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Narayan Jewellers, the Ramakant Ambalal Chokshi Group, planned a photo shoot during the week leading up to International Women’s Day. The idea was to celebrate women. Who were these women? Patrons, friends of the brand, clients who frequent this particular store, purchase then don the jewellery and help build goodwill.

We pulled up to the venue, walked in to be greeted with hugs from Tosha and Ravi, pushed past the doors, into a room bustling with energy. Mona Sharma and her girls looked up from their work with smiles as introductions were made. There were tables lined with cosmetics, hair styling products and irons, for both, curling and straightening and chairs facing mirrors.

Time to primp and preen!

Outfits on, a touch of makeup, hair styled and we were ready to go. Browsed through the gorgeous jewellery collection NJ had brought along, picked the pieces that called out to us and we were all set to say cheese.

The atmosphere was relaxed. The photographer with his easy-going attitude, Ravi with his pep talk and comic timing, Tosha with her gentle reminders that this was about us.

A few snaps in and we were set for the short clips upstairs, mused about what being a woman meant to each of us and listened, in turn, as the other ladies spoke. We gave a sound bite each after a bit of mulling over and a few takes.

Come to think of it, this shoot was an exciting idea. Who doesn’t like to feel good? If being dolled up and pampered by professionals does it, who’d turn that down? Add some precious jewellery to the mix and we’re golden. The photo shoot did make a few of us nervous because being in the spotlight all of a sudden can be a bit daunting. Bright lights shining and every eye in the room focused on the lady in front of the camera. There was a lot of nervous laughter and a lot of stiffness in the beginning but each individual, when she took her place in the spotlight, lost her inhibitions with every passing minute. The group shots were injected with contagious laughter which resulted in some pretty happy shots. We had bad jokes and Ravi’s enthusiasm to thank for those.

Talking about what being a woman meant to us was another exercise (and lesson for some) in understanding the diversity in experiences even when limited to a single gender. Not just the roles played as daughter, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother but the additional roles of entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, businesswomen, dancers, artists, designers etc. – the roles that serve to fulfil our purpose as individuals taking our place in society, our contribution to the whole, not just in our personal lives but as professionals as well.

This event was not just a meet and greet with a whole new list of contacts to add to our phonebooks (electronic of course). It was a day filled with promise, positivity, encouragement and reminders to keep reflecting on what and who we are; on the impact we have and all that we are capable of.

That’s what a day in the company of Narayan Jewellers turned out to be.

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