Yesterday was a gloomy, dark afternoon but it didn’t matter to me. My mum had invited her children around to hers to celebrate albeit belated, Diwali. The house was full of noise of the grandchildren running, laughing, yelling at each other in excitement; the bustling in the kitchen created by my mother who had cooked a feast for us all – 3 different chicken dishes, (whole chicken curry, chicken jalfrezi and a tandoori chicken starter), a separate chicken dish for the children, dall, aubergine curry, rice, puris, jelly for the children for dessert. As soon as we pulled up to her house, my daughters screeched in delight as the aroma of Nani’s cooked drifted towards us. ‘Yayyy! Nani’s cooked chicken curry!’ The only time they were quiet was when they were eating, refuelling like racing cars, ready for the next bout.
Whilst the children were eating in my mother’s cosy kitchen, my brother and I decided to escape to the front room and put on a film in the hope of achieving five minutes of peace. The film we opted for was ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings’. Enchanted by Cate Blanchett’s voice, my brother and I left the sofa and were gently transported into Middle Earth, reliving the epic tale of how the rings were given to the elves, dwarves and men to look after and protect their realms. We watched how Isildur had the opportunity to destroy the one ring that ruled them all – but his greed for ultimate power overcame him and he refused to destroy the ring. Instead, betraying all who had fought with him, he kept the ring for himself – but the ring’s power weighed heavy on him and would lead to his ultimate destruction.
Every time I watch that particular scene: Isildur is travelling back home, weary after the terrible war in which he managed to defeat the evil Lord Sauron. His faced is etched with an immense feeling of tiredness – you can tell that he is completely spent. He is an incredible warrior who should be jubilant that he has just saved the world – but he isn’t. Why? Because the ring of power – the ring that corrupts – the ring that doesn’t belong to him weighs heavy around his neck. Every time I watch that scene – which is only a few moments long, I am so impressed with the actor’s acting, and the director, Peter Jackson’s sensitivity about how incredibly powerful and dangerous this tiny ring of gold is.
I made my brother stop the film at that moment to talk about it, because even though those few seconds had a huge impact on me, I’d never had the opportunity to discuss that particular part with anyone before. Unfortunately, for my brother, he was a captive audience – either listen to my musings, or help supervise the children as they eat – I knew which he would choose.
We are Hindus and although from an outsider’s perspective, it looks as though all Hindus do is worship different forms of God and have many, many celebrations – it is actually more complex than that. Hinduism is an ancient religion – the oldest in the world and yet it still survives to this day. That’s because it’s not just a religion – it’s a way of life. At its very core is the fact that we are a part of nature. We are made of the same substance that every other matter in this universe is made from.
The Hindu priests create astrological horoscopes that chart periods in your life, based purely on the date and time of your birth. They study the alignment of the stars, the positions of the planets, and they can determine the period of your life when you will marry, when (if), you will have children, when you will be going through upheavals in your life, when you will have a steady, prosperous period in your life. In the old days, the priests would have used paper charts to help them. Nowadays, technology has moved on and they use computers. If you are going through a tough period, they will tell you approximately how long this phase will last and why you’re going through it. And invariably they give you the most incredible, sage advice. You’re going through this period because you need to go through it. There are lessons you need to learn. Learn those lessons. This time will pass and you will get through it. Have patience – and learn. The phases are determined by the positions of the planets in our solar system.
Sometimes, the priests can offer more advice. They can tell you that there are particular stones that you can wear to help you through some of the tough times. Emeralds, yellow topaz, jade, sapphires, moonstones, pearls. They tell you whether you should wear them with gold or silver. They tell you which finger you should wear your stone upon, and they tell you to ensure that the stone actually touches your skin. If it’s not touching your skin – it won’t do any good.
It is believed that the stones generate an energy. All stones generate their own energy – and this energy can either do you an immense amount of good – or – affect you in terrible ways.
I love amber jewellery. I love the fieriness of the stone. I love how amber changes in the light. It always looks as though a fire is glowing inside it. I have amber necklaces, rings and earrings. But wearing amber has the most terrible affect on me. Even if I wear amber for an hour or two, I can feel myself filling with rage. I feel out of control. Stressed. Unable to manage my emotions. This is not how I feel normally and I hate feeling this way. So despite loving this particular stone, and admiring it from afar – I will never wear it. I know that the energy that this stone emits, is not good for me.
I have seen other people wear other stones and it has done them a world of good. Helped them to achieve success in their careers; helped them to keep calm and regulate their emotions; helped them to improve their health. Different stones have different properties. Different purposes. Different energies. However, they will only bring positive outcomes into your life, if they are meant for you.
Looking at Isildur, weary, drained, riding back home on his horse, and ultimately dying before he could make it back – it reminded me again of how powerful these metals and stones are and the effect they can have on us.
I also started thinking about diamonds. Diamonds, we are told, are a girl’s best friend. You’re engaged to the love of your life – and you’re expected to purchase a diamond for her. But diamonds also emit an energy. They are no different to the rest of the stones on our planet. So what if diamonds are the wrong stone for your fiancé? There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to stones. So why do we assume that every woman who is about to be married, should have a diamond? Retailers have told us this is what we should do – but what if she would actually benefit from a sapphire? Or an emerald? Or a ruby? Or a pearl?
Interestingly, the priests that I have spoken also said, that if you wear a stone that does not suit you, you will know straight away. It might make you ill, irrational, unhappy. But also, if you have been wearing a stone for a very long time and have been happy – but one day you lose it – it means that you do not need it anymore. If it’s lost, it’s lost for a reason – and if you find it again – you’ve found it for a reason.
So my poor, unsuspecting brother, who had only been looking for a little bit of peace, was subjected to listening to my ramblings for a full ten minutes or so. When I had finished, I fully expected him to give me an exasperated look, make a sarcastic comment and continue with watching the film. Instead, he took my by surprise and said, that all makes sense because we are all made from stardust…
His reaction astounded me even further because the bookmark that I had only purchased last week said exactly that – which is why I had picked it up in the first place. ‘We are stardust, meant to shine.’
Whether you believe me or not – it doesn’t matter. It’s something that I believe and all I’m doing is offering you a perspective to life and stones and jewellery that you may not have thought about before.
I’d also like to finish with this thought – people who are about to propose to your loved one – ask them to marry you and take your loved one with you to choose their ring. After all, diamonds may not be a girl’s best friend!