SIGNET OF THE TIMES

270 Signet of the Times

(I’m back, friends!)

Ever since publishing my last post, I felt reinvigorated – enough to consider what the next post was going to be about. And it came to me quite simply (they have only been on my mind for the longest time)… Signet rings!

The history of signet rings (how they came to be, basically) is what is most interesting to me. Back in the olden days, illustrious folk used to seal important documents and maybe, secret letters (each) with a glob of sealing wax that was impressed upon with their coat of arms. I don’t quite know if typically, it used to be first, a stamp (with the wooden handle) and then later was turned into something convenient, i.e. having the seal set within the bezel of your ring (it would have been easier to have your stamping ring on you at all times). (Speaking of which, I have been longing to make my own sealing wax kit!)

To have your own trademark in the form of a seal is very exciting to me, and from what I have deduced, people usually opted to create motifs that are only theirs, much like a logo that forms the signet. Maybe a fleur-de-lis or rose combined with perhaps their monogram or something else representational like an animal, object or ornament etc. These motifs tell you about the individual, what they stood for or were associated with; which is perhaps why it may have been restricted to certain sects of people (kind of sad because I am a common woman and had I been born then, I would certainly have loved to have the means to forge a crest as part of my legacy).

Getting to the jewellery bit (sorry it took forever) – I do have quite the thing for antique and heirloom pieces, could you tell? Signet rings are exquisite to have and hold; of course, in today’s day and age, it might not be the simplest to get your own such ring made (it would be fairly expensive, for one)… Even so, here are a few I spotted on the interwebz that left a lasting impression on me (see what I did there, heh):

Cosma Signet Ring, KATKIM – $990

Femme Ring, Wolf Circus – $140

Giulia Ring, CINCO – €45

Grande Dame Signet Ring, Maison Mayle – $250

Morena Saint Ring, Five and Two –  Rs. 3,039.71

Signet Ronde Gold, MIMI ET TOI – €80.00

Slim Signet Ring, Ariel Gordon – $450

Wyatt Signet, Merewif – $66

Closer to home, I’ve spotted one on Sreesha’s website, SHOP LUNE and something kinda sorta like a signet ring on KICHU (I mean, the signet ring has Egyptian roots and this could very well pass off as one!). I also have a ring from Forever 21 (not pictured here). I bought it a few years ago, and I love the almost arabesque inscription; it is even better that the signet opens up (like a locket) to reveal an embossed symbol of a Roman cross. I’ve been wearing it a lot, recently; I’ve come to think of it as my very own Papal ring (ha)!

P.S. This post has been exceptionally long but if you’re still here and reading, I should tell you that year’s Met Gala theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination contributed further to my thinking about heirloom-like, almost Victorian fashions. I would have loved to see close-ups of anyone wearing signet rings at the event but sadly, when I was researching for this piece, I didn’t find any. Should you have any information, I beseech you to share it in the comments below! (In order of their appearance, the picture credits are as follows: Wolf Circus, FINE LIFE CO, Marko MacPherson, LUV AJ, The Deeps, Merewif, HONESTLY WTF, Merewif.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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THE LIGHT IS COMING

269 The Light Is Coming

Or is it not… Did the light take a cosmic detour? 

Hey, hey, so, I’ve been away. – Oh, and this is a picture I took (of my reflection in a floor-length mirror at Café Cassia in Bangalore) on my 31st birthday, etc. I know it is unusual to share pictures of myself on my blog but I thought, Hey, why not? (It was a lovely day, and I liked my outfit.) I don’t usually photograph well and hate posting pictures of myself on a public forum unless I have taken the picture (and think it looks fine) or yeah… I know, so finicky and weird. Well, that’s me in a nutshell for you! (Nothing alluring/inviting, there.)

So back to the topic at hand, I thought I’d drop some gems (much like in the photograph)! Or maybe just tell you what has been going on, which is, basically, nothing. I am still looking for a job, so there is that. May has been complete mayhem to say the least, I have never before felt the depth of emotions so destructive and distressing, as I did, last month. How’d I escape its confining clutches? (I tried.) There was a two-hour DMT (Dance/Movement Therapy) workshop and a spooky story-telling sesh that I attended (on different days); I met some friends (Ashwita and Krutika) and worked on a mini-series called #mermay (just for kicks, or uh, fins), etc.

