Yami Gautam has bought a house in her home state, Himachal Pradesh. A 100-year-old heritage home set on a 25-acre plot, some distance from Mandi, it is a dream come true for the actress who is gearing up for her 2017 Republic Day release, the revenge-drama, 'Kaabil', also featuring Hrithik Roshan.
"For me a home is more of an emotional connect than a property investment. Even though I grew up in Chandigarh, I would go to my nani's place near Shimla every year during the summer holidays and some of my happiest memories are rooted there and is the reason I want to be a child again. It was always a special place, even the air felt different and since a car is still a luxury in those parts, I remember taking the autorickshaw or mostly walking for hours to a relative's home, singing songs and sometimes sliding down a hill for a shortcut. During winters, everyone would gather on the terrace--some knitting, some cooking and some playing with us," she reminisces.
The memories came crowding back when she went for the registry and sitting in the lawn outside, met with the local townsfolk who were delighted with their new neighbour and promised her every possible help. Remembering the weddings she attended growing up, sitting together with everyone, Yami marvels at the charming simplicity of the people, the picturesque greenery and the blissful serenity of the surroundings, so different from the hustle bustle of the Maximum City. "There's a `we' feeling there that's unique to the place," she exults.
Prod her for more details on her dream home and she reveals that it was her parents who spotted it and alerted her. The owners were about to sell it to someone else but when they saw how much she loved it, they were happy to let her have it, knowing she shared their sentiments would take good care of their ancestral home. "It's a typical, traditional Himachali house with the rooms built around an open court yard and one or two of them with secret staircases leading to the basement," she says with a delighted smile. "My father is supervising the renovations, working closely with architects to ensure that we don't disturb the original structure while fitting it with modern amenities. The puja room will remain the way it is, and so will the sloping tin roof. I'd love to hear the rain patter against it during monsoons," she says dreamily.
The actress is also excited about the fact that the house comes attached with agricultural land where they have been growing vegetables and fruits for decades. She intends to continue with the organic farming and one day soon, walk out, pluck an apple from a tree and bite into it. "The original owners sent us baskets of walnuts and apricots as a 'thank you'. People there are more emotional than commercial. We have a stream running across and can hand-pump water, drink it unfiltered," she marvels.
So, when is she planning to visit her sapnon ka ghar? Yami admits that she will be busy with 'Kaabil' promotions till January-end so she will have to wait till February to make the trip to the hills since she intends to stay there for a while. "It's a small token of gratitude for my family, a second home for my nani. I told her to go visit it with my mom but she wants to wait for me to take her. I can't wait. For me a home is where you find happiness and togetherness and I will find it there," she says excitedly.
What next? A pad in Mumbai?
"Why would I need a home here? The whole of Mumbai is already my home," she signs off with a smile.
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