Contemporary style and large, spacious rooms characterise the interiors of former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar’s home in Mumbai’s Parel neighbourhood. The apartment is part of Piramal Tower Annexe, a spacious zone that has been converted into a cosy residence. Ajit lives here with his wife Fatema and their son Raj.
As part of the Indian national team, Ajit represented the country in more than 200 international matches. He also played for the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, and captained Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Since retirement, he has been trying his hand at golf. Fatema is the managing director of JBCN Education, a Mumbai-based corporate entity that runs 14 institutes ranging from preschools to international high schools.
The family moved into this house three years ago, while Ajit was still playing cricket for the country and Raj was just six years old. Their main criterion for choosing it was the ample space that could be converted into a play area for Raj and an entertainment area for the couple. The interiors were handled by talented designer Sandesh Prabhu, who made sure all the couple’s requirements were met.
The house follows a contemporary theme with considerable focus on storage areas. “When we moved into this house,” Fatema tells us, “Ajit was still playing professionally, so there was a lot of cricket gear that needed to be stored somewhere. Sandesh did a very good job by camouflaging those storage areas with paintings and carvings.”
The colour tones used across the Agarkar residence are predominantly soft shades of brown, white and beige, though wallpaper in each of the bedrooms adds colour, as do the paintings and other decor objects in the common areas. “Our house has pockets of colour, but the background is white and brown. Some areas, like the third bedroom and living area, have distinct colours,” Fatema adds.
A number of paintings, sculptures and carvings adorn the house, the paintings especially adding dashes of colour which offset the subtle undertones of the walls. Speaking of her fondness for art, Fatema says, “We’re not art collectors; we just buy paintings that appeal to the eye. It doesn’t have to be by a renowned artist either, as we have paintings that were bought from renowned galleries as well as local stores.”
As you enter the house, there’s a landing with seating for guests; to the left is the kitchen. The landing has a collection of bright yellow paintings depicting the sun, while the kitchen was built from scratch. Maintaining the colour scheme of the house, there are granite tabletops in brown and storage in white. All the utility equipment is sealed so the space doesn’t look cluttered, plus there’s an attached room for domestic help.
A beautiful door with wood panelling opens onto the dining room on the left, while to the right is a television and sitting area with a bar in the middle. A large space divided into three, it features two corners with ample seating and a dining space. With dashes of pink in one corner and copper in the other, the seating is sublime. “We like greenery, so we’ve incorporated plants in the living room,” Fatema adds.
The dining area has a wooden table with glass in the centre, seating eight. This area overlooks the community garden that features football and cricket pitches. One of the walls bears a large and striking painting of the Buddha done by a young talent. The bar, situated between the dining and sitting areas, is used frequently to entertain.
Beyond this area is another living room that can be converted into a guest room when needed. This space features a basketball hoop, as well as foosball and air hockey tables for Raj. “We’re not fixated on the house looking immaculate; we want it to be more homely and comfortable, so we keep moving things around,” Fatema reveals.
Further down is Raj’s bedroom – fun and quirky with lots of family photographs. It features a ladder leading to monkey bars, a bunk bed, and electronic gadgets and toys scattered around. Though relatively small, the bedroom is a typical child’s space where Raj can run around and play without worrying about breaking things.
The master bedroom is a spacious area with a king-sized bed, wooden flooring and panelling, and comfortable seating. The attached walk-in closet and spa-quality bathroom are edgy, with paintings and marble carvings adding character. The no-clutter theme is followed here, as it is everywhere else in the house.
With clean cuts and straight-line interiors, everything in the Agarkar home seems modern, except for the small area containing deities and holy books from several religions. The apartment complex has a clubhouse with a swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, and football and cricket pitches that both Ajit and Raj use. Beautifully decorated, their home aptly reflects their tastes. ..... Niharika