Ladies Of Luxe
Happy hippy: Ekta Puri, Hotelier
Ekta Puri has a large and extended family. Initially, it comprised only of her mother and sister ("my baby and best friend"). "Unfortunately, I lost my father when I was only five," she tells us. Two years ago, a husband was added, and along with him came another set of parents and a sibling. "The term 'in-law' really doesn't exist for me," she says. "They are my Mom, Dad and Sis." And hubby? "Vikram is more my boyfriend than a husband, even after two years of marriage," she laughs. There are more in the parivaar. "Finally, my four dogs - Spencer, Stanley, Oliver and Marcus, who are an integral part of my life."
Family tradition extends into work. "My father was an hotelier, and my mother works with the tourism department of the Government of West Bengal," she gives us the history. "Vikram is an investment banker by profession, but he quit working at Wall Street to move back to India and is now an hotelier." Ekta joined in, changing career track. "I am actually trained to be a film maker, but am currently playing the role of an hotelier," says the lady with a master's degree from New York Film Academy.
Their properties in Kolkata and Agra, and a home in Delhi keep them shuttling between the three cities. Travel is not just a necessity, but a passion. "I am an obsessive globetrotter," she admits. "I take off to travel whenever I get time. I love exploring." Wanderlust also leads to another kind of lust. "Of course there is the eternal hunger for shoes!" she rationalises. "But I don't have a guide book on how to dress. Comfort comes first, and I like the minimalist look. I can shop from flea markets or Harrods." Trips to New York and London mean returning with goodies from Dior, Gucci, Alberta Ferreti and Louis Vuitton. "I love the exclusivity of LV. I associate with their new, fresh look, symbolising youth power and zest." In India, she likes Gauri and Nainika. "I love dressing to seasons, and in Delhi, fortunately, I get winter."
She keeps returning to Kolkata for home comfort and the food. "This is a city for foodies," she states the obvious. "The street food culture rocks, especially the puchhkas!" Though she is warmed by the hospitality of the people, she is irked by the work culture. "Sometimes, it's too laid back." Not compatible with all her energy, but she channels it towards improving and maintaining the Astor hotel and its Plush lounge.
Films are not a bye bye, though. "I see myself working in my own production house," she envisions her future. "Planning is already in progress." She wants to continue helping in the hotel business, simultaneously. "As for personal life, I am looking towards building a family of my own," she says, before adding, "And soon having double the number of dogs that I already have now!"
Knock on woof!