1955, 20th July. A small, 350 sq.ft shop with the grand name of A.Sirkar & Sons was inaugurated.
A single bunting of fresh mango leaves, a few chairs and a counter that displayed one set of kurta buttons and a ring in 22k gold was all it had that day to start with. Rajeswar Sirkar, the proud owner, all of 21 years old, had sold his wife’s marriage jewellery to take occupation of the premises at 171/1A, Rash Behari Avenue and little was left for stocks. Besides, he had parted with the joint family and struck out on his own. So, apart from his stature as M.B.Sirkar’s youngest son (a scion of the preeminent M.B.Sirkar & Sons Jewellers family) he had little else to fall back upon.
Two years of struggle saw A.Sirkar become a leading jeweller in South Calcutta and, very soon, by the mid-sixties, perhaps the city’s most popular jewellery brand. Then came the Gold Control Act and with it darker times. Artisans, unused to the new kind of gold, saw themselves going out of work. Many killed themselves. Jewellers’gold stocks were appropriated by the authorities. Customers suffered due to the authoritarian laws governing the legal purity of gold that could be sold – no higher than 14k.
Starting from scratch again, Rajeswar Sirkar, with his untiring efforts, well- honed business skills, and a vision – as fine as it was faultless, now rebuilt A.Sirkar with fiery determination. By the end of the seventies it was, inarguably, the store to go to for 22k Bengal Jewellery; and thereafter landmark after landmark was created:
1) First fully computerized jeweller in India – 1989
2) The creator of the Dhanteras Gold festival that has now become a nation –wide phenomenon – 1993
3) Export of Bengal jewellery to the Middle East, America, and Far-East – 1993 to 2000
4) The first jewellers in the world to be ISO-9001 certified – 1995
5) The only manufacturer within city limits certified by the WBPCB as a clean green unit – 1996
6) The first virtual reality showroom – 2000
7) An adviser to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on the setting up of hallmark centers – 2003
8) The only complimentary Mercedes Benz limousine service in the jewellery sector – 2011
9) The only jeweller actively promoting original works of art in jewellery – ‘ARTWEAR’ – 2012
Today A.Sirkar stands at the pinnacle of quality and fine craftsmanship. Led by Brinda Sirkar, who also designs the ornaments, A.Sirkar is now the leader in bespoke Bengal Jewellery.
Every ornament is 100% hand crafted using tools and technologies that are a hundred years old. Each design is created in-house and personally supervised by Brinda Sirkar from drawing board to showcase. Working with a cache of supremely skilled artisans, she ensures that even the minutest detail is realized and the finished ornaments is nothing short of exquisite. An A.Sirkar ornament is like no other- in design, workmanship, and spirit. Suffice it to say that each is an heirloom.
The showroom remains at 171/1A, Rashbehari Avenue, except that the humble 350 sq.ft shop is now a three-floored store with separate departments on each storey. The experience, of course, is still like visiting the home of a dear friend or a member of the closest family. A.Sirkar takes pride in knowing their clientele personally and attending to their every whim and fancy. There are no cutting corners here – from beverages made to order to the Mercedes-Benz limousine service; from fully customized ornaments to the exclusive range of complimentary gifts; from the warm welcome with a traditional namaskaar to the specially printed gift paper… be prepared to fly a very high First Class. Even the carry bags are environment friendly, export grade jute. And the uniforms specially coordinated by a young fashion designer. In a world of homogeneity and reckless commoditization, A.Sirkar remains a rara avis of refined taste, sublime artistry and a certain timeless style. If, truly, God is in the details – then A.Sirkar is where she resides.