Her other preoccupation these days is pottering around the garden, where she monitors how the sun tracks the plants. “I do a lot of gardening now; I never thought I had green fingers,” she tells me. “A lot of the time that I would spend in the office or answering client calls or doing site visits, I’m now unconsciously spending in the garden.” Her schedule has changed tremendously: here, she packs her morning with some laps in the pool (her workout for the day) and after winding breakfast, takes her spot by the lounger by 10am for work calls, before her mind starts to wander in the surroundings: “It’s crazy but I’ve actually started marking daily to-dos for the garden,” she says. She has bookmarked accounts—@arnemaynardgardendesign, @baan_botanica, @sharonsantoni and @swallowsanddamsons—that inspire her every day in her green pursuits. “I look at plants more carefully now, and I’ve started layering my garden by seeing what plants work best where and how much sun they need.”
I have only seen it on Instagram, but her garden looks like a tropical wonderland. And since interior styling is in her DNA, in her hands plants like bird of paradise, tiger’s claw, heliconias and monstera palm transform into grand art-like installations. Every passing week, Chaitanya records freehand quarantine styling hacks (from table setting to carpet layering to floral dressing) around different corners of this home. Some of these can help elevate an at-home birthday (last month, she celebrated her mom’s 83rd birthday and then her daughter Diya’s 30th birthday in Coorg) beyond its lockdown potential.