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Issue: July 2014
The Lady Of Mannat
Everybody who’s anybody has an opinion on Gauri Khan. Friends vouch for her loyalty, those that don’t know her have many other stories. The lady has so far refused to play to speculation. But that reclusiveness may be a thing of the past as she knuckles down seriously in her new role as an interior designer and begins to comprehend the power of public communication, something her husband Shah Rukh Khan understands and has mastered perfectly. In her new store The Design Cell, Gauri Khan talks to Shalini Sharma about her relationship with Shah Rukh Khan, how AbRam is her constant mate now and the smartest way to handle the swirling gossip.
Gauri Khan does not suffer from excessive philosophy. Nor does she veer towards exaggerated warmth. There is a directness that is disconcerting, which could be viewed as snobbery or in some cases even as rudeness by some. Most important, there is no grand plan or agenda that lurks behind those eyes that constantly change colour with the light. Gauri Khan lives every day independent of the past or future.
She’s fresh from the gym; it’s late in the day (amusing how the Khan couple love giving interviews in the silence of the night). The Lady of Mannat’s message on how she lives her life is simple: “I don’t live in the past, I’ve deleted it. I don’t think about the future either. It’s only the now. Tomorrow is the shoot with your magazine, that’s what I’m thinking about, nothing beyond that. That’s how I live my life.”
Now isn’t that what our spiritual gurus are advising us to do all the time?! Gauri Khan is not into religion. “It may sound crazy to people but I don’t follow any spiritual leader or worship at any house of god. I just feel you should be good to the people around you, your family and friends. If you’re being nasty, bitchy, mean and wicked, what’s the point of praying to something...it doesn’t make sense to me. I believe in science, in logic and, yes, I believe in good energy.”
There is enough mystique, glamour, fame, wealth and gossip behind her name for her to be speculated as one of the premier social hostesses of our times. Mumbai’s socialistas rate an invite to Mannat as a close third to being invited to Nita Ambani’s Antilla or glamazon Parmeshwar Godrej’s home.
Gauri Khan treats this evaluation with amused derision. “That’s amusing. I’m anti-social. I really, really don’t go out at all. I don’t like to socialise or interact with too many people, unless it is for work. Have you ever seen me at any event, ever?!” The Mannat parties are the talk of the town. “It’s because of the people we work with, the movie industry folks come here to have fun and unwind. But the parties are relaxed and casual.”
She is aware that she is under constant speculation by the chattering classes who have an opinion on everything about her whether it is her choice of fashion, her friends or the state of her marriage. She shrugs, genuinely unfazed. “What people don’t understand is that when I hear what somebody has said about me I wonder: ‘Don’t you know what they are saying about you too?’ It’s quite amusing.”
What’s the worst social rumour she has heard about herself? “That I’m on drugs…the most vile, disgusting rumour. It is madness…” And how does she deal with the talk? “I really don’t care. It doesn’t bother me.” You believe her.
Read more in the July 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.
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