For the prettiest ankles in town
Naakoda Payalls sources patterns from its eight-designer studio in Jaipur
DID YOU know that an anklets-only store exists in Bangalore? The first of its kind in Karnataka, it lies off Margosa Road in Malleswaram. To those who celebrate the lissome ankle, it proves a treasure trove.
A gasp-inducing diamond-and-gold pair in the window lures us in, while another in ruby-like stones beckons elegantly. Free of upmarket ambience or steep prices, all that glitters at Naakoda Payalls is breathtaking silver anklets. The brainchild of Sandeep Gadia and his brother Ketan, it opened without fanfare in October 2002. Its clientele has since grown by word of mouth.
On offer are kundan work pairs in uncut polki diamonds, gold-dipped for allure, ranging from simple leaf-patterns offset with golden beads tipped with maroon crystal to tiers fringed with stones or beads in red, blue, green, or black from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10,000. Jostling for attention is a solid silver Rajasthani pair with kundan-set stones and trellised strands on one side, while the reverse showcases hand-tooled patterns, at Rs. 5,090. Equally stunning are necklace-pretty pairs in blood-red hessonite or pale green peridot or dark green onyx, each exquisitely styled in Thailand.
From Thailand, we ask in surprise. "Yes, our collection is from Jaipur, Rajkot, Delhi, Bombay, and Thailand," replies Sandeep, whose mother Vasanta suggested the setting up of this store with a difference. "In Thailand, their workmanship is finer than ours, and the silver is 92.5 per cent pure. There are so many Tamilians in Bangkok, who wear anklets. It's a fashion there to wear just one anklet, like our college girls do."
For collegians, there are over a 1,000 designs priced from Rs. 150 to Rs. 400, bright with beige, turquoise, red or green fibre beads, plain enamel or even shimmering crystal. Their children's range, between Rs. 300 to 900, fits six to 9.5 inch sizes.
The Gadia family, which owns two Chikmagalur jewellery showrooms, sources patterns from its eight-designer studio in Jaipur. Their refined array reflects 35 years in the field, distant dreams away from their ancestral home at Ranawas, near Jodhpur.
Take in the splendid ghaghra payal from Rajasthan, its 7.5 cm.-deep flared silver layers held in place by intricate panels, easy to imagine on a swaying village belle. Or the hollow kada that locks into place, its surface rich with geometric planes or intertwined vines. Or the Punjabi rajwadi paajeb of fine strands linked to a row of bells, which once graced royal ankles.
"In Rajasthan," explains Sandeep, "women often wear solid silver kadas that can weigh up to one kg., worth about Rs. 15,000. But the hollow ones here are just Rs. 2,000. Even the ghaghra payal, which can weigh between 300 gm. to 1.2 kg., can be bought for Rs. 9,090."
Ketan brings out a surprise. Irresistible mother-of-pearl anklets, with Thai raw material crafted in Jaipur, on offer from Rs. 2,250 to Rs. 5,000. Its delicate allure makes it almost too beautiful to wear.
Based in Bangalore since 1993, the brothers drifted out of the finance business to set up their anklet venture. As they bring out anklets linked with patterned chains to toe-rings, hand-embellished silver interspersed with semi-precious stones, even Australian blue crystal amidst glinting silver orbs, other ideas surface.
"We do much wholesale trade," reveals Sandeep. "We send anklets all over India, except in Bangalore. Over 18 part-time businesswomen in Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, and other centres stock our wares. We have a money back scheme in case they can't sell their stock."
Customer-friendly, the unassuming Gadia brothers offer even single anklets. Or convert an expensive Thai hessonite pair into a necklace and bracelet on request. Or even rework a single kundan anklet into a dazzling choker.
Naakoda Payalls deserves a visit. The mind-blowing stock there is blessed by Naakodji, their patron deity from faraway Rajasthan.
Naakoda Payalls is at 16th Cross, Off Margosa Road. Phone: 23311010/ 3183-5644. Open from 10.30 a.m. to 8 p.m..
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