It was during a conversation with designer Ritu Kumar that travel show anchor Amrita Gandhi heard a story of a maharani, who after losing her husband took to white chiffon saris. It’s believed that she is the one who made that fluid fabric a rage and hosted all her soirees in a white chiffon sari paired with gleaming emeralds around the neck.
This and more such tales around royalty appear in Gandhi’s debut book titled Live like a Maharaja: How to Turn your Home into a Palace, which was launched last week. However, don’t mistake it for just another coffee-table book, for this one gives tips on how to dress like the royals, decorate one’s home like a palace and even some recipes from the royal kitchen. “After anchoring a few seasons of Royal Reservation on NDTV Good Times, we discussed the idea of publishing it. But we didn’t want it to be just another coffee-table book. It had to be more, like a guide,” says Gandhi.
For the show, she had interacted with royal families from across India and when the idea of compiling their thoughts came up, they were more than willing. “The families were glad that the book would treat them as more than just showpieces, and were happy to share their favourite dishes and recipes,” she says. So, dig into the ways of making Bundelkhand Lemon Pickle or Kachche Gosht ki Biryani; how printed chiffons are a strict no-no for the night; and how to layer a sofa the royal way. The 200-page book (Penguin, Rs 699) is full of anecdotes and photographs, and tips and suggestions that are fun and easy to follow.