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A Life Of Creative Abandon

Dharani Kala Prakash was studying international business in the US when life brought her back to her hometown Bangalore in 1993. “I came back to give birth to my son and to start my life anew as a single mother,” she reminisces. Then unfurled the urge to  create a life that would not require her to leave her home to earn a living.And just like that, she began to play around with wires, crystals and beads. Twenty years later, she is a full time jewellery designer who works on her own terms and at her own pace. She specialises in ‘hand-twisted,’ brass coated and silver coated ‘ghungroo’  designs and laughs sportingly as she shares how big jewellery brands often copy her designs without permission. It is a competitive world, she concedes but also adds that she is not aiming to outshine anyone else. “And noone really owns anything,” she smiles and adds, “For me, designing these pieces is about passion. You give me a mat, a few beads and a wire and I can create something beautiful.  I have always been interested in the arts and people still recall the painted and tie and dye t-shirts my sister and I would display in Devatha Plaza. My jewellery pieces too are passed on from mothers to daughters even though they are not made of gold or silver or precious gems.”
She displays her works at kitsch bazaars, flea markets and recently had a stall at Chitrakala Parishat. Refusing to mass-produce her designs, she says,”People often ask me what metal I use for my pieces and I tell them that my designs are about workmanship, not about the raw material. I make every piece from scratch and am surprised by what emerges every time I start twisting a wire through a bead. In the 20 years I have done this work, I have realised that life, like my designs, is simple and complicated at the same time. I have learnt that simplicity is a complex process and you cannot have it in your life and your work without some amount of complication.”
The artistic journey, she emphasises, has been fulfilling but not without difficulties. She shares, “Years ago,  my entire stock was stolen. I was totally broke but I realised that when passion drives you, nobody can put you down or steal what you have within. It took me 15 days to start afresh and here I am. Life is abundant and there is plenty for us all so I choose to be happy with what I have. And I never ask for anything till I have given something away. “
Dharani does not plan to turn her niche brand into a big business and says, “Like someone once said, ‘everyone could be successful in life if they did not bother with big ambitions.’ My only desire is to start a bazaar for pure artists who find it hard to showcase their work properly because of high rentals. In the end, art is not about name or fame but about staying in the game. The reason why am still here and still creating is because of my son who is now a DJ and charting his own creative journey through life.”
images (4) with The New Indian Express  Reema Moudgil works for The New Indian Express, Bangalore, is the author of Perfect Eight, the editor of  Chicken Soup for the Soul-Indian Women, an artist, a former RJ and a mother. She dreams of a cottage of her own that opens to a garden and  where she can write more books, paint, listen to music and  just be.

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  1. Anushri Mondal Anushri Mondal
    November 20, 2014    


    I need contact of the designer. Thanks

  2. Anushri Mondal Anushri Mondal
    November 20, 2014    

    Please help with contact of Dharani Kala Prakash

  3. November 20, 2014    

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