He is the 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar. A multifaceted personality, Shriji, 68, is known for his charitable works and flamboyant lifestyle and is the second Indian to receive this award after Ela Bhatt, and joins the likes of Shakira, Queen Rania of Jordan and Antonio Banderas who have previously been felicitated. CS spoke with him to know more about the honour:
Dedicated to Udaipur
Receiving the VIII WT Award is certainly a matter of pride. It is a tribute to be placed with people who have made a difference in the world. Most of all it is a proud moment to be recognised by an organisation like the WT, which is in association of the United Nations. This is an award for our efforts in the field of philanthropy, education, eco-management, promoting self-reliance, conservation and preservation which help in reaching the UN Millennium goals to make the world a better place.
Life and lifestyle
The two things that have helped me shape my life are my ability to focus 100 per cent on the topic under discussion, and my capacity to keep moving
with the times. Each day is a new day and throws up new ideas and newer challenges to keep me learning and evolving. I like to learn from the past, the present generation and hope to leave something for the future generations. After a day at work, I like to have dinner with friends on the terrace of Shambhu Niwas Palace and if there’s cricket to follow alongside, it makes the evening even livelier. Yes, there’s nothing like the company of friends, family and laughter to keep me in good cheer.
Crystals and Cadillacs
The word ‘little’ would not do justice to stories about Udaipur’s vintage car collection or the crystal gallery! Yes, the crystal gallery is the probably the world’s largest single private collection of crystal under one roof. One of my forefathers in the 1880s had ordered most of this crystal, which we have preserved and exhibited at the Fateh Prakash Palace. The cars in our Collection range from Mercedes, Cadillacs to Rolls Royces, all of them are in running condition. My favourite set of wheels is the MG TC 1946.