The Real Jewellery in the Crown
Just ask the taxi guy to drop you off at Raymonds, everyone knows Raymonds, and then cross the road, you’ll see Handloom house, you remember Handloom House, walk straight and you’ll come to Saree Palace, turn right there, right again and his shop is just behind. These were the precise instructions my friend in the know gave me when I asked about someone who might be able to repair some jewellery. I got a lift to Bur Jumaan shopping centre, walked right into the Meena bazaar area of Bur Dubai and looked for Raymonds, easy to find, and duly followed instructions till I got to the repair man. The only nasty bit was the quite narrow alley behind Saree Palace where the communal bins were full of yesterday’s rubbish and a little too close for comfort. But it was winter, walking was easy, it was safe and the alley was really quite short. I walked into Crown Jewelley shop and emptied my little blue suede pouch onto the counter and asked if anything could be done about the broken bracelets and the pearls my husband bought me from Spain that had clasps but needed to be threadded. After careful examination I was told that an s shaped hook made of silver could be added to my bracelet and yes the pearls could be threaded but I needed to come back at 10.30 when the boss man would be in.
No problem, I followed further instructions, which were to walk to the end of the road, turn left and look for Kentucky Fried Chicken, walk down the alley and find the tailor, there I was to pick up my stuff, and give him the other suit if I was happy with his work. Sounded simple enough but I did ask where Kentucky Fried Chicken was once I’d turned left. No one had a clue and then I suddenly saw it and pointed animatedly, there there, oh you mean KFC, yes, yes! Although it was 9.30am it was still a bit early for the tailor, who together with his colleagues was standing around a sort of plinth eating a breakfast of stuffed parathas and steaming ginger tea. No, no it’s fine, will you have some tea, or at least water, please sit down, all your clothes are ready. I thanked them tried on my outfits which had come out really well, gave him some new cloth and new instructions, paid and left, not before hearing a large lady complain bitterly about the fact her outfits were still not ready, and it was now the 27th of November, Diwali was well and truly over and could they please explain the delay?
I retraced my steps back to Crown Jewellery shop and thought how lucky I was that friend in the know had insisted most vehemently that my clothes just had to be ready! The boss man at Crown jewellery shop was in sitting at his post and again I took out my items, yes no problem it could be done, then and there and would take about half an hour, he sensibly suggested we take off 4 pearls from the bracelet string and turn them into ear rings, the clasps were no problem, s shaped hook in silver was easy and the bracelet whose large stone was loose would not be simply stuck back together with jewellery type super glue but its entire setting would be adjusted and made firm to hold the stone in place, impressive for Dhs 300.00!! The most expensive part were the hooks of the ear rings made from silver dipped in gold.
My third set of instructions were to under no circumstances leave my pearls there but watch them being threadded in front of me, so I spent half an hour getting to know the boss man.His name was Purohit ……… and he had come to Dubai in 1979 from Calcutta, and had seen many changes since then. Initially he worked for a large established jewellery shop but gradually together with his brother managed to open a little concern of his own and now they owned two shops and employed 16 people between them, 4 sales people and 12 craftsmen. I wondered if there was anywhere nearby to get a coffee, no problem please stay seated, coffee was ordered from a nearby café and soon delivered on a tray, no money was taken. Looking around the shop I noticed a number of stacked thick invoice type exercise books all of whose spines had names of well known jewellery stores on them, written in ink. Well I guessed maybe they contained pictures of their designs which were then copied by Crown, I couldn’t have been more mistaken, on asking what they were, it turned out they really were invoice books of each major jeweler in the area who would come to Crown for any repairs customers would bring them so I was told if I had walked into one of the grand, gleaming showrooms on the wider streets with my suede pouch of repairs, I would have been charged a lot more only for my work to have been done by Mr Purohit the real jewel in the Crown, his expertise and patience paid off, I now finally have a set of pearls I can wear and two bracelets that will not fall off because of a faulty hook, I shall go back next week to collect the new set of clothes and give Mr Purohit a few more broken baubles from my jewellery box.
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