I grew up in a home where art and cultural expression were a language that we spoke.
Since I was three, my mother, an artist herself, would take me along to Mumbai’s finest art galleries and teach me how to appreciate colour, form, shape and most importantly, the story behind every work of art that we saw. Education and cultural exposure meant a lot to both of my parents. My mother was a double-graduate, an artist and an entrepreneur.
My father came from a long lineage of entrepreneurs, musicians and high achievers in every field. Over the course of his life and career, he received three lifetime achievement awards.
Parallel to my exposure to art and design, my parents also encouraged me to immerse myself in music, dance, and sport. I say ‘immerse’ because when I started to do something, it was never a dabble. I’ve always been a perfectionist and an achiever.
Excellence was a part of the way we lived and did everything we did. When I studied music, I studied it with the best classical musicians and learned the art, science, and discipline of music. When I played table tennis, I played it for 17 years and went on to represent India internationally, winning 138 national and international medals.
After having experienced such a rich, full life, I knew that any work that I choose to do needed to be all those things: Larger than life, artistic, meaningful, and something I could immerse myself into completely.
I retired from my table tennis career in 1995. I didn’t want to grow old in the sport, and decided the time for ripe for a change. But what was next?
What comes after dedicating 17 years of your life to a sport which i played for India internationally winning 138 national and international medals? In my search for that answer, I attended a seminar one day that was being hosted by a business coach.
In one of our conversations as I was exploring my options, my coach asked me a question: ‘What is it that you love the most?’ I said ‘Design’.
A year later, I married my business coach.
My first coach is my father who is my guiding force. When I married Rajesh, it was like my father recruited Rajesh to take over.
I stepped into wife-life and my design career around the same time.
My home design career began with floral art and design. I had studied the Japanese floral art of Ikebana as a young girl. I went on to get certified by the Ohara School of Ikebana, as well as in Bonsai by the Indo-Japanese Association.
It was in the year 2000 that I started my first company, Pure Joy. We designed over 25,000 floral artefacts and pieces to enhance the interiors of homes and sold through Mumbai’s top lifestyle stores.
As the company grew, we moved from mass-produced interior artifacts to designing lifestyles and homes.
As I started to do more bespoke floral arrangements in people’s homes, I started to think about the spaces surrounding the floral art pieces that my clients came to me for. Even the most beautiful Bonsai would go unappreciated if the room it lived in was uninspiring.
It was in 2003, when I moved to Dubai, that I set up my second floral design studio. I soon started to get invited to do floral arrangements at some of Dubai’s most beautiful hotels, and within a year’s time, I established an interiors department, followed by a landscaping department and a pools department.
By 2007, I grew Milestone, my company, to a team of 110, and we took on full-scope projects from interiors to home extensions to garden landscaping and pools. We set up an in-house carpentry factory to support the interior and landscaping projects we were taking on.
While Milestone continues to grow in the hands of an able team, I now work with an elite, select clientele as a Home & Lifestyle Designer.
My journey with my clients is an intimate one – I get to know my clients and their families, their stories, their tastes, their day-to-day lives, and blend all those unique, personal perspectives into a beautiful yet functional space for them to live and thrive.
I don’t have a signature style. I aim instead to find your signature, to make your home truly yours. That oneness that you feel with your living space, inside and out, once we are finished – that is the true signature of my work.