There is a fascinating story behind my home. The four-storey penthouse with a 12,000-plus square foot area, was pricey and buying it seemed well near impossible.
There was another hitch. I was only interested in the top four floors of this building located at Lokhandwala. And these belonged to a Hong Kong investor who was not willing to sell. So, I almost quit the deal.
Seal the deal
A few months later, I went for the premiere of Shah Rukh Khan’s Chalte Chalte. The climax was shot in this building and it looked fabulous. I thought of giving it another shot. This time, the owner was willing to seal the deal.
More twists followed.. a friend of mine was interested in the same property and had already paid an advance. He had to pay the rest within 10 days. I prayed through those 10 days that he would change his mind.. and he did. Finally, I had the keys to my dream home.
When I walked into the penthouse, I felt the positive vibes almost instantly. I don’t believe in vaastu but I believe that this house has been lucky for me. So, many of my problems vanished after I moved in. And my career flourished.
The place has a magnificent view. There’s the sea on one side and the hills on the other. When I look out I see vast, open spaces. And space means freedom, independence, living life on one’s own terms.
That unique touch
We’ve got everything here, a gym, terrace, lounge area, home theatre and a prayer room. My wife Alka and I went all out to do up the place. We zeroed in on a Victorian theme. Since the English use a lot of flowers, you’ll see floral prints, paintings, huge vases and potpourri. Delicate pinks and pastels abound.
We’ve got vases, chandeliers, upholstery, furnishing, unique timepieces, carved fountains and clay statues from Manhattan, Switzerland, London, Dubai and Hong Kong. My favourite is a four-foot tall vase in the main living area which is an exact replica of the one in the Czar’s palace.
Visitors are often awestruck when they step into our home. They are so busy complimenting us that sometimes they even forget what they came to discuss.
Every corner is special. In the mandir, I often do my riyaaz. My home is my Mecca.
Baati: A staple in Rajasthan and Gujarat, this hard bread is unique in its long shelf life, something that is important in this desert region. It is cooked in an open coal fire, soaked in dollops of ghee and served with daal and sweet churma.
Malabari parantha: Popular in Kerala, this layered grilled bread is made of refined wheat flour and egg. It is usually eaten with chicken curry.