Nita Ambani with Akbar Padamsee (right) at his art exhibit Past Forward on Friday
Mumbai - Her husband is now guarded by a contingent of 33 CRPF jawans, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, Glock semi automatic pistols, and bulletproof jackets, but Nita Ambani was having none of that as she arrived for the opening of Akbar Padamsee’s show ‘Past Forward’ at Priyasri Art Gallery in Worli on Friday evening.
The Mumbai Indians owner arrived for the show from the airport, after spending a few days in New York. Her ‘security ring’ comprised just two policemen, and two members of Reliance’s corporate communications team.
Nita, who also owns Padamsee’s 14 ft x 5 ft oil-on-canvas mirror image work titled ‘Sun And The Moon’, was gracious enough to lend the painting for the show, where it will remain on display till May 15.
“I’m honoured to be part of this show, and absolutely privileged to have one of Akbar Padamsee’s largest works adorn my house,” she told the charmed gathering, and was later seen chatting with the octogenarian painter, gallerist Priyasri Patodia, and industrialist Ajay Piramal.
In an interview with this newspaper last week, Padamsee had mentioned that it was atPiramal’sLondon home, where Nita Ambani first saw one of Padamsee’s trademark mirror image works. Thoroughly impressed, she contacted Padamsee, who later met her at her Altamount Road mansion.
It was at the Ambani residence that the painter saw the coming together of nature’s five elements, and decided to create ‘Sun And The Moon’ for Nita, whom he referred to as an “artist” herself. While Mukesh Ambani was assigned Z-level security just last week, Nita seemed nonchalant on Friday with all the attention that she was receiving.
Regarding the Ambani family’s security concerns, Vishal Mehta, senior vice-president, Corporate Communications, Reliance Industries Limited, said: “The police felt the need to increase Mr Ambani’s security, as private security firms aren’t equipped to carry large firearms. We just followed their decision, as it was important.”
The rest of the family haven’t been provided Z-security, he said. But the Padamsee show, which was billed as an event with a grand opening, did become a hush-hush affair with the talk about threats to the Ambanis.
While Nita hung around for a bit at the opening, viewing the various works, before heading for a Mumbai Indians practice session in south Mumbai, her guards waited outside.
Mukesh Ambani, who is the first private individual to be allotted Z-level security, will have 13 CRPF personnel at any point of time, with one of them travelling in the front seat of his car. Reports said that of these 33 men, not more than seven can be on leave at any point, leaving 26 to be always present for security duties.