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‘I Seem to Have Fallen into a Phase of Rapids and Creativity Flow’: Raseel Gujral

By Neha Kirpal

The Creative Director of Raseel at Casa Pop, Raseel Gujral Ansal, has combined centuries of cultural influences with her personal life to conceptualise Casa Pop’s re-invention with ‘Inscape’. Within ‘Inscape’, historical constructs are reimagined to represent the confluences of culture shaping contemporary India’s landscape. Layered, fantastical and lucid – Inscape is a reminder of the loneliness that permeated our lives during the pandemic. 

The idea of ‘Inscape’, which can figuratively be described as internal escape, was born during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. When the hurried pace of life was suddenly replaced with uneasy stillness, dreary pauses and a withdrawal - it was from this energy that ‘Inscape’ was born. She was later joined by her son Imaan Ansal, Brand Vision & Strategy who was equally keen to reimagine Casa Pop and recreate its identity as an artistic living brand. 

In this exclusive interview, Gujral talks to us among other things about being the daughter of artist Satish Gujral, collaborating with her son, and the design that she recently unveiled for the Arya Samaj Centre in Tankara, Gujarat.

Raseel Gujral
Inscape By Casa Pop

What was the idea, and inspiration behind Casa Pop’s recently launched collection, ‘Inscape: A Lucid Dream’?

The recently launched collection ‘Inscape: A Lucid Dream’ by Casa Pop draws its inspiration from the idea of blending art with everyday living, aiming to democratise art through accessibility. The collection is characterised by its originality and novelty, authentically rooted in Indian imagery. The inspiration behind the designs comes from a deep, introspective process—a mixture of surrender and control, much like navigating a lucid dream. This approach reflects my philosophical and artistic intention to interpret dreams and make them tangible through the medium of wallpaper, creating an immersive and imaginative environment in interior spaces. The collection is a celebration of cultural heritage, art and personal expression, seamlessly integrating these elements into home decor.

Raseel Gujral
Inscape By Casa Pop

Explain how it is a reminder of the loneliness that permeated our lives during the pandemic. 

The collective narrative captures the emotional and psychological landscape many experienced during the pandemic. The term “dreamscapes” evokes a surreal or altered state of reality, which aligns with how the world felt during long periods of isolation—unreal and distorted. The backdrops allude to an unnatural yet embryonic stillness. A sense of life being paused, like the early stages of development held in suspense, reflecting the halted normalcy and the pervasive uncertainty. The “lapping motion” within these dreamscapes symbolises the repetitive waves of emotions, much like the tides. 

This motion also represents the cycles of hope and despair many felt as the pandemic news evolved. Cocooned within the emotions of the pandemic was for me to be enveloped or enclosed, mirroring the physical confinement in our homes and the emotional encasement in our fears and anxieties. Yet, creating a space—to pause, release, refresh, imagine, create, reincarnate and go back to one’s roots—a journey of introspection and transformation prompted by this period of enforced solitude. 

Each step reflects a phase where individuals were compelled to stop their usual routines (“pause”), adjust to new realities (“release”), find renewal in the stillness (“refresh”) and reimagine their lives (“imagine”). The conclusion was a compulsion to return to cultural connectedness and rediscovery. That speaks of a solution to the silence of aloneness—the realisation that despite physical separation, a shared culture and shared stories can offer a sense of family and belonging. 

As the daughter of artist Satish Gujral, tell us about some of your earliest and biggest artistic influences.

My father’s multifaceted nature, not only as an artist but also as a person full of integrity, fearlessness and human multiplicity, has deeply infused my creative expression. His ability to navigate and blend diverse elements like art and silence, or strength and fragility, have offered a rich, nuanced palette from which I draw upon for both inspiration and guidance. Additionally, his love for poetry and literature provided me with a linguistic framework to further explore and express these complex dualities in my own work. His legacy continues to resonate deeply within me, providing a powerful foundation for my own artistic journey.

What was the process like working and collaborating along with your son, Imaan Ansal?

Working with Imaan brings a smile to my heart. The process was enriching and challenging for us both. This collaboration has been a process of rediscovery and growth for both of us. The merging of our strong personalities and creative visions led to a dynamic exchange. The experience impelled me to see familiar aspects in new ways and also to shed old habits or ideas that were holding me back, triggered and catalysed by Imaan’s poetic perspective. It’s fascinating how this partnership not only challenged each of us but also compelled a deeper exploration that resulted in valuable insights and outputs. This journey highlights the transformative power of combining different but complementary creative lenses.

Recently, you also unveiled the design for the Arya Samaj Centre in Tankara, Gujarat. Tell us more.

We crafted the design for the Arya Samaj Centre, which consists of three key structures: 

  • A central museum, hall of fame, research and learning centre inspired by the values of Swami Dayanand

  • A secondary school for girls

  • An Ayurveda-based healing, retail and hospitality block.

The Centre in Tankara aims to become the primary spiritual and cultural hub for Arya Samajis worldwide, offering a central location for congregations, education and research. The design incorporates modern amenities, a state-of-the-art library, an auditorium and a museum hall while deeply rooted in the core values of Arya Samaj.

I have a deep connection to Arya Samaj, having my family’s history of involvement with the movement, including my grandfather’s role as a freedom fighter and president of Arya Samaj in his area. It was of prime importance for me to create a sustainable ecosystem around the project, providing local employment and supporting traditional crafts.

The design includes symbolic elements, such as an eternal flame, representing the sacredness of Agni in Arya Samaj, and a unique concept where marble modules within the internal space carry the names of families who contribute to the project, fostering a sense of belonging and leaving a lasting mark.

What else are you working on next?

“Hazaron khwaaishen aisee 

ke har khwaish pe dum nikle

Bahut nikle mere Armaan 

lekin phir bhi kum nikle” 

This couplet by Ghalib, which I first heard my father recite, translates to: 

“Thousands of desires, each worth dying for... 

Many of them I have realised...

yet I yearn for more.” 

This feels like my personal anthem, capturing my unstoppable desire to explore so much more, despite the time that seems to be speeding by – 2024 is nearing half-time! 


Aside from my ongoing interior and architecture projects and re-envisioning Casa Paradox Luxe as well as growing the Casa Pop brand pan-India, I am also working on multiple collaborations. I am diving into creating my original art in partnership with artisans and technology. This new challenge feels a bit unnerving but a natural next step. The space within this interaction would be stretched to have a more expansive discussion. I seem to have fallen into a phase of rapids and creativity flow, where it feels like the dam has burst open and I need to navigate the waters with dexterity.


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