Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Turning Stones into Gems


Today, as I stood in this quaint and beautiful store at Sab Mall Noida, a haven to a rare collection of gems and crystals, I overheard the gentleman at the counter, speak to a fellow customer, mentioning his hometown as Lucknow, locality as Nirala nagar, and the house no. the next to where I grew up...I stood rooted for a moment. I couldn't believe he was one of those boys, our next door neighbour!! !! I waited until he was free and approached him with a knowing smile, "Hi, I couldn't help but hear you say that you're from Lucknow, are you one of the Maheshwaris?” After a series of excited and animated exchange of notes, of bonding over the old times and fond memories of our locale, a feeling of enormous respect and admiration encompassed me. 

Desh Maheswari, sixth in a family of eight brothers has come a long way from those days of selling malas. I vividly remember how all the eight brothers along with their docile mother, diligently, religiously, strung beads into a thread and sold these in the neighbouring houses. Day in and day out, this was their routine after school, their sole source of income. We sisters, found these boys a little strange. We never saw them outside their homes playing gully cricket or kanchas, like the other boys. Introvert and shy, we had minimal interaction then. So I was surprised when he inquired, “Are you the eldest of the three sisters? I always admired how your parents gave you three the best of education and led an exemplary life themselves.” Even as I responded to all his queries, I realised how he cared and knew quite a bit about our lives, whereas all we knew about them came from hearsay. Looking at him today, I realise Life is a Teacher in itself, providing much more valuable lessons than what textbook/school education can. 



As I look around his shop, which is incidently named after him, I could sense the sweat and the blood that he has shed to get to where he is today. The shop, though small in area, was well organized with an array of alluring gemstones in various shapes, strung out to form beautiful pieces of jewellery, each of which had its own merit and purpose, as explained to me by Desh. Agate, Amethyst, Tiger eye, Citrine, Moonstone – he could count off so many from the top of his head with a detailed explanation of their properties too!

A short while into our conversation, I see Desh, pulling out a file from his drawer, "Did you ever hear about my short acting stint?” he asked with a glint in his eyes. I recalled there was a rumour that one of the boys had gone to Mumbai to try his luck as an actor. Curious and bemused now more than ever, I glanced at the file he had taken out. It contained numerous cuttings from old magazines and newspapers. "I gave my first screen test in 1973" he said boyishly. This day was turning out to be quite thrilling. I resisted the urge to call up my Mom and elder sister to share all this and concentrated on what Desh was telling. He had acted as a child/teen actor in Hindi films Badla, Jagriti, Khoon Pasina and many more.

 Desh MaheshwaDesh Maheshwari - first screen testri - first screen test
Desh Maheshwari - jagriti - directed by Rajandra bhatia
From the movie 'Jagriti'

Desh maheshwari - Jeena yahan (1)
From the movie 'Jeena Yahan'

Desh maheshwari & kadar khan - Khoon pasina
From the movie 'Khoon Pasina'

"Wow, so how did this journey from an actor to a jeweller come about?” I asked.
"Sister, one has to come back to one's nest sooner or later. Since when I was a kid I had this fire in me to become something, to become Dhanwaan. That was the reason I was tempted to the’ Celluloid Capital of India’, and although I had bagged a few roles in small time films, yet there was no certainty in that line. So I moved to Delhi, to do what I knew best, threading beads to make simple jewellery, though now the beads had been replaced by precious stones. I gained knowledge about Gemology, healing stones, crystals and the lot. The more I studied about this filed the more it fascinated and intrigued me”.
There is so much positive energy about him. It is all in the stones, Desh points out. "I started this shop in 2002, to introduce people to the power of healing stones and how this can help achieve physical and mental peace". With an experience of about forty years now, Desh has an infallible and unfaltering knowledge about natural healing and the inherent ability within each individual to self-heal themselves using their natural environment. Just being with him for a few hours, listening to his life journey one feels inspired, motivated and empowered to seek ones true God given purpose and not waste away the precious time that one has in hand.
                                                                                                
Over a cup of tea we discussed about our children and families and I picked up a couple of elegant pieces of jewellery. The very next day when I wore one to school, I had no idea that there would be quite a few of my colleagues making a bee line to this
amazing store of gems.
Now, with a clientele which includes the rich and famous, and a business that is fast expanding worldwide, I marvel at how grounded this man still is. Not blinded by success, deep rooted in his culture, humble at heart – this entrepreneur has a long way to go.


