Taking online classes for her senior year while watching the majestic sunsets in City Palace, Jaipur—in lieu of sitting in front of Washington Square Park between class breaks—is now the life of Princess Gauravi Kumari, daughter of Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur. Practising social distancing, our conversation over a digital platform was rather tech-led, all thanks to the pandemic. Since it was over a call, it was not accompanied with the warm welcome I had received from Gauravi Kumari when I had met her at her Delhi residence.
“I was looking forward to my final year in NYU and I had always imagined spending my senior year in New York,” shares the 21-year- old who is majoring in Media and Communication with a minor in Fashion Business. However, with a positive outlook towards life, Gauravi hopes to be physically in New York to receive her undergraduate degree.
It was over time that she discovered her love for visiting museums, exhibitions and events. In fact, she thanks her mother, who is her hero and whom she worships for cultivating her taste in art. Princess Diya Kumari, a sitting MP from Rajasmand, has worked really hard to not just keep the family heritage alive but also used the rich craft of Jaipur as a means to create employment for rural women in Sawai Madhopur and Rajsamand through her NGO, Princess Diya Kumari Foundation (PDKF).
Gauravi reminisces, “While growing up, I always looked up to mother who dedicated her life to her political position, family business and the three of us, and never missed out on any one of these by making sure that she gave equal time to all three.”
From 2013, Gauravi witnessed an influence of politics in her environment after her mother had a glori- ous win in her first election, which resulted in Princess Diya Kumari becoming a sitting MLA from Sawai Madhopur. On being asked if she would ever follow in the footsteps of her mother into politics, she says, “Being in politics definitely gives you a voice to express and it is a great medium to help the people of your country. At the moment, I haven’t given joining politics a thought but I would like to contribute in whatever way i can.”
Since March, Gauravi has been dedicated to working with the talented women at PDKF. “I want to create a brand for the foundation and have a store in the City Palace where the amazing work done by the ladies can be displayed.” Through the learning she has had from her degree, she wants to “give back to society and make use of one of the biggest platforms at the moment – social media – to deliver the message”.
She has an elder brother, His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, and a younger brother, His Highness Maharaja Lakshraj Prakash of Sirmaur. Reminiscing about her childhood, she says how she and her younger brother would go to the Rajmahal with their grandfather, His Late Highness Brigadier Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh Ji of Jaipur, to spend time with him and swim. It was one of the most memorable times of her life since those were the last few years she spent with her grandfather.
Her grandmother, Her Highness Rajmata Saheba Padmini Devi of Jaipur, celebrates all the festivals like Holi and Teej among others. These celebrations have united their family with the people of Jaipur and
strengthened their bonds with them and other well- wishers.
With the busy polo schedule of her elder brother, the school life of her younger brother and her life in New York, it was only during holi- days that the three could be with each other—which is why the lockdown at the City Palace has witnessed the siblings spending time together, mostly in the company of their grandmother and watching movies together. “Staying at home during the lockdown has its ups and downs but I have been trying to stay busy by reading, baking and working out.”
Sannjna is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in media and communication at O.P Jindal Global University. In 2017, she wrote under the column Chronicles of Baby Baisa Diaries for the Royal Fables blog.