Let’s Get Our Trinkets Out

‘The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.’

Emily Dickinson

Have you made jewellery pacts before? Well I have, with the lovely girls, AngelaPamelaCheila and Lyz, and in the spirit of the game here we go.

Over the last few weeks, I have been in the process of trimming the contents of my jewellery boxes. It is curious that we often hoard for the sake of it. Yet every piece carries its own story. The core pieces remain. They are the ones that carry memories within their many loops and filigrees. The earrings bought in Brussels (because I had not carried enough jewellery while travelling for a month through Belgium), the pair of statement earrings I bought with my first salary, …My favourite statement pieces are contemporary earrings and head jewellery crafted out of silver from an Indian boutique brand called Amrapali. They rarely fail to ensnare the eyes.

Now my heart beats for the kind of jewellery that make you think that a girl can indeed live without her diamonds. But I did lust for the designs I laid eyes upon at the fashion weeks in Delhi. Jewellery collections that smacked of savoir faire. Yet they were always more expensive than the wallet would allow. All my earnings were frittered away on eating out and partying. As a result, I never ended up buying even an itsy bitsy piece. Now I wonder if I should just pick up a couple to sate that old desire…

Some unworn pieces remain in my boxes but then they shall stay for as long as I live. You see they are bits and pieces from my mother’s collection. They effortlessly pick me up from now and deposit me into the body of the little girl who used to watch her mother get ready for an evening out. Transfixed by the rituals of dressing up, the trappings of femininity. How she used to take her time. Drape on a beautiful sari, when I used to be at hand to pull at the edges to straighten out the folds while feeling the texture of the lush fabric at the same time, apply a hint of foundation since she had flawless skin, don pretty jewellery, apply her favourite shade of lipstick and at the end, dab herself with Estee Lauder’s Beautiful. I have never been able to shake off the haunting fragrance of Beautiful since. The faint smell of it lingers in the air (even though I do not own a bottle of it at the moment). But what am I waffling on about. That’s the power of memory and nostalgia.

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Cuffs and bracelets
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Amrapali earrings
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Cheap earring bought from some odd market
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Collar necked in pearl
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A chain of armour? Psst: Turns me into Cuptain Cupcake
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Amrapali, Delhi
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Black lace choker and a pendant from Portobello Market
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Higgledy-piggledy assortment of earrings
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Busy corners 
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Amrapali. This one makes me feel like a diva. 
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The box that holds the tiny studs
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The pop-arty lady from the streets of Alfama who stands above my dressing table and reminds me to go dress up for life.



Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

59 thoughts on “Let’s Get Our Trinkets Out

  1. Wonderful post. ? Love the stories behind your jewellery ?✨ and the thoughts you share with us. Gorgeous photography, Dippy. Awesome precious pieces presented in the possible best way. And so very eloquently. ???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your jewelry! You are obviously no minimalist and it’s beautiful. I don’t know where to start. I want the cuffs. I love the dangling earrings, especially the emerald green pair. There’s such an exotic old world feel to your jewelry that I love. The pieces seem to have history. You’ve got yourself the perfect necklace holder and I’d appreciate if you’d gift it to me, lol. Also, I love the idea of the woman reminding you to take some time to step out beautifully. I expected that you’d take us on a journey with this post, and you did just that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw you really think so? May I confess that I ran out of steam 5 minutes into taking the photos.

      I do love dangling pieces more than studs. Makes me feel girly and happy. That emerald green pair is one of my favourites too. It does dress up any plain ensemble so well.

      I know what to get you when we meet someday. But I will also have to keep in mind that you will need more than one necklace holder for those gorgeous pieces of yours! 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All this jewellery is incredible! They all feel like vintagey and fancy, like you’re permanently on your way out to some party 😀 And the photos you took are so good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful jewelry. It’s so interesting how a piece of metal and stone can have such emotion attached to it. I have my grandmother’s ruby ring, promised to me when I was to turn 18 while I was 4 or 5. It was a wonderful heirloom to be entrusted with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bijouterie must only ever be judiciously culled. Much of my costume Jewellery now languishes in a huge box and becomes a great storytelling game or just a happy hour or two’s distraction for children when they visit. It matters not if things get damaged because I have long since stopped wearing them, what matters is the sparkling eyes that mimic mine when I first set eyes on whatever it was so many moons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bijouterie. I could fall in love with it. The imagery is precious. I can see it playing in front of my eyes thanks to your way with words. Whenever I set eyes upon my mother’s jewellery, I get a pang for the old days, if only to see her feel young and beautiful and headstrong like she was! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nina. I got the Alfama lady from a road that was off the Alfama 😉 I came across such gorgeous pop art there that I was swept off my feet. I had to struggle not to buy more of the same kinda wall art. Lisbon will always have my soul. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This post was a delight to read and surprisingly it didn’t make me hungry as you tend to do. Your collection is stunning and I loved the precious box where you keep your jewelry stories. My favorite earrings had to be the diva ones, love that intense blue color. I appreciate earrings so much, but I lose patience choosing them. That’s why when I see someone with beautiful earrings I feel “proud” of them. Stunning collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a lovely comment, Virginia. I have over the years started wearing them less and less but when I do, I feel so feminine! Those blue and antique gold ones are my favourite too 🙂 They dress up anything so gracefully. In fact I love the colour so much, sapphire that is, that I once wanted a ring of sapphire. But my father who is an avid astrologer says it is a stone one has to be careful with. You have got to wear it and see if it suits you. It can either take you places or be your downfall. Now I am a sceptic but I have seen that a little belief cannot hurt. xx


  7. You are so right you know, but I never realised until I read this. They do hold many stories, maybe that’s why I never throw away even those that I bought for $10 a decade ago. Your locket from Portobello reminded me of the 10-pound ‘engagement’ ring that my husband got me from there hahaha. I really enjoyed reading this one and I’m glad you shared with us because your collection is beautiful and we can definitely relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 More often that not I find that it is the story behind the object that counts – just like you started remembering the way that your husband got you the special ring from Notting Hill. And that story gives any object its value. It is lovely of you take the time to read a post on trifles. xx


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