(Image source: Google and www.deshmaheshwari.com)
I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with BlogAdda.com

37 comments:

  1. I have been In noida and next time I go I will visit this guy for sure!

    www.subzeroricha.blogspot.in

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    1. Hi Richa, you should definitely visit Desh Maheshwari. Not only is he a gem of a person but a true inspiration to people who will stop at nothing to follow their dreams!! Hope this story gets selected :) Fingers crossed!!

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  2. Amazing story! Hope it gets selected.

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  3. Thats an aspiring story. Fits the topic perfectly too
    All the best aditi

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    1. Welcome to my humble blog Afshan...thanks a lot!! :)

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  4. Absolutely loved reading it! This one will be selected, take it from me!

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    1. Million thanks Sangeeta!! God bless you!! :) :)

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  5. That's inspiring. Stint in bollywood and a jewelry store. My best friend's aunt learnt about jewels at 40 and now she is an accomplished designer in Punjab. Even we go to her with designs. We save 1 to 1.25 lacs on each piece. Isn't it amazing?

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    1. Hi Saru, welcome to my humble blog :) Your aunt's achievement only goes to show that there is no age bar for learning and following one's dreams!! Great!! :)

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  6. With your smooth narration it's wonderful to read a succinct biography of a successful person. :-)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Arun!! Glad you enjoyed reading this!! :)

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    2. Best of luck for the contest! :-)

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  7. Inspiring indeed and the narration is captivating as well!

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  8. Such precious memories. And so beautifully narrated! Surely, this was the best example of serendipity!
    My first time at your blog. The first of many more, I am sure!

    http://reekycoleslaw.com/

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    1. Welcome to my blog Rickie!! Thanks a lot for your gracious comments!! :)

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  9. it comes as a really sweet surprise to me to read such a nicely woven story about my father by you........it broughta smile.....congratulations for your blog :) :):) :)

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    1. Wow...what a pleasant surprise!! Thank you so much Kritika for your kind words...hope i've done full justice to the extraordinary persona that Desh Uncle is :) Pay my regards to him!!

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  10. M glad to say dat i knw dis hardworking,kind,selfmade multi talented,highly energetic still very down to earth GENTLEMAN personally.... thankuuuuuuuu 4 being there....thanku 4 being... DESH MAHESHWARI !! :) <3

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    1. He is an amazing person!! Thanks so much Gargi for stopping by my page!!

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  11. i just got to know about your beautiful blog....i really feel pleased...god bless you :) :)

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    1. Thank you so much :) Glad you liked it!!

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  12. I know him personally and seen him working hard since my childhood and he truly deserves where he stands now.Thanks for this beautiful expression of yours.

    Harmeet

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    1. Thank you Harmeet :) hope this story does justice to the great man he is!!

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  13. A fact stated beautifully for the world to see and learn. I have known him for years and am surprised it took so many years for everyone to see a beautiful yarn of reality woven as an impressive story hope it gets selected

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    1. Thak you so much Meenu for such kind words...hope Mr. Desh's example inspires every one!! :)

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  14. Thanks Aditi for bringing the inside story of Sir (as i call him) in the Mainstream Society which was untold for so long.Most of us are aware of his Energetic,Dynamic and Blissful Personality and his Intelligentsia but one thing which i want to share with you is the other side of his life which is equally Emotional and Romantic.His small acting career not only changed his persona towards life but also understand it from core.He became tough from outside but very soft and caring from inner.A Guy who likes to listen classical Hindi and Sufi songs.(One of his favourites is "Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana").Listening songs is not his Hobby but act as a point of transition between his hectic schedules.Whole day he teaches other to be strong but himself is emotionally attached with miniature of things.There are many other diverse corners of his life which is difficult to explain here.
    So I wish you All The Best for your future Endeavour.

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    1. Thank you Arunesh for sharing with us another side of Sir. It is so good to see that he has touched so many lives...loved, respected and admired by all. All your lovely comments speak volumes of the great man he is. :)

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  15. Vow..... Never Knew my MASA is such a SUPER STAR.... keep growing Mr. Maheshwari......

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  16. Hey Shrutika, thanks for visiting my blog. Your Masa is indeed a gem :) we wish him all the best in life!!

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  17. Sounds Interesting... It is very informative and I Like this Post....

    Gemstones Power

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