My father was a man of many values. He was upfront and direct with people and cherished honesty and respect. He was a person who had an eye for everything beautiful. He used to tell me ‘I love Beautiful things because beauty is nice to look at and soothes the eye”.
Two of his biggest passion were watches & jewelry. I used to accompany him every year religiously to the annual Jewelry fair at the Beirut Waterfront (BIEL) and walk up and down the aisles looking at the latest creations of renown jewelers. To my surprise he used to know the lot of them as he was friends with many of the patriarchs of the households exhibiting. He used to have an eye for specially carved pieces and on many occasion splurge me with a gift. Shockingly enough at that time, I was not your typical “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” kinda girl. But I cannot say I did not learn a lot from him about the world of jewelry.
I believe in signs. Do you? Sometimes we might be at crossroads, undecided and over the course of the day something happens, a sign pops & guides us towards which road to take or decision to make.
Saturday was a very normal day for me, unaware that the night will tumble my thoughts upside down.
I was out & about in downtown so I decided to visit my dear friends Meena and Maya Mukhi, my jewelers “de réference”, who recently opened their flagship store in downtown Beirut (behind the Municipality of Beirut). The Mukhi Sisters, flagship store is the fruit of three sisters,Maya, Meena & Zeenat, who a decade ago (2009 to be precise) came together to follow the footstep of their grandfather.
The latter relocated his family in Lebanon so as to expand his jewelry business in the Middle East and Northern African provinces. An ambitious father/grandfather figure who seized the opportunity to expand on foreign soil facing a clash of civilization that his children overcame and integrated fully while falling in love with the city and its people. The fruit of this relocation led to the union of two important families of jewelers into one. Mister Chandru Mukhi, first of his generation married Miss Effat Kreidiyeh in 1979 and brought to the world three beautiful, ambitious daughters/sisters that inherited their love for jewelry and crafted this store in the heart of their hometown, Beirut. A step they dedicated to their role model, the men they are all thankful for and a legacy they are imprinting not only in the history of the Mukhi family but of their country.
1920s is a special year for two families. The Mukhi’s stepped into the shores of Lebanon while my father was born, making him the first generation of KhanAmirian to come to life.
Flash Forward to 2017.
On Saturday night I decided to take my jewelries out and look at what my father left me. I came to love each piece and wear them proudly at any given outings. My eyes caught a box nestled deep in my drawer. I was intrigued as I had never gone that deep. I opened it and at first didn’t know what I was looking at. A pendant, I noticed after untangling it, paired with clip-on earrings. I remembered my dad opening this same box once years ago, showing me its content and doing the sign that always warmed my heart. You know that sign you do when something is beautiful to your eye. I call it the picture perfect sign. My father never bought anything out of obligation. He bought beautiful things as he loves beauty. Then it hit me. The name on the box was none other than Ashoka. A name I had heard only a few days before as Meena was narrating me about her family’s history and her father’s shop in Hamra, Ashoka.
I was dumbfounded. My father had actually met Chandru Mukhi and bought a piece of art from his store. I shared my founding with Meena. She in return shared it with her family. Everyone reminisced at his own pace. What were the odds? The previous generation had already established connection while we, the future, were strengthening ours.
I believe in signs, in faith, in whatever you want to label it. I believe in that. We say each generation to its own. However, some generation’s bond is stronger than we believe. Life plays in mysterious ways. And life brought the Mukhi and KhanAmirian families once again together.
To you Souren, watching my life unfold, I know you are there for me when you send me signs from above. You are still here in spirit. I love you. Until we meet again ❤
ps: I am sure you are curious about the piece I discovered. Click on the following link https://www.instagram.com/mukhisisters/ and let its design unravel the Indian world within the confines of the Lebanese territory.