now to stay true to the title of the post :)
There have been times, I have held Maniratnam at awe. After watching English movies, started thinking, may be Mani doesn't deserves the hype he deserves.

But, after reading this book, Mani has been elevated back to the pedestal.

His Guru and Iruvar had been my all time favourites.
Iruvar, no one else could have actually captured the 40 years of history of Tamilnadu in Celluloid. The same goes with Ambani and his Guru movie. Mani has actually lifted references of Ambani from this book [Salam, Different slippers and Drinking to name a few]
Again as Mani himself as said, his movies are not biographies as he only draws inspirations from real time storis and weaves a story of his own.[Mani himself as admitted even his Agni Natchitram and Alaipayuthe were inspired by real stories of unknown faceless people] or make a few changes here and there for the revieweres to say, this is where it is not true to the reality.
Still kudos and three cheers to Mani.
If you haven't watched either of this two movies, you should, even if you are not a movie watching guy.[yeah i  talking to you :)))]

Full Disclosure: I have the climax of Guru in my lappy and watch it every now and then, whenever i feel low. :) :P :D

It is a best read to motivate you to acheive towards success rather than any of the other self development books. Remember Ambani says Never break the law :))


TheZion said...

Where did you get the book?
I need a copy if available online

Never break the Law,,Bend it or change it :)

Venkat said...

Thank you appu for sharing it.

[yeah i am talking to you :)))]
i know this 'moviesaint' whom you are talking to :P:P

Ramesh said...

Oh well, Ambani Sr was both a fabulous businessman and a shady dealer at the same time. In both versions he was at the top of the pole - truly world class.

Of the other "well known" gentleman; alas I know absolutely nothing :)

Appu said...

@Venkat See even the movie saint knows who the saint is :))
@Ramesh Ahem. Seriously I wouldnt mind gifting both the DVD's to you :) I wouldnt recommend if it was not worth your time. Think o them as documentaries with songs thrown in ;)

Deepa said...

Thanks for the tag to this one. I am sure this will be a good read and I have the seen the movie too. I was infact looking for a new read and there already is a winner - 'How Life imitates Chess' Gary Kasparov! Another reason why I wouldn't read it is because, I studied the history of Indian Income and Indirect Taxes remember! That pretty much sums up the history of Reliance Industries! :D :D