“Good things come out of dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions,” says con­cep­tual jew­ellery artist Eina Ah­luwalia.

India Today - - SIMPLY KOLKATA - Eina Ah­luwalia is a con­cep­tual jew­ellery artist.

Wed­dings in In­dia are most of­ten about the pomp, the cer­e­mony, the food and danc­ing. The wed­ding vows that the bride and the groom make to each other have be­come a tiny sub­text, most of­ten a te­dium to be done with as quickly as pos­si­ble to re­turn to the fes­tiv­i­ties. The prom­ise to love, re­spect and pro­tect. The three words that cre­ate a foun­da­tion for a life­long com­mit­ment.

Women of­ten lose them­selves af­ter mar­riage, in the pur­suit of be­com­ing ‘one’. This loss is a re­lin­quish­ing of their per­sonal power that leaves them open to abuse from the same per­son they lose them­selves to. I have seen that no mat­ter how strong, self aware and con­fi­dent the girl is, a sit­u­a­tion like this can leave her emo­tion­ally paral­ysed and con­fused. No one gets mar­ried think­ing it is not for­ever, and it takes time and a rude shock to break that be­lief.

I have wit­nessed do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in many mar­riages, and I think in each case, women needed some re­minders of them­selves. I wanted to tell th­ese women that when they make their vows, they also need to vow to them­selves—to re­spect and pro­tect them­selves, even if the other per­son doesn’t. I wanted them to al­ways re­mem­ber that the power is within them. I re­alised that the best way to pass this mes­sage on to women was to whis­per it in their ears through the jew­ellery that they wore.

Hence came Wed­ding Vows, a col­lec­tion I pre­sented in March 2011’s Lakme Fash­ion Week. My show opened with a bride in a red

lehenga, a racer back blouse and a thin veil cov­er­ing her face walk­ing up to the head ramp and pulling a

kir­pan, for pro­tec­tion, out of the in­tri­cately carved neck­lace.

Tr­ishuls, cer­e­mo­nial knives, war­rior hel­mets and spear heads were worked into a grand wed­ding style jew­ellery to be worn by an em­pow­ered and self aware bride. The un­der­ly­ing mes­sage was also to the bride’s fam­i­lies. That their daugh­ter’s trousseau should be about strength, sup­port and knowl­edge, not just gold.

I have made a lot of col­lec­tions be­fore and af­ter Wed­ding Vows, but none have had the emo­tional con­nect, trans­for­ma­tional ef­fect, and the im­pact that th­ese pieces have. Good things can come out of dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions.

Eina Ah­luwalia

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