The Story of My Ganesha


This little Ganesh was given to me as I was leaving India back in 2009. A Ganesh should always face you right when you enter into a room. Also, if the Ganesh breaks or becomes harmed in any way, he should be immersed at the next Ganpati Festival.

I’m in India right now, but I scheduled this post to coincide with my trip–especially since I will be wearing my Ganesha necklace all week long. I often keep saying I’ll tell the story about this Ganesh that I wear but then always forget to. But now, that my Hindu God has a proper chain, and I’m wearing it more frequently, I’ll detail the long story about this precious treasure that I wear around my neck. I’ll try to be concise, but be forewarned it’s a multi layered story.

Living in India, and in Bombay in particular, it was bound to happen that Lord Ganesha became our Hindu God. He is ever present in this city; in fact the neighborhood in which we lived included us in his annual submersion each year called Ganesh Ganpati. Oh, what a festival! We learned to chant Ganpati Bappa Moriya (gun potty bappa more eee ah) in true Hindi form right alongside all the other Mumbaikars out in Juhu Beach where we lived.


You’re actually not suppose to buy your own Ganesh; it should be given to you. Kevin and the kids gave me this one. He had a garland of marigolds around him most the time.

Back to the bauble…first, I introduce Aloise. She’s one of those classy ladies that also has a tremendous amount of spunk. I have always appreciated Aloise’s style anticipating her outfits because they are always fabulous! She wore the most solidly, beautiful Ganesh around her neck–that was one constant to her fantastic ensembles. It was so beautiful (Kevin taught Aloise’s kids) that Kevin inquired about how he too could get this pendant to give to me as well. The Ganesh is actually from Sri Lanka, so Kevin put in an order for the next time Aloise would be going to her home there. The next birthday (I can’t remember which year) I received the gorgeous solid gold Ganesh. Oh, I wore it too. I remember arriving home one summer, and my mom said, And so where is Jesus now? She perhaps thought we had completed converted from Catholicism to Hinduism, so the following summer I loaded up my chain with all the my precious pieces that bring me comfort and help me to feel safe. Yes, I am very auspicious about my jewellery!


We made an exception here and bought this Ganesh. It’s actually a door panel.

I had that Ganesh charm for a good five years or so. Stupidly on one trip I wore it, and the chain was not nearly strong enough. We had less than a 12 hour lay over in Ho Chi Minh City. In the morning we would continue to the beach, so it was a very quick stopover in this city. when we arrived to the hotel, we simply needed to venture out for a a quick bite to eat. We were out for less than 30 minutes because with in the first five minutes right outside of the hotel, walking along a very large yet vacant boulevard, a man walking past me, reached out, and tore my necklace right off my neck! I was so shocked. The kids’ hands were in mine, but then I dropped them instantly and began chasing after the man. I was so shocked it took me a moment to realize he had just torn my necklace off. I was no match for him. He ran up ahead and hopped on the back of a cycle. They were a duo team–they must have spotted me and scoped me out instantly. Meanwhile I had left the kids. They were crying, I began crying, and we were all just stunned. No, we did not eat dinner that night.

This was a big lesson for me: I’m such an innocent, trusting traveller, and while I don’t want to be cautious of people when I travel, I do have more of a sharp eye now. I think ahead about what I will wear in given circumstances. Later when we were in our hotel room, we read the fine print of the Lonely Planet guide book warning us of the “urban cowboy.” They definitely got us! We ended up having a nice time on the trip through Vietnam, but I would be lying if I didn’t say we were stunned and saddened by that experience. I missed my precious pendant a great deal feeling saddened that I had lost it and in such an awful way.

Fast forward to my 40th….It was an amazing month with a thoughtful little gift each day, an amazing party, but an even more monumental gift: my sister surprised me for the party! Then, to increase the sure joy of this birthday, Kevin regifted me the Ganesha! I couldn’t believe it. I can remember that simple meal sitting around the table. It had been such an amazing month and birthday weekend. I did not expect to receive any more gifts. When I opened the small jewellery box and peered inside to see a new Ganesha, I broke down crying.


My second, very precious gold Ganesh

This second pendant travelled a bit just to get to me too, so it is worth mentioning. Kevin contacted Aloise again in Singapore–in plenty of time ahead. She had it made once again–interestingly enough it is not exactly the same. There are couple of minor difference, and I have found out that an artist would not make to Ganeshas in the same way. (At least I was told that.) Aloise picked up the Ganesh and brought it to Singapore where she lives. Our good friend Debbie picked it up from her in Singapore. Kevin knew we’d be seeing Debbie that February in Boracay for Chinese New Year. In Boracay Kevin was having trouble connecting with Debbie, so Debbie passed it on to Geraldine whose hotel was closer to ours. Kevin finally picked it up from Geraldine, and I’m not sure how Debbie got the money to then pass on to Aloise. Regardless, the Ganesh made it into the hands of Kevin, and I was clueless to all of this. I was so stunned to receive it on that Sunday, February 21, 2012!

Now, there’s one last litle bit: I’ve had this new Ganesh now for three years, yet I never wear it. I was scared to. I haven’t had a real solid chain to carry it. That’s fixed now because Kevin gave a beautiful, solid, strong chain for my 43rd birthday, and now I’m frequently wearing my Ganesha!

