Sitting inside her plush showroom at Mumbai’s Turner Road, with enchanting emeralds and rare rubies gleaming silently in graceful pirouettes, I thumb through her immaculate coffee table book—Farah Khan: A Bejewelled Life. It is beautifully knitted together with artful ease and is poetry in motion—like the visual leaf pulled out now and then from her rather enviable treasure trove of sojourns across the country and the globe.
“I have been wanting to put together a book for the longest time,” confesses Farah. It was sheer serendipity, when two-and-a-half years ago, Paola De Luca (leading Italian creative director and luxury trends forecaster) and Farah were chatting about her work in the car on the way to the airport in Goa. Paola suggested Farah cup her realm of memorable experiences, creations, thoughts, musings into a coffee table book. Published by Rizzoli, the book was launched last month, with a foreword by Twinkle Khanna, Princess Diya Kumari and Tanya Dubash.
“It goes beyond a jewellery book. It is a travelogue in progress, a slice of my aesthetic vision, a peep into my journey, my life so far,” enthuses Farah. Art, architecture, nature pour themselves with wild abandon into the luxe 300 pages, revealing the nourishing effect they have exercised on her thoughts while kneading her aesthetics at a sub-conscious level.
“I am a product of my experiences,” says Farah, equally honest in her renditions in print as she talks about the highs and lows that make up her journey: when she chased herds of sun-drunk butterflies, clambered up cherry trees and caught trout as a child in her ancestral home in Kashmir and then later soaked up the splendour of the deserts of Rajasthan, ancient palaces strewn with wondrous carvings, craftsmanship, colour and cherished grandeur (where her father Sanjay Khan shot his lavish historicals), to the trying time a few years ago when she successfully saved her brand from the clutches of an unsavoury investor. “I am constantly looking for things, people, environments to enrich myself. I love visiting places that are steeped in history,” she says.
Alive and alert to the sights and sounds of nature, Farah has sectioned the book along five unending swirling worlds: Fluidity, The Rose, Royal Flair, Naturalia, Surreal Vision. It mirrors her organic growth as an individual. “Water intrigues and inspires me with its fluidity and seamless run,” she says.
True, if there is magic on earth, it is contained in water. The miracle of nature that attracts itself into her sphere is evident in the jewelled geckos, snakes and feral forms, delicate corals replicated in prized bracelets, rings and clasps.
“Rose is the eternal symbol of love and romance, and finds beautiful congruence. I am able to identify with the flower. Like the petals that open up generously, I love to collaborate and share as well. I have expressed myself best through pictures: dipping into my reservoir of photographs taken during the course of my travels, my poetry, and my jewelled creations.”
An alchemist who captures moments and transforms them into objects of art, Farah seeks people who stimulate her. “I believe when you meet someone, you must enhance their life, add to it in some way,” she says. Of course, she has worked crazy hours to make an indelible mark for herself in the jewellery business, completing 25 years in this line of work. “I do have a lot to be grateful for. I say a quick thank you almost a 100 times a day to god, believe me. I also believe that you have to experience the negative to be able to value and cherish the positive,” she smiles.