Aishwarya Sakuja, who has already created quite a stir on the television screen, said this to me as we discussed the role of change in our homes. Her final message to my readers was: ‘Believe in change and if you’re hiring someone, let them do their job.’ Words that are suffused with pragmatism and have the confidence of never going wrong even when intuition meanders through them.
For those who are not so much into TV soaps and other entertainment programmes, let me just say that she is Toasty from ‘Saas Bina Sasural’, and Shikha/Samira from ‘Mai Na Bhooloongi’… and she is the one who did a great job anchoring a few other shows with ‘Nach Baliye’ as one of them.
We met in the Godrej Interio showroom in Gurgaon… as her father’s apartment is a short distance from here. This is because the Godrej Interio team had done the transformation of the living and dining spaces in her father’s home and she was there to share her experiences. The interview was short and to the point and filled with nuggets that will help everyone making confident decisions so far as home and interiors are concerned.
Arvind: It is generally believed that those in the arts… films and television, in your case… have an enhanced sense of design and aesthetics. How will you define this sensibility?
Aishwarya: This is a total myth… at least I can say that for myself. I have a wonderful and fabulous team of professionals around me and I end up relying on them. If people are working or have a designation assigned to them it is for a reason, they know how to do that job. I should do my acting as I am being paid for acting… if it is my creatives or my art decor or those who are styling me, they do their job because they know best how to do it. If, for instance, I want my home transformed, I would have absolute faith on the team that I finally select… and let them do their job.
Arvind: I can guess why you decided to go with the Godrej Interio team.
Aishwarya: Yes… and I have complete faith in the Godrej team. Only thing that was worrying me was my father because he understands his house better than I do. But the communication between the two parties turned out so beautifully that… well, you have the result before you.
(We did watch a short presentation of her father’s home and the pre and post transformation bits made the difference obvious.)
Arvind: So you are happy with the transformation. Out of ‘being happy’ and ‘being comfortable’… which is more important?
Aishwarya: I think comfort is more important. You get bored of happiness and it goes out of the window, but comfort remains. Especially for my father, comfort is vital… as he needs to walk into that room and lounge on that chair… do everything with a lot of involvement, so anything that interferes with that is not good even if it happens to be an awarded design.
Arvind: Once used to a particular set of chairs and sofas… how often is change needed? How often is a change welcome?
Aishwarya: Change is always good and it is the only thing constant in life. We need to allow change to happen… allow change to enter our lives… it could be for good or bad but it is necessary. I have observed my father closely and it was necessary for me to convince my father that a change in the decor and interiors would do him a lot of good. I told him ‘Trust me and let me get the place transformed. If you don’t like it, you always have the option of going back to the old form.’ And I think it is the duty of a child to convince his or her parent/s sometimes that changes can usher in a lot of good vibes.
Arvind: What really prompted you to go for a change? I mean, were you shouldered into accepting a change in the interiors because you are big on the small screen? Is it all about money?
Aishwarys: (laughs) No, none of these. It has everything to do with my marriage. I know that after marriage my responsibilities are going to split between my father and my new family… my ‘myka’ and my ‘sasural’. And right now I am in a position to concentrate exclusively on my father and not on the other family though after marriage it is going to be vastly different. So this was a nice going-away gift opportunity that I did not really want to lose.
Arvind: Explanation accepted. So can I now ask you if the transformation has been good enough to make you recommend this place to others?
Aishwarya: I believe in instincts… companies have for long been approaching me to get my home transformed. But it is only now that I felt it was the right time. I go with my gut feelings or instincts… for me it was this moment. The moment is beautiful. My Dad was, in fact worried about the costs involved… but I told him not to worry. And believe me the bills are reasonable, though I haven’t shown them to him.
Arvind: Will your father’s happiness level remain the same even after he has seen the bills, however reasonable they are?
Aishwarya: Do you have a son or a daughter?
Arvind: A son. He is an architect and in London.
Aishwarya: Will you feel happy to get a gift from him? Will you want him to be spending a lot of money on you?
Arvind: I would love it. But then I’m sure a lot of parents think otherwise.
Aishwarya: Yes. And you really must meet my father and rub a bit of this wonderful spending more philosophy on my father. He has always advised me to save money and his belief is to save for yourself. So I have learned that we need to respect & value money… but it is so nice and full of warmth to spend money on your own people. I think every child wishes to spend money on his or her parent/s.
Arvind: You’re right, Aishwarya. Can we have a final quote or message connecting readers with style or design?
Aishwarya: Believe in change and if you’re hiring someone, let them do their job.
Well, this was one short interview but full of practical and practicable innuendoes. I loved every bit of it… and also the tour of the showroom after this chat. It was interesting to learn that Godrej Interio has a mission to ‘enriching life by transforming home and work spaces’ and it is their vision to keep creating the best ‘choice for home and work space solutions’. Yes, we did find a lot of creativity spread all over… the zeal to serve was present… commitment was obvious… and, quite importantly, they seemed to work as a team.
The pictures with this post will, I’m sure, confirm what I have written.
01 December 2014