When you live in a city like New York or Chicago, it's fairly easy to find your way around. For the most part, urban planners patterned these cities on a grid with numbered streets indicating one direction (East/West) and avenues or named streets indicating the perpendicular other (North/South). So if you're at my favorite Mexican restaurant in the East Village and want to get to my favorite all-veg diner in the Lower East Side, you can do so with ease simply by knowing the cross streets. Easy peasey.
Like most things in India, however, navigating the chaotic streets of Kolkata isn't so simple. There is no helpful grid to indicate the desired direction, and good luck finding anything in its proper place on Google Maps. In order to get where you're going, one must rely on the kindness of strangers who live or work locally to point you in the right direction. But sometimes that direction isn't clear. I mean, how do I know I'm still walking south when the street I'm following seems to have veered to the left?
Instead of going the route of a Boy Scout and carrying around some clunky chunk of magnetized metal, Marolsha has come up with a solution to help you find your way in style: the Vintage Compass Silver Ring. Lightweight with an adjustable band, the silver compass ring is a utilitarian's dream. I tested it out in a place where I am direction literate to be sure it works, and sure enough, it pointed north. Although the aesthetic is a little reminiscent of something you'd get out of a machine for a quarter, the construction is vastly superior and ensures a significant cost per wear lifetime of getting you where you're going.
The compass ring isn't the only offering from Marolsha that piqued my curiosity. I was also interested in two seemingly opposite feathered finds: Twin Owls Earrings and Mod White Love Birds Earrings. Owls are birds of prey, which means they are solitary by nature to facilitate their livelihood, and, based on their appearance in Hieroglyphics, that rugged individualism has kept them around a long time. Love birds, on the other hand, form long-term, monogamous bonds marked by a social demeanor and affectionate nuzzling. But you won't find their likeness in Egyptian caves. Despite their differences, both birds make regular appearances on adornments, as they captivate the human imagination.
Twin Owls Earrings are made of a sturdy antique brass and fall two inches below the earlobe on a thin kidney earwire that is easy to attach and detach. Their color is so bright it could be mistaken for a matte gold. The Mod White Love Birds Earrings are about a half-inch in length and dangle from silver plated leverback earwires. The color is painted onto the pair with a white enameled finish. Like the compass ring, both set of earrings are well-constructed.
Based in Singapore and created by Canadian fashion lover and jewelry designer Maddy, Marolsha peddles unique, vintage-style jewelry that is inspired by the natural world. Whenever possible, Maddy repurposes and recycles her findings in the process of creation. This eco-friendly sentiment is also found in the paper box in which the pieces arrive along with a handmade gift card that resembles a postcard. All of which is to say that Marolsha's jewelry reminds me of both the abundant joy of travel and the warmth of returning home.