Parts of an Intricate Wedding Necklace

Portraits of people and places: Jeweller Srinivasan. Karaikudi's pace is languid: a comforting counterpoint to the frenetic pace of Tamilnadu's capital city, Chennai. Old women still walk the streets with baskets on their heads, selling bananas, carrots and strings of jasmine flowers. Regional local fruits like the nungu are loved. [...]

The Chettinad Wedding Necklace

In the crepuscular light before dawn, Karaikudi's silhouette is softer; its cacophonous traffic, muted. The air remains humid and heavy but cooler, scented by a strange combination of jasmine and gutter. Roadside stalls serve Kumbakonam degree coffee in stainless steel tumblers. Some 3000 acharis or goldsmiths live in the [...]

The Wonder that is India

"The range of jewellery available in India in terms of materials used, designs and techniques of craftsmanship is unparalleled," says author and jewellery expert Usha Balakrishnan.  She gives examples. The Nagas make jewellery using beetle wings, feathers and bones. Bengalis use conch shells for their bangles. Andhra brides adorn their braids with the [...]

Shobhaa De

Jewellery memories as a child?  What my beautiful mother possessed-- which was not very much! I now own and wear her simple mangalsutra, and the four gold bangles I was given when I turned 18. My father was a bureaucrat and retired as Additional Law Secretary, Government of India. [...]

Padmini Kumari

Jewellery!!! It’s never enough . I have never heard anyone saying in my family we have enough. They literally find excuses to buy more. Because it’s easily transferred from one generation to other and it is the most transformative thing we can wear. [...]

Gayatri Rangachari Shah

My father was a diplomat so I didn’t grow up in India.  Because we were overseas a lot, the culture of dressing up and being so adorned wasn't as grand as it is at home.  The way we bedeck ourselves with jewellery is at a different level from the rest of the world.  [...]

Madhu Natraj

What are your memories of jewellery growing up? My childhood memories are like a bouquet of sensory perceptions and jewellery features quite prominently in them.  I recall the sound of my mother’s gold and glass bangles clinking delicately, the gentle rustle of her silk ‘pallu’, as she opened the iron almirah that [...]

Urmila Sathyanarayanan

Jewellery was always part of giving a reward in our family.  We would procure and wear a piece of jewellery, whether new or handed-down on important occasions.  If I did well at school, or for birthdays or arangetrams, jewellery played an important role. I can remember that I got a pair of jhumkis [...]

Ahalya S.

 As a child, I was always interested in getting dressed up.  The women in my family were very simple. My grandmother had earrings, gold bangles, mangalsutra.  My mother, a few pieces more than that. The first time we indulged in jewellery shopping properly was when my brother got married.      [...]

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