A Royal Affair

Royalty is most often associated with opulence and excess. But television host and Mahatma Gandhi's great-granddaughter, Amrita Gandhi, insists there is more to the term than what is commonly perceived. "For instance, people such as Sharmila Tagore straddle both palace and city life. Observing her lifestyle closely will reveal secrets on how one can bring palace style to a smaller, city home," she explains.

To challenge the perception of royalty is, therefore, the aim of Gandhi's new show on NDTV Good Times. "Royal Reservation – Project Living celebrates the simple, timeless and do-able aspects of the royal lifestyle," she emphasises. She cites the example of the Nizam of Hyderabad's 101-seater table. Taking cues from it, the show shares tips on how one can set a table for 10 friends.

The series, which premiered on January 19, airs every Saturday and has Gandhi as the host. She points out that the show demonstrates how one can create a contemporary space inspired by the kings and queens of style.

More importantly, she stresses, this show, with a strong emphasis on home, design and personal style, is relatable to everyone. "Stories about rajahs and ranis still capture the imagination as they are a part of our folklore, fairy tales and heritage. Accordingly, the lifestyle secrets we talk about on the show are ones that all of us can identify with — from pickle and paan recipes to wardrobe tips on how to find an Indian alternative to the suit, or on a lighter note, moustache etiquette," she reveals.

Not surprisingly, the show boasts some of the most glamorous Indian personalities, including erstwhile royals such as designer Raghavendra Rathore, actor Saif Ali Khan and his mother Sharmila Tagore, Princess Esra Jah of Hyderabad, Princess Rajyashree of Bikaner, the Shehzadi of Rampur Naghat Abedi and her daughters Nargis, Nidha and Sana. Gandhi points out that all her guests made her feel welcome.

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