Ruh By Dhwani Bansal

February 1, 2019

I rushed through the morning traffic to meet an artist, jewellery designer Dhwani Bansal. And I can tell you while navigating through Bangalore traffic, you need oodles of black coffee and calming music. Reaching the destination would remind you of a wrestling match between buses, autos and the ever hurrying human race. Finally, I reached looking a mess, to find a young girl called Dhwani, which means melody. She had the promise of passion in her eyes. A gentle demeanour and confidence of a girl who just got her style right. Her sensibility was evident in her designs. It was the nostalgia of her Rajasthani roots and her exposure to arts in London at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art.

Design that had an influence on her. I asked her about this specific necklace that she had designed with artisans from Jaipur. She called it Ruh. She didn’t realise she had got me there, that was my instant connect. Finding answers from that immortal purity of soul is Ruh in Islam and Sufism, she began telling me, with candour, about this collection that she called Ruh.

Ruh is an ode to the architectural integrity of the Islamic- Rajput structures seen across the arid deserts of Rajasthan. In those monuments and forts, you find a dialogue of the Ruh. It speaks of beauty, resilience, valour and the grandeur of this handcrafted piece. The necklace was designed in brass and completed in 18K gold. The opulence and the minimalism with intricate detailing was Dhwani’s ode to Ruh.

Every time I wear my Ruh necklace, I team it with my black dress for the evenings or a white for the morning. I know the filigree work in the dome-shaped jewellery is catching the light against my skin. I know the light is as transient as the start of a day and the end of a night.

This jewellery reminds me of a story of the Hindu Rajput queen who loved a Muslim soldier and stood behind the Jali window of the fort. She lived her life hidden behind the fort walls or her dupatta. She watched her desire through those gaps and knew that her Ruh would always belong to him. You have no control with that inner voice which guides you into your realm of consciousness. As you wear this necklace you are reminded of the words called Ruh Ki Ibadat, loosely translated as the surrender of the soul to its higher calling. Design and Art is a surrender to that creative space that we also call Ruh. Dhwani Bansal just nailed it right!

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