KARACHI: In case you haven’t noticed, a controversial video of the richest Asian family, the Ambanis, was unveiled this week. The content was seriously disturbing as the male members of the family exerted pressure on their newest heiress to conceive.
Most of you probably know them after they threw one of the most lavish wedding celebrations for one of their sons this year, which included a private Beyonce concert and celebrity guests Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas, Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington in attendance.
Akash, the eldest son of business tycoon Mukesh Ambani tied the knot with diamantaire Russell Mehta’s daughter Shloka in an extravagant affair, in March 2019. As Shloka celebrated her first birthday as an Ambani, the lavishness was no different. Apart from the family expressing their immense happiness that Shloka is now a ‘Mrs’, the video showed Mukesh hinting that the newlywed should or will become a mother soon.
The clip which has since gone viral on social media makes most women feel super uncomfortable – and a bit nauseous – as the Ambani clan came together fervently hoping Shloka gives them a child even though she’s only been married for four months.
We mean, it’s already bad enough that the video is captured in an almost morbid fairytale style, with Shloka characterised as a princess and Akash as her prince. The My Favourite Things song from the film Sound of Music plays in the background to narrate the ‘happy’ story which feels like something out of The Stepford Wives in others words, trying way too hard to be perfect. In between, the family members, including Shloka’s parents and friends, cut in to greet her.
The video has Mukesh hoping he becomes a grandfather before the daughter-in-law’s next birthday and Akash’s brother Anant Ambani wishing to become a kaku (uncle) soon. Akash is seen winking as he mentions he is looking forward to creating “new things” with her. We know we can hear you choking on your food!
He also adds a “You know what I mean!” in case Shloka did not get the point already. It’s a fair assessment to make that many desi women feel immense pressure to conceive soon after marriage and look after the children even if they are highly educated and skilled. Perhaps, we could go on about how this notion can be a toxic cycle in society but we will let Twitter do the talking.
Users on the micro-blogging site went into a frenzy after the video was leaked to express their dismay at the overt pressure and not-so-subtle hints passed at Shloka to give her husband’s family an heir to the Ambani throne. It’s practically medieval!
“Disturbing. Watch it to understand both subtle and direct pressure on women to have children,” one Twitter user commented.
“Either she is already expecting or she will be under immense pressure to conceive, going by this video and how her father in law, husband and brother in law have made it clear that she will have to be a mother before her next birthday. Oh no Shloku!” another said. Oh no Shoklu is a perfect analogy running through our minds too.
But some are sticking up for the Ambanis, speculating the dear daughter-in-law may already have a bun in the oven.
Most of Twitter was just cringing as hard as us after watching the video.
Can we write a feminist take down of the Ambani birthday video? Perhaps, not. But there are real problems with this family’s unsubstantiated pressure on Shloka to have a baby that’s written all over the walls and whether you agree with us or not, these issues need to be addressed.
If your stomach can take it, watch the full video here:
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