This shawl was a gift from my grandfather, a pioneering botanist in Kashmir who as the Maharaja's custodian of properties had nurtured the gardens of Kashmir. The pashmina shawl with a Mughal jamawar border has remained my prized possession that takes me back to my childhood in Kashmir, before my family lost our home to militancy. Today, 30 years since we lost our home, I am working on conserving the Mughal gardens of Kashmir and the shawl, remains my companion, bearing memories of my maternal home.

Abha Narain Lambah

Abha Narain Lambah is a practicing Conservation Architect and a recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship (USA) 2002, the Charles Wallace Fellowship (U.K.) 1998, the Attingham Trust Fellowship 2007, the Sankriti Award 2003, Architect of the Year Award 2019 Architectural Digest and Architect of the Year Award CNBC Awaaz 2017. Her firm has been included in the Top 50 Architects List by Architectural Digest and Construction World for the last 5 years. She is a consultant to ICCROM, Global Heritage Fund and World Monuments Fund, is on the Governing Council of the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and has served on the heritage committees of both Delhi and Mumbai.

Abha Narain Lambah Associates is the largest architectural conservation consultancy in India and has won 10 UNESCO Asia Pacific Awards for Heritage Conservation. For over 2 decades, the practice has focused on conservation and museum projects across the country and includes the restoration of 15th Century temples in Ladakh and Hampi, mosques, palaces, forts and caravan sarais in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, ancient Buddhist sites of Ajanta and Bodh Gaya, regional conservation in Kancheepuram and Shekhawati and colonial heritage across Delhi, Pune, Nainital, Kerala and Mumbai. The firm has prepared Management Plans for UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the ancient sites of Ajanta Caves and Bodh Gaya, medieval monuments of Amber Fort and Mughal Gardens Kashmir as well as Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex Chandigarh, the icon of modernism.

An advocate for Mumbai's heritage, Abha has, in the past 25 years, done pioneering work on urban guidelines for heritage precincts such as Banganga, Khotachiwadi, Dadabhai Naoroji Road and has prepared the successful nomination inscribing Mumbai's Art Deco & Victorian ensemble as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She has spearheaded the restoration of 19th century landmarks such as Mumbai University's Convocation Hall, Elphinstone College, Sir JJ School of Art, Tata Palace (Deutche Bank), Municipal Head Office, Asiatic Library, High Court, Old Secretariat and Crawford Market. She has advised on museum design for Indian Museum Kolkata and Rashtapati Bhavan Museum Delhi, Prince of Wales and Mani Bhavan Mumbai, Bharatpur and Bangalore State Museums, Chowmahalla Palace Hyderbad, Swaraj Bhavan and Anand Bhavan Allahabad and is currently working on the Nehru Memorial Library & Museum, Balasaheb Thackeray National Memorial and the Lal Bagh Palace Museum in Indore for World Monuments Fund.

Abha has authored and edited a range of books including "Punjab: Land of the Five Rivers", “Architecture of the Indian Sultanates”, “Custodians of India’s Heritage: 150 years of the Archaeological Survey of India” and “Shekhawati: Land of the Merchant Princes” for MARG Publications. She has authored a range of books on Mumbai including the "The Victorian & Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai", “Kala Ghoda: Celebrating Mumbai's Art District”, "Through the Looking Glass: The Grade 1 Heritage of Mumbai" and co-authored “A City’s Legacy: The Indian Navy’s Heritage in Mumbai” and “Conservation After Legislation: Issues for Mumbai”.