Raise your hand if you’ve ever dreamed of spending a night at the home of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and his palace, Gauri Khan, in India for free?
That dream might just become a reality on Valentine’s Day 2021, as Gauri offers people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend two nights in their home in Delhi, the city where she and her famous husband grew up as a beloved couple. and their fairy tale ends.
They joined hands with accommodation provider Airbnb for a contest. Fans should tell them on November 30 what ‘Open Arms Welcome’ means to them. The most creative entry will offer a chance to stay at home in South Delhi on 13 and 14 February.
For those in the dark, Shah Rukh, who is called the king of romance, has made his open arms popular as a sure romantic move in all his iconic blockbusters.
“This home is a reflection of our journey as a couple and a family, and has been filled with personal memories from our lives over the past three decades,” Gauri said in an exclusive email interview with Gulf News .
The happy couple, chosen based on their creativity, will also get a glimpse of personal memorabilia, including a wall of memories that Gauri has carefully compiled.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Gauri as she guides us through this initiative …
What motivated you to open your home in Delhi to guests from all over the world?
Our family loves to entertain people at home, and we feel that this is really the best way to welcome loved ones. In fact, when we accommodate people, I personally look after all aspects of their stay and make sure our guests feel [like they belong]. One of the most important aspects of staying at an Airbnb that has always fascinated me is the role that the host plays. It gives a touch of warmth to the whole travel and accommodation experience, which is why I believe their role is so critical. The idea to open our home in Delhi comes after a trip with the whole family to LA – we stayed at an Airbnb and had a fantastic experience. Then we decided that we also wanted to welcome people into our home and give them an unforgettable experience as a host.
How did you go about renovating your home to meet the needs of guests?
The house has a special place in our hearts and it reflects our journey together – first of Shah Rukh and me as a couple, and then as a family. The house has a lot of space – whether it is the foyer when you enter, or the lush garden that opens from the living room. As for the renovation of the house, I wanted to ensure that it is a feeling of warmth and comfort, no matter what part of the house our guests are in. Therefore, every element of the house is designed to keep this in mind. The color-blocked walls are decorated with artwork; the large windows provide natural light in the house; knick-knacks we picked up during our travels around the world are placed around the house to bring the feeling of a warm and comfortable home to life. I wanted guests to feel completely ‘at home’ in our small retreat. This home is very close to Shah Rukh and I, and I would like another couple to experience the love and warmth that it holds.
How involved were you in preparing the house for your guests? Can you let me walk through some of your favorite nooks and crannies of the house?
Every element of the redesigned house was chosen by me. The home is a reflection of our journey as a couple and a family and has been filled with personal memories from our lives over the past three decades.
I like to think of the home as an oasis of peace amidst the bustling capital. The house is filled with walls with rich texture, bold colors, beautiful tapestries and lots of natural light. But the biggest source of inspiration for me during the design of the house was my family and the memories we built together.
Although the whole house is special to me, there are two corners that stand out for our family. The first is what I call the ‘nostalgia wall’ in Shah Rukh’s and my bedroom. It is a selection of things that are important to us as a family. These include Aryan’s first badminton racket; Suhana’s favorite makeup brushes and butterflies she’s collected over the years; AbRam’s first birthday gift, which is an excellent silver mirror and comb. Even a piece of art that Shah Rukh bought from his early travels, which is indicative of his love of pizza, is on the wall.
The second is a wall decorated with handmade cards that Shah Rukh and I exchanged during our early court service period.
It seems like this house you are going to list has an interesting backstory. Can you allow us to do that?
Delhi has a special place in our hearts and will always be the home for us. This is the city where we are rooted – both Shah Rukh and I grew up here and also spent our school and college lives. The neighborhood where the house is is the same where we grew up, spent many of our court services together, and my family still lives there.
Even now we stay at home when we visit the city. When we stay here, we like to relax and spend the quality of the family playing board games and movies.
The picture walls have my heart. But how difficult it was to pick out the sculptures and pick what made them on the wall. You may have thousands of options and good memories to choose from.
Each photo is symbolic of a different time in our lives. There is one of Shah Rukh in his characteristic open arms, while another one shows him and Aryans of the time they practice boxing together. Another one of my favorite photos found to the wall is one of Shah Rukh and AbRam taken shortly after he was born.
It was extremely difficult to choose from three decades of memories for the photo wall. At the same time, the process was a lot of fun, as I spent a lot of time revisiting and reliving early memories by searching for hundreds of photos – from the time Shah Rukh and I started dating until my children were born and even until then. they are big and go to university.
The interior designer in me had to make sure that all our memories that I chose to put on the wall were aesthetically pleasing and that it was done right to every personality in our family.
What is the atmosphere and feeling you want your guests to experience and how can you opt for this accommodation experience?
The core of this home for me is the love and bond that my family shares. This home is the embodiment of our journey and celebrates the little moments of love and laughter. As a host, I hope my guests will be able to feel the warmth of the memories and feel the love that this home has cultivated all these years.
What do you think is a perfect home and why?
To me, a perfect home is a place that embodies love and warmth. It reflects the values and memories a family shares in these four walls. How do you differentiate a house from any other house or building? It’s the residents that make the place special, it’s what makes a home a home – the love, laughter, countless stories and memories.
You are an interior designer who transforms homes into shelters. What was the most challenging part of designing this house in Delhi?
I had the opportunity to design homes for personalities around the world. But this project was very different for me, because I was building my own house – I got inspiration from the love and bond I share with my family, and the memories we have built up over these years. I have always done my job professionally to make sure my clients are happy at the end of the project, but it was a unique experience for me personally. I was so emotionally attached to this project. I’m so happy to have the loving family I do, and I just wanted to make sure I could show that love and warmth when I redesigned this home.
What is the most beautiful corner in your house in Delhi and do you all have any stills / signatures / notes of mr. And Mrs. Khan waiting for your beloved guests?
In my opinion, the ‘cookie’ part of our home would be our entrance portal. There is a framed picture of Shah Rukh in his distinctive open arms to welcome everyone who visits our home.
I personally compiled the itinerary for our Airbnb guest. They will be treated to a special homemade meal featuring all of our family’s favorite foods, a movie marathon session in which we watch Shah Rukh’s favorite movies, and souvenirs as memories to cherish and cherish their time in our home.
You and Shah Rukh also own a mansion in Dubai on the Palm Jumeirah. Have you ever considered opening your home for Airbnb?
Welcoming people to our home in Delhi is a first for us and it has been a very exciting journey so far. If the opportunity arises, we can also explore the accommodation in our home in Dubai. I strongly believe in the philosophy of ‘never say never!’
Airbnb has listed a list of other Hollywood-famous homes of Jimi Hendrix, Julie Andrews et al for rent. Would you ever stay in such homes during your own vacation / travel abroad?
Absolutely! I am fascinated by the concept of Airbnb and would like to experience the hospitality of these world celebrities during my future overseas trips.
Do not miss it!
Put on your thinking hats and tell Gauri Khan what ‘Open Arms Welcome’ means to you. The winner will have the chance to stay in their mansion in South Delhi on Valentine’s Day next year. The last entry date is November 30th. Log in to airbnb.com/d/homewithopenarms. The match is open to Indian passport holders.
Source: Gulf News