What I’m hoping is that June is better. That I can finally get somewhere, be doing something (I promise to pay it forward). I’ve been in the same place for so long, and everyone, everything is just passing me by. Adding to the overall despondency of this post; I had a few bad depressive episodes this month and do you know what’s even sadder? I don’t have enough to see a counsellor on a regular basis or anything (don’t worry; there is something else that could perhaps work out). Anyway, I know they say that it gets worse before it gets better… So, I definitely won’t stop trying. (Please don’t be laughing at me, I’d cry harder if you were to. All the best, ¡mis amigos! May June bring out your compassion and courage, confidence and creativity… I wish you the warmest of viiiiibes.)

(Should you be interested, the marigold-themed silk blouse is from H&M – it was a gift from my mother and my jeans are the 711 Skinny from Levi’s; I wore Minila’s gold Kolhapuri chappals on my feet, a beautiful coral reef necklace from SHOP LUNE on my neck, hoop earrings from H&M in my ears, and a new watch on my wrist (my friend Magali helped me snag this babe from Casio at an excellent price!). 

P.S. Look, don’t get me wrong… I know I rarely get into a super sad mood here on the blog, and that too, on the first day of the month! But know this, I’m always forthcoming on here, and I couldn’t pretend things were better. I mean, yeah, there’s so much to be thankful for. Even so, I do feel emotionally/mentally drained. I’d like to have done something. I’d like to be seen as worthy; only I am not and I feel like I am the human equivalent of the song Fix You by Coldplay. I mean, it’s utterly desperate but kinda hopeful too. That is what I am, right now. Hoping against hope, as Ogden Nash once wrote. (Okay, that brought a smile to my face; it was a crazy poem, wasn’t it?)

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

We are going to want to talk about ‘time’ again, are we not; you know, how it picks up speed ever so slightly making every moment fleeting, etc. Because here we are, once again – at the beginning of an end, at the end of a beginning; and this is the way it must be for how else must we live? How else must we see, how else must we know, how else must we feel? January, you are not quite over – and yet you have been a long and weary-inducing month. I have learned some things, hated some things, discovered some things and then some. But you were here, all the same; so, thank you.

P.S. One of my closest friends, Valya (we used to live at Kalyan Kendra in Bandra, and that is where we met) is getting married to her beau, this weekend; send her some love, should you be inclined to (I hope everything goes well). There are a bunch of events, starting tomorrow… Oh, and see you soon, February, ¡mi amor!

(I have not photographed anything interesting in a while – this reminds me, I have to charge my camera’s batteries; some of my ideas are coming back to life so you can expect to see some good things on here, es mi promesa a usted.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS

¡Feliz Navidad, mis amigos!

Whether you spent Christmas all by yourself, with family or friends, your partner or pet – I hope it was filled with ‘roses’ and warmth. There are some days and nights when you have to tell yourself that the light of sun, moon and stars are worth it. Everything! Life, and all its many mysteries. The little things. Spending part of your time reflecting on love and loss – it is hard, sometimes to count just your blessings. For cracks tend to run deep and show all that is in between. Yes; deep gulps, bitter swallows.

We are here, now and I am grateful. I cannot be anything else. There will continue to be joyful, wild hope following every desperate/destructive moment; there will continue to be plants shooting out of a ground that was only watered by hate – I will try to remember all of this. – So I spent Christmas quietly, with family – as I usually do. There was mulled apple cider that I made (it was my first time making it and uh, it was okay but yay), roast chicken with a home-made stuffing and some saffron pilaf-ish rice (cooked by my sweet, talented mother); we also met my aunts, uncle and cousins for dinner at their home in Mahim, last night. It was surprisingly low-key and lovely – we talked about mental health and sexual harassment (would you believe) and though most of our arguments weren’t met by the elders with conviction, I am glad that the conversation was had.

P.S. This post is dedicated to the inhabitants of a beautiful home in Porvorim (Goa); I have been thinking of all of you, most – this December. (And should you, dear reader, pray on a regular basis to a deity or our mother – Earth, could you please ask for love and light to swiftly and slowly be on its way to this particular family? Thank you for your ears, and eyes, dear reader – you may have them back, now.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes