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Bollywood Insiders On Airbnb: Goa With Arjun Mathur

Tucked in the quiet neighbourhood of Siolim in North Goa, Emmy-nominated for Made in Heaven actor and superhost Arjun Mathur’s Airbnb home is a slice of his personal tryst with travel around the world. 

1.

What made you set up a home in Goa?

In my late teen years, my first few trips to Goa with friends and the experiences we had there–it was almost like a unanimous dream for an entire generation that we wanted to live here someday. It is something that stayed with me. Back in 2014, completely as a matter of chance, my masi sent this [proposal] my way because I had shared this desire with her randomly. It wasn’t even like I had the money [to invest] at that time. But I put the down payment as soon as I saw the brochure of this place. It was done on a whim, honestly. I had no plan of moving to Goa, nor did I have any idea what to do with it, but I knew that it was the right thing to do at the time. The house was ready by 2017.

 

(On Arjun: handloom shirt, jacket by Naushad Ali)

2.

How did you decide to become an Airbnb host in 2018?

I wanted to put my Goa house to use, but I also wanted to have control on the kind of people [staying in the house]. Sharing the house on Airbnb was better than just renting it out. This home is an extension of my personality, so it’s a personal [space].

3.

Tell us about your first stay in an Airbnb.

It was this trip we [Mathur and his partner, Tiya Tejpal] took to Amsterdam in 2018, and we stayed in someone’s apartment through Airbnb; it was amazing. The apartment was beautiful, and we had a lovely three days in Amsterdam.

4.

What does travel mean to you?

Travel to me is the most important experience that I can give myself–it is everything. I think it is more important than education. At a more basic level, it means time away, break from everything. Travel connects experiences, and it’s important even for my work–observing as much as I can from different places and people.

 

(On Arjun: silk shirt by Harago, linen trousers by Eka Man)

5.

And what kind of a traveller are you?

I’m a hippie at heart, and like the idea of rustic and basic living. My father was a hotelier and my entire childhood has been growing up around hotels. I like going to places that I haven’t been to. I like to drive and road trips are my favourite.

6.

Any memorable road trips?

So many! In recent years, we were in Europe in 2018 and drove [around] Hungary. It was my first time driving in Europe; we were in Budapest and we drove out two or three hours to this music festival and back. But my most memorable road trip is when I was about 16 or 17 years old. My dad left town for a few days and I sneaked out the car, packed three friends and drove to Manali, without a license!

 

(On Arjun: jacket by Harago, trousers by Eka Man)

7.

You are a part of Airbnb’s Bollywood Insider Online Experience. Tell us more about it.

The online experience is essentially going to be about the life of an actor. So, people get a chance to interact with me, ask questions about my life, my characters, and the creative process I follow to get into the skin of a character. I’ll be sharing my personal life and professional experiences through the Airbnb Online Experience.

8.

How has work been through the lockdown?

Last year was a mixed bag. After spending a few months in the initial lockdown, I got really fortunate, and became a part of these two shoot-from-home projects–one was a short film called Home Stories, and this series called the Gone Game, which we’re just about to start shooting for Season 2. Then towards the end of the year, the [Emmy] nomination was crazy; life overturned in a night and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. It’s still hard to believe that it happened, and sad that it happened in a year when I couldn’t make it to the physical ceremony, but you got to count your blessings.

 

(On Arjun: cotton shirt by Harago, cotton trousers by Eka Man)

9.

Any Goa recommendations for our readers?

No. 1: don’t litter. And these days, I won’t say go here and go there, [instead] go to the beach and swim in the ocean–that’s the best Goa has always had to offer. Two years ago, when we came here, we had two places [to order food delivery] on Zomato and now there are 70!  So, stay home, and have fun.

 

(On Arjun: handloom shirt, jacket, and trousers by Naushad Ali)

10.

If you could describe Arjun Mathur’s Airbnb home in a sentence, what would it be?

I wouldn’t try to describe it too much. I’d just say, be warned that once you come here you may not want to leave! [This space] is really a piece of [my] heart.

 

Related: Raja Kumari: Queen Of Words, Hearts, And Modern Poetry

As told to
Aindrila Mitra
Photography by
Vikas Vasudev
Styled by
Tania Fadte
Makeup by
Laila Dalal
Hair by
Laila Dalal
Location
Arjun Mathur’s Airbnb Home, Siolim, Goa