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Pradhyuman Maloo, of Indian Matchmaking, gives us a tour of his Mumbai home

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We first got introduced to Pradyuman Maloo last year on Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking. As one of the participants of the reality show, we got to know a lot about this person who was till then just a young man going about life in Mumbai. The popular reality TV show revealed that the entrepreneur and jewellery designer was looking for a wife. But they also showcased his many creative pursuits, including cooking and fashion. Not surprisingly, because his introduction of himself included the line, “Anything creative really catches my eye, from clothes to interiors to jewelry.”
 

We first got introduced to Pradyuman Maloo last year on Netflix’s much talked about show 'Indian Matchmaking'. What interested us the most was his interest in interior design. And most specifically, the attention to detail he has given to the decor of his family’s pooja room. So, we asked Pradyuman to give us a tour of his pooja room at home where his family comes together every day. In a south Mumbai heritage building, this pooja room is designed to be the epicenter of the whole house. Made in white marble, the room is decorated with fresh flowers every morning and accessories, like the diyas, thalis and bells are used which have an emotional value as they have been passed down through generations of the family.


And we got ample proof of that from his impeccably sorted, styled and stored wardrobe to the attractively plated multi-course meal he served his guests. The Peri Peri Foxnuts with glitter and “dragon breath” (liquid nitrogen) as he called them, probably have an Instagram account of their own by now. But, of course, what interested us the most was his interest in interior design. And most specifically, the attention to detail he has given to the decor of his family’s pooja room.
 

A SPACE FOR QUIET
After a year of uncertainty, lockdowns and spiking anxiety we have come to appreciate the new, less frantic pace of life. So at the beginning of the New Year this month, we decided to focus on our need to slow down on a day-to-day basis, pandemic or no pandemic. Whether intentionally or instinctively there are spaces we tend to create in our homes for a moment of calm or peace. They can be the balcony of your home, the breakfast bar where you linger over coffee or the cosy chair you sneak a nap in. Or they could be small spiritual altars, meditation and yoga rooms, or more traditionally a temple space to pray. So we asked Pradyuman to give us a tour of his pooja room at home where his family comes together everyday.

In a south Mumbai heritage building on the second floor, you are greeted into Pradhyuman’s home by a sweet, familiar fragrance. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, in our Indian context the Marigold is immediately reminiscent of temples and festivities. The corridor from the main entrance leading up to the temple at the end is flush and fragrant with blooms. We finally see the temple space that we remember admiring from the TV show last year.

Especially those tiny clothes hangers. “I remember actually drawing it on paper, and asking them to make the hangers. It was so cute and small,” laughs Pradhyuman. “Initially when we 

A pooja room in a home with Idols of Radha Krishna

The Maloo family's pooja room.

were designing the space we decided why not create a wardrobe for the Gods. We have it for ourselves. It is a better way of presentation and when we implemented the idea we realised we also saved a lot of space,” he adds. Now amongst all of the silks and satins, yellows and reds, he also ensured that the Gods have clothes as per seasons just like us, which means mulmul and cotton in pastels for summers. 

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DESIGNED FOR FAITH
Although taking care of the temple space on a daily basis is his father’s domain, Pradhyuman was deeply involved in the design process. “The pooja room is designed to be the epicenter of the whole house,” he says. Radha-Krishna lead the charge but Shiva, Ganesha, Mumba Devi and many others find a space here. The statues are handcrafted in silver, while the home they reside in is made of marble. “The white marble brings a sense of serenity and peace. In the marble, we have created the dome structure that is a mix of Mughal influences and the traditional Indian temple designs,” he explains.
 

A couple of idols of Radha and Krishna clad in yellow cloth

The wardrobe custom designed for the Gods.

A stature of a cow and a calf placed in the corner of a pooja room

Elephants and lotus motifs are the main design elements in the temple.

A couple of idols of Radha and Krishna clad in yellow cloth

Radha-Krishna are the main Gods in the temple. Pradhyuman has also designed some of their clothes.

Every morning, fresh flowers, different kinds for different days of the week, are used to decorate the space. The accessories, like the diyas, thalis and bells have an emotional value as they have been passed down generations of the family. Pradhyuman tells us that it is normal for 300-400 people to visit their home every year during Janmashtami to get blessings from Radha and Krishna. This also means his creativity is in full-gear for the festival. He decorates the space in different themes – in 2018 it was a walk in heaven for guests with liquid nitrogen as clouds and tiny, blinking lights on the ceiling as stars. Last year he used sunflowers as decorations to brighten up a dull lockdown Janmashtami.

While Pradhyuman describes himself as more spiritual than religious and likes to meditate in his room mostly, the pooja room became more significant to his life in 2020. “During Covid when we were stuck in our homes, the mandir became a space to clear my mind and to understand something as basic as what is going through my mind everyday.”

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