With India making great strides in the field of Information Technology and the West outsourcing its work to our talented workforce, it is time that we presented before the world a new, modern and vibrant India - an India that has beautifully integrated its own heritage with the best of the world.
'Living in India' is an insight into how a modern, chic Indian lives - a splendorous living that evokes envy, sets aspirations and showcases to the world elegant and sophisticated living in India. The 47 homes hailing from all across the country -Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata to Panaji, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram and even Salem in Tamil Nadu, bring to life the country's voguish living styles.
Each of these homes makes a statement -- a statement of class, luxury, distinction and panache.
The homes featured in the book belong to a cross-section of people - industrialists, interior designers, architect, artists, and jewellers - and each carries a distinct flavour. Carefully handpicked and brilliantly photographed, 'Living in India' gives a pan-Indian glimpse of the distinct styles of interiors representing the best of cosmopolitan features, artefacts, furniture and other interior accessories. The book is not a technical analysis on architecture or interiors but a peek into the Indian living trends, a 'walk-through' that leads you by hand into a different class of homes in India.
VAR UN SONI has always had an impassioned relationship with the written word. Whether it is short stories, news articles, research-based pieces or books - Varun has tried his hand at every aspect of writing, displaying his skills to the fullest. A postgraduate in English Literature, he was born, brought-up and educated in Delhi.
Starting his career with Media Transasia, a leading publishing house. in 1995, he contributed largely to the various magazines there. After a stint of nearly two years, he shifted to the Press Trust of India, the foremost of India's news agencies, and honed his reporting skills. His love for writing exciting features drew him to The Hindustan Times, where he has written on a variety of subjects from Interiors, Real Estate, Education, Human Resources and Corporate Strategies, and then to The Indian Express Group.
His forthcoming coffee table book, 'Luxury Resorts and Spas of India' is a heady brew of luxury and wellness.
Varun has also written an insightful chapter in a book titled 'New Princesses of Alwar', a book profiling women scavengers from the desert state of Rajasthan.
Today, the journalist-turned-author has donned a new role in life-that of a communications professional.
Varun lives in New Delhi with his wife Dr. Vandna and son, Rushil.
The idea for this book started germinating about two years ago. Having covered celebrity homes and the best of Indian interiors extensively for various magazines and leading national dailies, I thought it was time to formally showcase such lifestyles. And then I started looking at what the available books had to offer. To my surprise, most coffee-table books on Indian homes covered the ever-so-famous palaces and havelis of India or the traditional homes of people in India. As I researched further, I gradually became sure of what this book would not be' - it will not focus on the havelis, or the maharajas, or mahthe commonly perceived image of Indian homes.
India has come a long way-and it is not just Information Technology. There is a new image - an image driven by a desire to live well and this book portrays that essence. It captures and reflects the styles that have evolved as the result of amalgamating what is traditionally ours with the best that the modern and contemporary world has to offer.
This book therefore has farmhouses, penthouses, modern apartments, designer homes, and rich palatial homes reflecting lavish lifestyles, contemporary homes, objects d' art and new trends in stylish living. As you flip through, you cannot help but notice that each one of these homes makes a unique and distinct style statement - a statement of class, luxury, distinction and panache. It is a wonderful pot pourri of the way people live in India - a different kind of people, people who are a step beyond 'common'.
'Living in India' is an insight into how a modern, chic Indian lives - a splendorous living that evokes envy, sets aspirations and showcases to the world the elegant and sophistication of living in India. The 47 homes hailing from all across the country - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata to Panaji, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Thiruvanthapuram and even Salem in Tamil Nadu, bring to life the country's stylish living styles.
These homes belong to a cross-section of people - industrialists, interior designers, architects, painters and even jewellers - all with a different tale to tell. Each of these homes is unique in itself -some exemplify the colonial era, some very ethnic, some chic and contemporary, some ornate and extravagant, and some exotic getaways, far from the madding crowd.
What is interesting is that even though the homes may fall under a category, say courtyard houses, the treatment is so unique that it has been impossible to classify these homes. For instance, if there is a traditional courtyard house from Kerala, there are two from Delhi, one from Ahmedabad and one from Mumbai. However, you will notice that each mirrors the culture of an altogether different genre. Therefore, if the Kerala house is typically South Indian, one of the Delhi homes - though mirroring Tamil Nadu - is full of stone antiques. The same goes for the house in Mumbai - but, here the antiques adopt a more Western style, as they mostly belong to the era of the Raj; whereas the Delhi home has antiques that one would generally find in museums. While interior designer, Raseel Gujral Ansal's courtyard home in Delhi mirrors her creativity to the hilt, the courtyard house in Ahmedabad has a different story to tell - it is chic, contemporary and modern in its look and is a true example of modern India.
Another important observation was that most homes in India that I came across sported a classy glass look. There is the 'let the nature in' look of Ranjit Narang's home in Bangalore, interior designer Rano Singh's home in Delhi and fashion maestro Manoj Mehra's trendy glasshouse in Gurgaon. Then there are the palatial homes of industrialists like the Nandas, the Dalmias, the Burmans, the Jaiswals, the Osatwals, the Punjs, the Singhals, the Jindals, and so on.
However, the book is not only about the modern-day palaces, but also features space-savvy apartments. Though Mumbai leads the list as far as apartments are concerned, there are a number of them from other cities as well. Most of them have been designed in an exceptionally chic manner, be it Kunal Savani's ultra-modern apartment on Marine Drive or the 360-degree view penthouse of Mukesh Mehta. In the same category is Nitesh Shetty's bachelor den in Bangalore.
Some homes have been featured owing to their uniqueness - Rita Mody Joshi's home outside Panaji which has a machan for her daughter to play in, Anil Nanda's home in Friends Colony in Delhi that has a swimming pool on the first floor and interiors that resemble a museum depicting 18th century England. There is the Moroccan home of industrialist Vijay Mallya. A similar theme is followed at a terrace flat in Mumbai, designed by Pherosa Neterwala and Sunu Aibara. If there is a home on the river Tapti in Surat, the Jhunjhunwala home outside Delhi has a very Rajasthani look. The entertainment zone of the Handa residence in Ahmedabad will make you pant for more, whereas painter Satish Gupta's colourful home in Gurgaon will transport you into Buddhist Tibet. An apartment in the heart of Delhi resembles a royal hunting lodge.
Another attractive element of the homes is their global touch - furniture imported from Milan, Russia and New York, artefacts from Thailand, cane seating areas from Indonesia, glass items from Murano, carpets from Persia and Brazil, paintings from London, Paris and Venice, cabinets from Spain and flooring from Italy - these homes have it all.
A major highlight of the book is the written word. My narrative will 'walk you through' each of the 47 homes, leading you by hand through each space. It describes each room in detail starting from the seating area, the upholstery, the flooring, the wall colour, the artefacts to even the lighting and the decor items on display. It is as if you were physically present during my visits to these homes!
The book is not a technical know-how giving you a glimpse into the world of interior design, but a peek into the modern Indian living trends. Which is why there are no architectural plans with the homes, but professionally shot photographs accompanied by descriptive captions. A conscious effort has been made, through the layout as well as through the narrative, to make the book appealing to the layman and not just become a handbook for interior designers, architects and product designers.
Here's wishing that you enjoy reading the different homes that our country abounds in, taking in their visual appeal and 'walking through' them, as much as I did.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR578 Author: Varun Soni Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2011 Publisher: Prakash Books ISBN: 9788172343552 Language: English Size: 9.50 X 7.50 inch Pages: 336 (Throughout Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.15 Kg