CHENNAI: It is not often that we get to see a 100-year-old model for a new line of jewellery and it is rarer to see a jewellery line inspired by the model. N Rajammal, who turns 100 today, a long-time customer of Mehta Jewellery, was honoured with the launch of a new range of traditional jewellery that is named after her—Rajammal Aashirvatham Collection—at an event on the eve of her birthday, on Wednesday.
Talking to CE, ahead of the launch of the new line, Abhay S Mehta, who is among the third generation of jewellers, said that it was a gesture to acknowledge the trust and faith their senior-most patron had in their brand. Mehta said, “At her age, she is beyond material value. We thought that the best way to honour would be by naming a collection after her and that would be an ever-lasting bond. Rajammal Aashirwad Collection is a completely traditional line with pieces of jewellery that are inspired by her choice of jewellery. In fact, we hardly had 20 days to put it together, as we learnt that she was turning 100 this month only a few weeks ago.” The jewellers will also donate `1 lakh in her honour to Sankara Nethralaya towards free eye surgeries for poor patients.
While age seems to have blurred memories, she vividly recollects her countless trips to the jewellers. Vouching for her loyalty to the brand, she said, “I can’t exactly say how many years, but I can definitely say even when I was a baby, I had Mehta Jewellery ornaments on me. You can even send a child to buy from their shop, they are so trust worthy. I don’t remember buying even a stone or a gram of gold from elsewhere. In fact, the pair of diamond earrings that I am wearing now is from the shop, and it is several decades old,” she said. Her youngest daughter Shanthi Varadarajan, a retired professor, said, “That was gifted by her father in 1928 when she got married (to Natesan who passed away at the age of 89 in 1992) and the ring that she is wearing now is the most recent piece of jewellery that she purchased from Mehta.”
Shanthi said that her mother wowed many with her jewellery and diamonds, adding that she was called ‘blue jagger maami’ by many when they saw her astonishing collection of jewellery.
Shanthi added with a laugh, “Even when she plays with babies she says, “En Mehta jewellery thangam.’’
Rajammal, who shares her birthday with the most celebrated Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi, is an ardent fan of MS Subbulakshmi, and is a descendant of the famous classical composer-musician Muthuswami Dikshitar. Mention her trysts with sports, she coyly admits, “Those days, I was probably the only one who wore nine-yards sari while playing badminton.”
At the end of the conversation, when she took leave of the reporter, the customary blessings she gave was, “May you live till 100, enthusiastically, joyfully, sound-minded and independently.” And, the reporter couldn’t help exclaim that those words are precious!