The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Natural, not just ornamental
- Pataudi-Sharmila daughter debuts with designer jewellery line

Sometimes, all that glitters is gold. But very rarely does it have a regal touch.

Saba Ali Khan may be of a royal family firmly in the limelight, but she prefers to let her work speak for her. The elder daughter of Nawab Mansur Ali Khan of Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore is coming to Calcutta with her designer jewellery line — Saba — for the first time, from September 18 to 24. Her creations are the special attraction at Art in Life, the annual gift-shop sale at CIMA Gallery.

“Mine is an Indo-western line, which can be worn with both trousers and saris,” says Saba. After a “flattering” response at her first exhibition in Delhi two years ago, Saba realised she had found her calling. “I was working in advertising for around four years, but I didn’t feel I had the right attitude,” says the 26-year-old. She left the “cut-throat competition” for a course at the Gemological Institute of America, before joining a jewellery house in Delhi for a while.

Saba’s inspiration is not the traditional jewellery she has seen at home. “I would imitate the way Amma (Sharmila) wears her sari, not her jewellery,” she observes. “I wanted something light and contemporary… I can’t try to compete with years of tradition.”

So Saba (‘early morning breeze’) is inspired by nature. Dewdrops on blades of grass, the deep yellow of autumn leaves have found their way into her collection. Gold (white and yellow), diamonds, colourful semi-precious gems feature in her “affordable” lines. “There are some pieces that are more traditional for those who prefer it, as well as some items that are more on the contemporary side. But most are a combination of the two.”

Unfortunately, her “proud parents” are in London and will not be attending the maiden Calcutta exhibition. “Amma would have liked to be here, because this is the place she started her professional career. But maybe that is my sentimentality talking,” says Saba, whose work will be unveiled by Sharmila’s friend and contemporary, Aparna Sen.

Email This PagePrint This Page