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Project Living: An Interview With Amrita Gandhi

  By   Jan 22nd 2013 at 11:09AM Lifestyle RATED

Amrita Gandhi
Amrita Gandhi

 

This Saturday saw the television premier of Project Living on NDTV Good Times. We followed the hostess, Amrita Gandhi, as she lead us into the fascinating world of Indian royals. Somewhere in between telling us about secret recipes and flamboyant houses, she gave us a preview of the series.
Below are edited excerpts from the interview. 

 

Project Living

In Royal Reservation, you saw us explore the houses of many-a-royalty. This time we have compiled a lifestyle show inspired by their lives. We will be putting forward a range of interesting ideas, from grooming and etiquette to décor and cuisine. The idea is to give our viewers, simple yet innovative tips that they can implement in their own lives. However, there is nothing overtly opulent in our portrayal. For example, a certain princess had shown us how to lay the table for 101 guests. We’ve narrowed it down to a table for ten.
 
Behind-the-scenes
I start by visiting royal families and getting acquainted with the family members. Most people are quite eager to share. And I’m always keen on getting to the heart of the matter. It’s interesting to learn from artful people, who for generations have been doing things in a certain way. Of course, they get reinterpreted in the contemporary context. And that is what our exploration entails.
 
The Maharani of Rampur
In the next episode, you’re going to get a glimpse of the Maharani of Rampur’s Delhi house. The daughter-in-law, who has her own studio, talks about reviving traditional fabrics. The mother-in-law, on the other hand, makes for an excellent hostess. At all times of the day, there are people walking into their house. She makes sure there is a trolley of fruits doing the rounds and that the guests have a taste of her signature dish – the machli anda. The recipe uses eggs and tries to mimic the fish. I also had the chance of tasting a special apricot-based dessert.
 
Good Homes
The layered couch is one of the most interesting lessons in décor learned from a maharaja. Picture an old leather couch adorned with vintage fabrics and variety of cushions. We all have a couple of old sarees that we can put to use.
 
Kingdom of Jewels
One of the most eclectic houses was that of jewellery designer Hanoot Singh. His family, the royals of Kapurthala, are renowned for their ornaments. His house if full of quirky and contemporary versions of the same. His own jewellery collection has been specially designed by Cartier.
 
Palatial Dreams
One palace that I would definitely recommend is Hyderabad’s Faluknama Palace. It has been restored in such a way that is quite close to the original. The rooms have been maintained tastefully and the Nawab’s library is a must visit.
 
The Groom
In a special episode for men, we got the captain of India’s Polo team to demonstrate his exercise routine, down to every step. A number of royals including Raghuvendra Rathore and Saif Ali Khan gave grooming tips. The designer recommended the bandhgala with jeans, while the Rajputs spoke elaborately about moustache etiquette. The wife of one such prince even told us how her husband’s handlebar still turns her into a shade of red.
 
Addicted to Luxury 
I must admit I often get carried away in the process. I bought one of Raghuvendra’s bandhgalas for my husband and implemented décor ideas from a princess from Bikaner. At the moment, I am furiously trying to hunt down a certain kind of ikkat introduced to me by Adil Ahmed.

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