Mukul Bhatia: Ok, so what is it like, to be a prince from, and in modern India?
Abhimanyu: (LAUGHS) That’s a really good question. I think it’s a great feeling, getting to be born in a house like this, and to be able to do something beautiful for the people of the area, and the family and around, coz after all we’re not the owners but the custodians of the house. Am actually not really a prince, people call me that coz of the properties and the heritage but I don’t like to be called like that, I mean, India is a democratic country.
Mukul Bhatia: You said last time that you travel a lot, do you consider yourself a nomad?
Abhimanyu: I am a nomad, totally. I drive around 70, 000 kms an year and to various properties around Rajasthan. So I travel and take care of them. I also do sculpting works and collect pieces that are located in various parts of the state that involves a lot of travelling, and dealing with things I care about and help me grow.
Mukul: What has travelled done to you so far?
Abhimanyu: There is an old saying, ‘jo phirega wo charega’, which means that you only get to grow if you travel. If you don’t get out of your well, you’d always remain the frog who stayed in the well. I wanted to see the world, so I had to travel. I believe that road trips are the best way to travel. I make sure I take a month long road trip every year. I just came back after driving around 2800km all across Italy, we hired a small Fiat Pinto and it was lovely.
Mukul: The first gypsies that started nomadic culture all across the world are the Banjaras, from your state of Rajasthan, what do you think about it?
Abhimanyu: The Banjara Nomads are my favorite people and there’s so much to learn from them. They’re fantastic; they’re so beautiful, raw and believe in what they do. So many Banjaras were hired to restore this palace in Alsisar. The best part about them is that they don’t need their home; they make their home as they travel and I kind of do the same. The only difference is that I live in palaces, and I believe in making new palaces to live a travelling life.
Mukul: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Abhimanyu: When I was 3 years old and I first came to Alsisar and was not allowed to come to this courtyard, since it was so dangerous then, it could’ve fallen on top of me. I told my father that I want to live here, I love this place. And well, that’s what I do now.
Mukul: What’s your favourite idea of a good meal?
Abhimanyu: Meat cooked by me with ‘Bajre ki roti’