Love & Diamonds

Every Diamond Tells a Story: The Los Angeles Edit

Three multi-faceted, LA-based South Asian women, tell us about each of their creative passions, flourishing careers, and why their natural diamonds will always be the most meaningful possessions they hold close to their hearts.

Los Angeles is a city with a vibe like no other—a single trip to its CBD, Downtown, showcases its diverse culture and undying love for the arts. We travelled to the ever-bustling LA and met with three South Asian women, each of them excelling in their careers with an added creative flair that shapes their personalities.

Almost every diamond jewellery purchase comes attached with a certain sentimental value. In fact, your diamonds could also be signifiers of your life and how you’ve grown as an individual. Here, three incredible women of colour share anecdotes from their lives, their fulfilling journeys, creative passions and what their natural diamond jewellery pieces mean to them.

Mili Ghosh – Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer
An all-round visual storyteller, Mili may call Los Angeles home today, but her life has had her move between the US, Africa and Asia, all of which influence her creative aesthetic. 15 years in the industry, her career spans weddings, fashion photography, lifestyle shoots and portraits.

What she loves most about her work:
“As a brown, female photographer, I want to represent my people and my community, because I don’t see too much of it. I feel, with photography, if I don’t show it, you’re never going to see it. If my eyes don’t lead you in the direction I want you to see, you’re never going to be able to see the souls and the stories. Maybe that’s why I feel it’s special to create, to connect and to help people see our community in a different light.”

Mili Ghosh

Her heritage:
“I was born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for 17 years of my life. There was a very strong Indian community that helped me tap into my heritage. It’s all thanks to my mom constantly giving me that exposure to music, films, dancing, and art. I was learning everything through films. There was no better way for me to understand my culture, language or my heritage.”

Her love for natural diamond jewellery and favourite jewellery purchase:
“I love natural diamonds because it’s a miracle of nature, and I don’t know who doesn’t want that. I bought this David Yurman ring twice [because I lost it the first time], and who does that? When I found this ring, the colour of the stone and the diamonds that surround it, support it, was just beautiful. Why I bought this twice is because I lost it the first time to boiling crabs. I love crabs and [to eat them] I had to take my ring off, and sure enough, when people came to pick up all the mess, the ring went. That same night, I called the restaurant back and said, ‘I really need this and you need to help me find it and they literally got it out of the dumpster. So I got it, and then I lost it again another time. I couldn’t live with the fact that I lost it and I told my husband that there is no other ring that could replace this so I had to go back and get it again, and it hasn’t been lost just yet. The ring is a part of me that I can definitely give to somebody, an heirloom I would hand down. I think I can put it in my will, maybe to my friends.”

The most heartwarming gift she’s ever received:
“These diamond earrings, they’re so special, I don’t even know how to say it because they’re a gift from my client, Nisha, and I’d never expected that. Once the wedding was done, we delivered the photo and their video and I got a thank you note and this pair of earrings along with another gift. She said, ‘Mili, this reminded me of you because you sparkle like the diamond,’ and that was just touching and something special.”

Anisha Kurukulasuriya

Anisha Kurukulasuriya – Orthodontist and Professional Dancer
A USC alumna, while Anisha pursued dentistry at school, she also discovered her love for dance there and is now exploring the best of both worlds. Today, she successfully juggles both, her third-year dentistry in orthodontics at USC and professional dancing with troops all around the world.

What she loves most about her work:
“I love being able to change people’s smiles with dentistry, but also love being able to transform into my own different person when I dance. With dentistry, you’re transforming not only their smiles but their whole personality. It could be someone who’s never been confident about the way they smile and they go through ortho, and they are a completely different person; I love being able to give that to someone.”

Her heritage:
“I was born and raised in LA—My whole family is here. My parents went from Sri Lanka straight to LA. We end up going back to Sri Lanka every two years. I love going there; It’s such a big part of my culture, my family, the way they grew up. Overall, with my South Asian culture, I really identified with dance. I discovered my love for dance when I started Bollywood dancing in college and ever since then I feel like I have this missing piece of my life that allows me to have that tie to my roots.”

Anisha Kurukulasuriya

The most heartwarming gift she’s ever received:
“My diamond ring came from my fiancé. We’ve been dating now for almost 6 years—we met in the collegiate Bollywood dance circuit. It means a lot to me because we’ve been long-distance since the beginning of our relationship, and there’ve been so many accomplishments and milestones that we’ve accomplished separately. We got engaged in January 2020; he proposed at a really nice sunset rooftop in West Hollywood. Ever since, this ring is kind of a reminder that no matter what I’m going through, no matter the hardships I’m experiencing, I have this support system. It’s nice to finally just be together in the same city and experience life together.”

The jewellery purchase she’s looking forward to:
I always wanted to own natural diamond jewellery. My next jewellery purchase would be diamond studs. That’s a classic piece of accessory that goes with any outfit.”

Sona Shah

Sona Shah
An ophthalmology resident, Sona has had a stellar academic and professional journey. Also a USC alumna, her work in ocular oncology has been presented and published on numerous occasions. Alongside, she’s an accomplished mixed media artist with pieces hung in the Capitol Building in Washington DC and local cafés in LA.

The emotional side to her career choice:
“I always wanted to go into ophthalmology because of my grandpa. He was the one that inspired me to. I love the concept of getting to help people in their vision, hopefully, restore vision and that’s something that’s very meaningful to me. I think that working with my patients and connecting with them is the most meaningful part of my job.”

Sona Shah

Her heritage:
“Art has always played a big role in my life and it’s something that I grew up with, that ties back to my Indian roots. For example, we’d [create] rangoli every year and there would be this whole art factor incorporated into that. Art made me a stronger medical student, trainee, physician, and being in medicine made me a stronger artist and I think the two really complemented one another.”

The most heartwarming gift she’s ever received:
“These are a pair of earrings that my sister got when she was in India. Most of the time they’re in my scrubs and are a part of my roots and self-expression that I can keep with me. I love natural diamonds because they’re classic, they’re eternal. There’s a story behind it, why it’s meaningful to you and there’s a story you get to pass on, which is the most exciting part about it. This is an heirloom that I would see myself passing on to the next generation.”

The philosopher Peter Singer once said, “Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment.” Whether your first diamond jewellery purchase was a pair of earrings you saved up for, a necklace passed down by generations of women in your family or even your wedding ring; no matter what, there’s plenty of emotion associated with every piece, a symbol of love and admiration, and these women go on to prove just that.