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My kind of place


MUZAFFAR ALI

KOTWARA

Wondering where it is

Located in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh, it's a small village and my hometown. A three-hour drive from Lucknow will take you to this haven of old world charm and comforting calmness. I have a big and beautiful house there.

Good time with friends

I go to Kotwara at least twice a month and mostly with my close friends. For me, being in my ancestral home is the best way to unwind and get recharged to face the humdrum of the urban life again. Generally I stay put at home but there are some places worth seeing around the village, for instance, the Dudwa Sanctuary. Those who want to take a walk on the wild side can visit the Dudwa Tiger Reserve, one of the finest in the country.

Fashion line

My Kotwara label (a sought after fashion line) was an effort to revive the dying art of chikan and zardozi, which Kotwara is well known for. A community development and empowerment scheme, it provided a means of livelihood to several villagers. Whenever I go there, I also love to spend time at the charitable school I run there.

Charm of its own

I am not a great traveller, and though I've seen little of the world, I like returning to this peaceful village. I also feel nice being among the people of the village, particularly listening to their way of speaking. It's an interesting dialect. The best time to be there is between October and March.

Wow! Those Awadhi flavours

I have a cook at my house in Kotwara, who specialises in Awadhi cuisine. He has been there for many years. I love those big rotis made on huge ulta tavas and all the dal varieties. The food is simple but extremely tasty.

The director-designer spoke to

Chitra Swaminathan

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