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Going for glitter

Farah Khan has come a long way, from being a celebrity kid to an ace jewellery designer

Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

THERE WAS a time when Farah Khan-Ali couldn't tell a ruby from an emerald. That was when she was content hanging around in the shadows of her more famous parents and relatives.

Barring an occasional flashbulb that cleared the shadows around, the paparazzi passed her by. The cameras are wooing her now but this time she's made it to the news on her own steam.

"Well, I really didn't have much of an idea of what to do when I grew up," she recalls. Despite having noted Bollywood actor-director-producer Sanjay Khan as her father, filmmaker Feroz Khan as uncle, his son Fardeen for cousin and hotshot deejay Aqeel as hubby, not to mention superstar Hrithik Roshan for brother-in-law, putting on the greasepaint wasn't her cup of tea.

"It was on a picnic trip to Los Angeles that I heard about the Gemological Institute of America. I joined for the heck of it but soon discovered I had a knack for jewellery designing," she says. Going back to her college days in the US, Farah reveals she was a "nerd who eventually topped the class".

Back in India, she plunged headlong into glitter world, working on designs that were lapped up by a celebrity clientele featuring names like Gauri Khan, Celina Jaitley, Lara Dutta, Perizaad Zorabian and Esha Deol. She is quick to admit that her lineage certainly got the business moving.

"But finally, it's your work that matters. No one would spend a fortune on something they don't like," she points out.

Perfection personified

Starting out with Mumbai, Farah took her designs to Dubai before zeroing in on Hyderabad as the third city for unveiling her collection.

"Being a perfectionist, I believe in going slow and steady. I have often rejected designs post-production.

My pieces have to appeal to the artist in me before going on sale," she says. Farah's "bursts of creativity", in her own words, come early in the morning or late in the night. "When I hit a dead-end on the creative front, I usually take a holiday to recharge myself."

Pregnant with her second child, she doesn't really see a bonny baby coming in the way of her career.

"For the last six months, I have worked on lots and lots of designs," she says and signs off. But not before pointing to her tummy and adding with a laugh, "I think my baby is making me feel over creative."

K. SACHIDANAND MENON

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