So the thing is, I have a fetish for rings. Any kind of rings will do. Gold, silver, platinum, mixed metals, fashion jewellery – even creative plastic. I have dozens of them in my jewellery box – some are classic and expensive, so that I can wear them to family events and look like the suitable Indian mother and wife. Some are exotic conversation starters for fashion events. Some go ‘cham-cham’ when I move. Some are bought off the street and don’t last very long. Some stand high above my hand and herald my arrival. Some poke me from underneath and remind me of their presence. Some have gems in startling colours; others are pure metal in irresistible shapes.
I don’t remember when my craze for rings first began, but it was probably around the time I stopped wearing that overt symbol of matrimony, the gold bangle. (I decided that these traditional symbols of marriage merely enslaved women; they did not serve us.) My right hand then looked just too plain, so I compensated with cocktail rings in different shapes, sizes and colours. And then, like an addict, I couldn’t stop.
My favourite rings are invariably those with memories attached to them like silent price tags. Like my engagement ring with diamonds in the shape of a heart – my aunt was the first amongst my relatives to stand up and say she found it downright ugly. But I was in love and I loved it; it was close to my heart, I said.
Then there’s a strange silver ring from Amethyst that has a single long blue stone running down the length of the finger. My team gifted it to me many years ago on my birthday, and I still wear it on special days when I need reminding that I have an important role to play in some people’s lives.
Then there’s my Starburst ring from Eina Ahluwalia; I bought it for Dhanteras as a gift to myself. It isn’t any pure metal exactly – and you’re supposed to buy gold or silver or steel on Dhanteras as everyone knows – but it’s jewellery and it’s a star and it’s uplifting and isn’t that the whole point of festive shopping?
I once bought a single large brown rectangle gem set in silver. It is pretty heavy to wear, and it’s absolutely plain but its hugeness catches everyone’s gaze. A lady I met at an event once asked, “Do you work in fashion?” Yes, of course. Only those who work in fashion can think of wearing such crazy things to work.
Then this week I bought a Zariin ring while on a visit to their ‘Imperfectly Me’ exhibition that celebrated individuality. Its weird shape and unconventional height make me feel unique. I can’t wait to see what memories it makes.
What is your fashion fetish?