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Eye,Me and Mughal

Most exciting news: Peddlers,a small jewel of a film that I co-produced with Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga,has been selected for the competitive section at Cannes.

Written by Namrata Zakaria | Published: April 28, 2012 2:32:28 am

From film and television production to designing furniture: what gives?

Most exciting news: Peddlers,a small jewel of a film that I co-produced with Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga,has been selected for the competitive section at Cannes. Now,I need a tux. I recently directed a film on the Sunburn Music Festival that will be released theatrically this year,and I start pre-production on my own directorial debut this year. Somewhere in the midst of all this,I felt an unstoppable urge to design product,mainly furniture. I was warned I’d burn out,but it was a very natural creative expression. I wanted to create furniture that was emotive. Sometimes,a piece of furniture has more personality than people who inhabit the room.

“Mughal Pop”,your debut collection available at Good Earth,is inventive and irreverent. How would you describe your style?

I’m interested in taking what exists and reinventing it. There is inspiration everywhere: from a toothpick to a building. For this ,I turned to one of the most beautiful gifts in our heritage and re-imagined it. Though so many people are interested in the Mughal era,no one’s done something contemporary with it. All my pieces are made of acrylic,a very western and contemporary material,and semi-precious stones,which the Mughals couldn’t have enough of. My style? Is there anything called ‘Metamorphosis chic’?

Where and why did you come up with these fun titles?

At the core of my being,I am a writer. Not only did I want to give each piece a personality,but also a name. History is fascinating as it reveals so much about the now. I’ve taken these characters from history and made them germane.

Have you trained in art or design?

I have not had formal training in any of the fields that make up my career. But I’m a great one for picking up stuff as I go along. The world is my teacher. But my mother is an interior decorator,and I think,subliminally,that’s where it all began.

Which are your favourite home décor labels and why?

I’m not a big fan of brands. On some level,they gentrify design. I prefer finding something obscure or organic,or then modern antiques. They have much more energy than a Ligne Roset sofa that’s in every magazine. But I love some of the design coming out of Brazil.

India is enjoying a huge design boom,especially where architecture and décor are concerned.

The India Design Forum,where “Mughal Pop” was featured,had a fabulous response. Many design luminaries attended and everyone was singing praises. My fear is we won’t be able to live up to the expectations; our own hype will swallow us. We lose too many opportunities. We didn’t build any world-class design stadium for Commonwealth Games. As for décor,we need to stop aping the West and turn inwards for inspiration.

Lastly,who and what can we expect at your launch party today?

A very exclusive guest list,firstly. As for design,I hope it will be design that people will be amused by,fall in love with and desperate enough to acquire. Even if it means they have to buy a new home to fit it all in.

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