And that’s the multi-layered story of my Ganesh! Ganesha is the Lord of Protections, so I’m very happy to be able to wear him again.

*I know I used Ganesh and Ganesha interchangeably. I can’t explain why other than he has always had these two names for me. A third name would be Lord Ganesha. I’ll research this fact….and now I have found out that basically there are two names for him. Another spelling that I hadn’t seen was Ganesa.

Gilded in Gold

I love jewelry! I always have. I remember forever coveting what my grandmother wore. She stacked, she arm partied, she wore it all. Sometimes, I like to do the same–just like Grandma Soogie did. I gild myself in gold.

I love that jewelry tells a story. There are two on my left wrist. The watch is simple: Pion, my assistant librarian, was up in Shenzhen. She knew I wanted a Michael Kors watch, so while she was up there, she picked one up. She texted to say the vendor wanted 380 RMB. Having just moved from Beijing, I was like no way–100, 200 tops. She wrote me back saying the gal would only come down to 250. I admittedly kind of ignored her text. What do you know, that Monday I had a new (fake :S) watch for 200. While I’m not proud of the imitation, it’ll get me by until I get a real watch!

The charm bracelet is packed with family history. When Jane (Kevin’s mom) and her sisters had their children, the gifted their mother with a charm of their babes names. Grandma Farrell had a very full charm bracelet embellished with her grandchildren around her wrist. The first Christmas Kevin and I were married, she gave me Kevin’s charm on a beautiful gold bracelet. Oh yes, there were some tears. Since that Christmas in 1997, I have gradually been adding to the bracelet. Currently, there is a Florentine lily that brings me back to where Kevin and I fell in love. There is an elephant that the kids gave me while we were living in India. I have the silver dove that my godmother, Auntie Paddy, gave me on my confirmation. It was hers and is so dear. At the clasp there is a sweet little butterfly from Gizelle, my library assistant from Bombay. Each charm is so special and brings back such memories. The bracelet is so special, therefore I don’t wear as often as I should. I like to save it for special occasions.

Gold, gold, gold! On my right wrist three out of the six bracelets are from Saudi Arabia. Two of the bracelets are from Beijing. The colorful gemmed bauble is from HM.  The first gold chain is part of a necklace and bracelet set that Kevin gave as we were leaving Saudi Arabia. It was so sweet and generous. I was really quite surprised and touched by this gift. Saudi was a tough place to live, and this gift was like Kevin acknowledging the hardships of living there. The second bracelet is made of little gold beads. There’s a shop in the Pearl Market of Beijing where they are sold. It’s called Ken’s. The faux gemstone cuff was purchased for Cork and Sally’s wedding over Chinese New Year. It matched my dress perfectly! Sandy recently gave me the imitation David Yurman piece when she visited in October. It ties in with the next two perfectly. She also picked up this bracelet at the Pearl Market in Beijing. Finally, the last two pieces are the two bracelets I never take off; they have become a part of my skin.  They are both from Saudi Arabia. The gold bangle was given to me from my class. I wear it to remind me that I can make it through anything! The next bangle is made of silver, and it was given to me by one classy lady, Shannon Coyne. Shannon is such an amazing, nice, kind, and very stylish woman. She’s like a librarian Coco Chanel to me, therefore this bracelet reminds me to always strive to remain classy.

Around my neck you will find two matching pieces. The chain necklace accompanies the bracelet Kevin gave me from Sauid Arabia. The beaded gold matches the bracelet from Ken at the Pearl Market in Beijing. The necklace carrying the Ganesh is from Harry’s in Bombay. Many people who go to Bombay end up meeting Harry. While Jane and Alex were visiting Kevin got me this necklace for my birthday. It’s got three strands representing the other three in the family: Kevin, Vincent, and Gigi. The Ganesh is beyond special. Lord Ganesha became our Hindu god while living in Bombay. The story of this particular piece (and the piece before it!) deserves it’s own post, so with that I’ll say to be continued for this important pendant…..Yet, I can’t forget about the chandeliers that hit my necklaces all the way from my ears! I don’t remember which market it was in India, but these brilliantly gold earrings are stunners. They cost me a maximum of 50 cents, but they were worth every penny. They are bright, they are long, and they are stunners. I love ’em.

And with that, I conclude the story of each piece. I love jewelry, and I especially love to be dripping in it! To make similar purchases in order to be Gilded in Gold, I’ve found some spots on the web for you:

  1. To purchase a Michael Kors watch, visit here.
  2. I’d say the best place to find a unique and special pre-memory filled charm bracelet would be to go to Etsy: for example, check out this beauty! It’s only $65 US!
  3. For the beaded bracelet, you could DIY; Bead Infinitum is packed with both patterns and jewelry beading bloggers. It’s a super cool site worth a visit. I also found a beautiful crocheted bracelet on Yoola that’s even more dainty.
  4. Chances are you could find a similar gemstone piece at either HM or Forever21.
  5. For the David Yurman bracelt, you can buy it here.
  6. If you ever go to Beijing, make sure to go to the Pearl Market–it’s packed with fun stalls! (Please write me before you go, and I’ll set you up;)
  7. Finally, these are the best, most unique places I found for buying gold online: Meena Jewelers, TanishQ, and Atlas. And it would be remiss if I left out my ultimate favorite Indian jewelry store, Amrapali.