About Shoba Narayan

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So far Shoba Narayan has created 38 blog entries.

Welcome to Overview

Emeralds, like transparent leaves around the neck. Rubies flash fire on the ears. Sapphire like the deepest oceans drown us in their mystery. Pearls, like the milky moon cools the neck. Gold sparkles sunshine around our waist. Diamonds flash lightning wherever they touch. These exceptionally fine pieces of gold [...]

By |2019-09-30T19:29:03+05:30July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Overview, Welcome|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Planets and Gems

"A jewel endowed with good characteristics brings good luck to the kings; the ones with bad luck, disaster.” So begins the magisterial Brihat Samhita, the 5th century text, written by Varahamihira in a chapter titled, Examination of Gems. Gems and Grihas are linked like brother and sister. According to the Jataka Parijata, a [...]

By |2019-09-27T00:13:47+05:30July 15th, 2019|Categories: Meaning, Overview|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Indian Aesthetic

These earrings, judging from their material worth, the excellence of craftsmanship, and the use of royal emblems (a winged lion and an elephant) as part of their design, were most probably made as royal commissions. In addition to clusters and rows of beads, each earring is decorated with [...]

Makara Across Cultures

It first appears in a seal in the Indus Valley-- a fearsome sea creature that overturns ships going on ocean voyages. Every subsequent text, ranging from the Puranas to the Jatakas talk about the gruesome makara that kills voyaging sailors. No wonder early Indians developed a distaste for ocean crossings and forbade [...]

Snake Worship Through the Ages

Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. These are the seven underground worlds occupied by the snake gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology. These are dreamy worlds, with swaying serpents who have gems on their heads, the light from which illumines their surroundings.  There is no pain, just [...]

Snakes and the Human Imagination

Serpent motifs permeate jewellery.  But the human obsession with serpents goes way back In Egypt, snakes symbolized royalty.  As far back as 2500 B.C., the burial mounds in Egypt had solid gold bracelets made using the snake motif.  When the Buddha was in a state of blissful enlightenment, the [...]

Jewels and their Link to Tamil Literature

There are people in interior Tamilnadu who sing in sweet Tamil Of Sanga-thamizh literature, the Tolkaapiyam, Kurunthogai and Thirukkural. They quote the five great epics.  And in these lie the jewellery. Jivaka Cintamani (Fabulous Gem that gave jiva or life) Kundalakesi (Kundala refers to earrings) Valayapathi [...]

The Richest Region of Tamilnadu?

The creation myth of the Chettiars begins with a long arduous migration. Some say Naganadu (land of the snakes) but there is scant proof of that. What is known is that they were gem dealers in the rich coastal city of Poompuhar or Kaveripoompattinam. They had names such as Muthu and Vairam. Also [...]

The Wondrous Kempu Jewellery

Literally-- red The Tamil aesthetic is tuned to muted colours and high-quality material. People love kempu because of high-quality rubies without additional embellishments. "No jigina," or sparkly stuff, as traditionalists would say. Kempu jewellery fits this profile to a T. Typically [...]

By |2019-09-30T22:30:36+05:30July 9th, 2019|Categories: Making, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments
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