Basking in the glory of rich heritage – Sudhir Kasliwal
Incredible Rajasthan – the land of rich heritage, vibrant culture, art and traditions soaked in a riot of colors that are steeped in history. Royal Folklores and towering personalities blow in the winds of this spectacular state. Talk of Rajasthan and the mention of Jaipur is inevitable and in turn, while mentioning Jaipur one can’t escape the charm of mesmerizing jewelry intricately attached to the city. Jaipur is world renowned for jewelry designs, gems, stones and craftsmanship and serves as world’s largest hub for hand cutting of gems and sourced for stones, precious and semi-precious stones, and gems. Now that we are talking about Jaipur’s fashion of jewelry, we can’t omit the jewel in the crown which is the GEM PALACE. I was fortunate to meet one of the founders of GEM PALACE, Mr. Sudhir Kasliwal. Apart from this, he is also a renowned lensman who specializes in capturing all facets of his motherland Rajasthan, this multidimensional personality is also behind organizing Jaipur’s most elite event vintage car rallies that endeavors to preserve the heritage automobiles. BARKHA ARORA from High on Persona had a tete a tete with him in which he opened up on a plethora of issues covering a gamut of dimensions. Incidentally, GEM PALACE is housed in a building that evokes the architectural richness of the state through its royal aura complemented by various intricate designs embellished with semi-precious gems and eye-catching jewelry.
Q- How your client base has emerged over the years?
From Maharajas to modern connoisseurs, from upper echelon of the society to the bourgeois’, we have catered all. Since the time of maharajas, our clientele has expanded including royal lineage queen Elizabeth 11, president John F Kennedy, first lady Jackie Kennedy, Late princess Diana, Hillary Clinton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Opra winfrey, Judy dench, Nicole kidman, Goldie hawn, Mick Jager Prince Charles, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and list goes long.
Q- You must have encountered almost every bigwig from a different genre , who do you think is the epitome of style and elegance ?
Without giving second thought I would say Maharani Rajmaata Gayatri Devi, she symbolised style, elegance and grace while underscoring simplicity and modesty. She would only don pearl necklace and yet look ravishing always, even in the age of 90 she carried charming persona.
Q- What remains an inspiration for you in photography, jewellery and vintage car rallies?
Rajasthan’s spellbinding life, captivating landscapes and rich heritage have always inspired my work as an amateur photographer. I find my motherland Rajasthan enchanting and inspiring. Vivid patterns of our designs reflect the Architecture, heritage and cultural ethos. Vintage cars are also the symbol and synonym for royalty grandiosity and rich heritage. We always had a passion for such cars, so are the descendants. We have restored the oldies and pampered them enough to keep the passion alive.
Q- What invoked your passion in jewellery whereas your passion lied in photography ?
Through the medium of jewellery, I got the liberty and luxury of expression and a platform to carry out ideas, but there is something more to jewellery than just art. The jewellery business was a natural choice for me and my brothers. This was in our genes and my passion for photography further augmented it to bring out my creativity. I used to shoot patterns from architect, heritage, nature and rustic village life for reference that could be served as an inspiration for my work in jewellery.
Q- How trends in gems, stones and motifs have evolved from Mughal to the modern era ?
The most interesting trend I have noticed in the last decade has been an increasingly high demand for semi-precious stones. We have featured tourmalines, tanzanite, aquamarines and colored quartz in many collections, even mixed with diamonds and other precious stones. I would say the biggest trend right now is jewellery studded with semi-precious stones, clusters of emerald-cut semi-precious stones are popular, sculptural gold pieces, interesting contemporary pieces with pearls and bigger diamond hoops. Trend has also moved from heavy jadau jewellery to contemporary and chic jewellery and Gem Palace has kept pace with moving trend. Trends have evolved and progressed towards fusion, designs that are cosmopolitan and uber infused with ethnic charm. Heavily embellished traditional chokers, waist belt and heap of bangles are relegated now for sleek and chic designs.