“I’d like the Karabi-Kadamba for my earrings but they’ve got to be different from the ones you’ve done.”
The brief, short and cryptic, tells of the exclusivity we all seek in our wedding jewels. And why not? A marriage could well be the point at which life turns towards a newness of living and a future garlanded with hope in the company of someone we love or believe we shall grow into loving through a relationship of mutual consent, unspoken acceptance, and shared secrets ; a relationship that's sanctioned in writing, confirmed by the eyes of state and society, and usually decorated with gold.
The lovely young lady for whom this jhumka-pasha has been made is reading for a degree in medicine, as is her chosen husband. She's determined and decisive about what she wants, not only by way of her fine gold jewellery but also from life itself. Very soon, she shall depart the country to further her studies in the medical sciences.
It was left to us to articulate the details of the earring since the form and broad design idiom had to remain that of the Karabi-Kadamba of October, 2018. The flower motifs, also, were essential as was the pierced naksha on the jhumka, the kadamphul festoon along its edge, and the fretwork of the pasha. The stark contrast between the two parts and yet their immaculate cohesiveness, needless to say, is a sensory delight, alluding to the aspect of love between two resulting from their difference but also embodying the old saying, "opposites attract".
First, the Pasha : a celebratory wreath of sandalwood leaves with an outer border of ball-reji creates a halo around a magnificent tol-parh snow-rose that rests within its own granulated twisted-wire frame. The central flower varies the plane of the disc and the polished leaves gently slope down to the ball border so that the whole pasha seems carved and not assembled. In a fashion, that’s true as well considering the snow rose and the chandan pata are both cut, shaped and engraved by hand.
The Jhumka revisits the vines of earlier models but differs in the foliage, flower and scroll-work chasing. Here, what’s represented is the South-Indian medicinal liana, Agori, that even covers the tree canopies in forests with its velvety golden flowers. A single blossom is placed on top and to this is fastened the adjustable rings ( to vary the length to which the jhumka will drop) that attach to the post of the pasha. Corded borders hem the phul-lata-pata perforated naksha and the kadamba blossoms fringe the edge, as desired.
Humans are, by nature, peccable. The mistakes we make, the sins we’re guilty of, are intrinsic to our being. Nothing and no-one can create us perfect : a process of atonement and redemption has to be gone through for our remodelling to the very best version of ourselves. How we can do that ---- remember, time's the sculptor ---- with truth and with unassailable beauty surrounding us is essentially the art of living.
Fine jewellery, handcrafted with due patience and consideration to the favoured form and design, is the tangible miracle through which we can keep art and beauty close to us, upon our person, continually. No other decorative art form becomes this enduringly intimate. And when it's pure guinea-gold, it also affords us sacredness and immortality.
The Agori-Chandan Jhumka, by its very making, has curative virtues that you can turn to time after time, whenever you feel a healing of the soul is needed from the wars of the heart. It can, as you'd like, be a propugnaculum, a sanctuary, or merely a magic garden where you can roam free to contemplate both, how mordant and how majestic true love is. In time, it’ll become, well and truly, a divine repository of all your best memories wherein you’ll find yourself in a charmed past but, equally, in a radiantly happy future.
To the elegant and enterprising bride-to-be for whom this classic has been created, our heartfelt good wishes. And our sincere gratitude for selecting us for her wedding jewels.
We pray her classic Agori-Chandan Jhumka brings her a lifetime and more of peace and pleasure.