Yesterday I was asked the most unusual question ” Why is it that some people are born rich and some people are not”? As i struggled to answer that question I actually asked my self “Are there some questions we don’t know the answer to or is it that just because a question does not have a definite answer it is something we pass off as saying its due to Destiny, Karma or Chance…..
I was born with a golden spoon in my mouth and my childhood life could not have been any better, though I do remember the one thing my father kept telling me as a child…He used to say “I may not leave you a legacy behind but if you educate yourself you would have inherited more than what I can ever provide you with”. At that time i did not fully understand his wise words to me and finished school and college obediently with obvious lack of interest in what I was doing..
The truth is that we live in a country where the education system maybe great but does not provide you with enough knowledge or guidance as far as career choice..It is presumed that if you do BSC you shall become a Doctor, Lawyer etc, if you do BCom you will do Business and if you do BA you would choose something in the creative world..thats it….No-one informs you about the career choices that exist and how to go about it..It is assumed you will eventually choose after you have scored the required marks ranging in their 80s and 90s.
Having completed my college and with stars in my eyes it was more a question of now what??? Did not want to act, had tried interior designing as my mother was a renowned interior designer, even tried ad film and television production but some how I had yet not found my calling and my parents were seriously worried for me as they believed that as a woman I needed to have a career of my own.
Opportunity came knocking at my door when a friend of mine was going to the US of A for a course in Gemology and asked if I wanted to come along. Frankly I had never heard of the term “Gemology” and to me the opportunity to “party” in LA was more appealing than the studying part of it, so I jumped at the idea. My goal was off course was to have fun during the time I spent there….nothing less..
After convincing my father that this was what I really wanted to do by promising him I would top my class, I boarded my flight to Los Angeles the city of fun, glamour, sun, sea and beaches…I just wanted to get away from Mumbai as fast as I could…
But as they say, someone up there had other plans for me and as I learned on the first day of my class, that “Gemology” was the study of the chemical, optical and physical properties of 99 minerals and their gemstone varieties. I was in total shock as it involved all the sciences in school i despised like chemistry, physics and even mathematics…. There went my party plans…Having made a promise to my dad and wanting to live up to it no matter what I ended up becoming the “Indian Nerd” instead of the “Party Animal I hoped I would be….
My hard work and determination eventually paid off and I topped my class with 97%. which I eventually followed up with a jewellery design course after which I returned to India. That, was the start of my career as a Jewellery Designer.
Don”t know if I would call my career pure chance, fate or my destiny but not being from a jewellery family I had to struggle very hard to make myself be known. The only thing that kept me going was my drive and passion to succeed no matter what it took…Initially there was a lot of curiosity from the people at large as I was the first person to actually be known as a “Jewellery Designer” in the Indian Market since the concept did not exist. Off course being from a Bollywood Family helped open inroads initially but it was my work eventually that made people keep coming back. No one is going to come back to buy your jewellery even if you are “the Queen of England” unless your product is good.
Those days I struggled hard to make a name as I wanted to do it on my own,..my way. My Parents had provided me the “know with it all” and I had to now find my way. Being Young and wanting to stand out among the hordes of jewellers who dominated the market those days was not an easy thing. For a start I had no investment of my own to begin with so I began working on creating designs on paper that were breath-takingly beautiful. I spent hours sketching, rendering and painting life into each piece of jewellery because I needed people to see my concepts on paper before I could make the actual jewellery. They say hard work pays and I had many customers who placed orders on my sketches believing that the actual piece would look close to the rendered design. If it had not been for those customers who placed their implicit faith in me I don’t think I would have been where I am today..I also learnt in the bargain that in order to sell something across you need to believe in yourself first and then your product for only then can you make someone believe in you.
Creating the FARAH KHAN FINE JEWELLERY Brand has not been an easy one and I have faced a lot of obstacles along the way but I stuck to my beliefs and my brand philosophy for Branding is all about Image projection. You only get ONE chance and you cant afford to mess that up. When I look back I have erred and corrected but I am proud of my body of work for I dream and then work towards making that dream a reality.
I am never content with what I have achieved and know that I can scale greater heights and thatis what I intend to do. I may have been brought up in the lap of luxury but had I not worked towards my goal and put in the effort required to achieve I would have been an ordinary rich spoilt brat wasting my life doing lunches with bored socialites discussing the weather, the handbags, shoes and clothes that one possessed.
I thank you Dad for giving me the opportunity to Educate myself and always pushing me forward. I thank you for not making it easy for me, for if it were I may not have valued my success as much as I value it now. And YES you have left me with an immeasurable treasure trove of talent & confidence in myself. The confidence to climb a mountain, to conquor new goals, to strive harder and push beyond ones limits and if that is what I can term my “destiny” then I would have to say it was well worth the EFFORT I put into it.
It’s not where you are born…It’s what you make of your life…I have seen the rich squander away their legacy and have seen the poor man make history….Carve your own destiny…Only YOU can..
I made mine……