New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) The tranquillity and mystical aura experienced while sauntering through monasteries across Gangtok, Leh and Ladakh have left an indelible mark on jewellery designer Sumit Sawhney. The result - a 'Monastry Collection'.
Spiritually inclined towards Buddhism, Sawhney feels there is something "magical" about a monastery "that can't be explained".
"So, I thought of using my creativity in designing jewellery to produce scriptures, motifs, prayer wheel with mantras written on them and The Dorje, which is the ritual object of the Buddhists, often referred to as the thunderbolt of enlightenment," Sawhney told IANS.
Contemporary bold jewellery pieces - earrings and neckpieces - handcrafted in silver with gold layering and embedded with precious and semiprecious gemstones form the core of the collection.
One can choose from a range of designs. He offers prayer wheel earrings, Tibetan treasure box earrings, Dorje bell earrings and Bodhisattva pendants et al in his collection.
Sawhney has used Tibetan colours and gemstones for their healing powers - red coral, which symbolizes life force energy; turquoise, which brings good fortune and exudes the power of healing; and white for purity.
"I personally use stones while designing jewellery as they add to the beauty of the creation while also meeting a few healing requirements. To mention a few, blue has always been the colour of enlightenment in Buddhism and therefore wearing of sapphire is said to increase devotion.
"Coral is extremely popular as it is a stone, which is said to cure diseases, help improve the memory and act as a powerful protection against the evil spirits," he said.
Explaining further, Sawhney said that if we talk of colours, "it is believed that by meditating on the individual colours, which contain their respective essences and are associated with a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva, spiritual transformations can be achieved".
The young designer, who launched his jewellery brand Apala in 2006, says his latest collection, priced between Rs.5,000 and Rs.20,000, isn't aimed at devout Buddhists alone.
"Today, people like to wear jewellery that reflects their mood and personality. The collection has designs for every mood and personality from wildly sensual to serenely graceful. My target audience includes people from young to the old, the fashion maverick to the intellectual.
"The bold pieces are meant for those who like to make a fashion statement. The collection also has pieces with the rare combination of thread with silver and gold that give a unique charm to them and can appeal to all," he added.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)