Home > Magazine > ChaiTime > The Waris Ahluwalia File


The Waris Ahluwalia File

Compiled/Written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/Written by Melvin Durai
September 2011
The Waris Ahluwalia File


2 Ranking in GQ Britain’s best dressed men list

5 Age when his family came to America

Movies he has appeared in

His current age (He was born in 1975 in Amritsar, Punjab.)

40 Number of diamonds in the rings that launched his jewelry brand


“I am aware of people trying to pigeonhole me and not understanding how the acting goes hand-in-hand with the jewelry design. They might not be comfortable with the idea that I design jewelry and I act. But I don’t feel comfortable with being put in a box.” (The Telegraph)

“Travel is a big part of what I do, but I’m a New Yorker. That’s the only ethnicity I feel most comfortable with.” (FashionEtc.com)

“My motto in life is to learn from experience. I do things and learn from the process and as soon as the process gets boring I am on to the next thing.” (SikhChic.com)


Waris Ahluwalia, whose father was a former linguistics professor and mother a headmistress and teacher, is an actor and jewelry designer who has also become a fashion icon of sorts, appearing on the pages of GQ, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

What’s unusual about his career path is that he never set out to become an actor or jewelry designer. After college, while moving from one job to another, he asked someone in New York’s jewelry district to design a pair of rings for him, each with 40 diamonds. Spending his winters in Los Angeles, he happened to visit Maxfield’s, a lavish boutique, where the owners noticed his rings and wanted to order them. Waris started to supply them and, responding to the great demand, decided to create a jewelry company, House of Waris. The company’s jewelry, now produced in India and Thailand, sell for as much as $7,160 for a turquoise necklace at Barneys New York.

Ahluwalia’s acting career began through his friendship with Hollywood director Wes Anderson, who asked Ahluwalia if he’d like to appear in the movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, an offbeat 2004 comedy starring Bill Murray. Ahluwalia caught the eye of Spike Lee and was cast in the 2006 movie Inside Man, starring Denzel Washington. “Acting found me just as jewelry did,” Ahluwalia told Vogue Italia.


Ahluwalia is a role model for many young Sikhs partly because he has achieved success, become a fashion icon, without having to compromise his beliefs. During an interview with Vogue Italia, he was asked about his turban and said, “I’m a Sikh, it’s part of my religious tradition to never cut my hair and keep it wrapped in a turban.” Asked if he ever takes the turban off, he said, “Yes, when I sleep, shower and (have) sex. Not in that particular order. Also swimming. Oddly, all with an ‘S.’”

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more]

Enjoyed reading Khabar magazine? Subscribe to Khabar and get a full digital copy of this Indian-American community magazine.

  • Add to Twitter
  • Add to Facebook
  • Add to Technorati
  • Add to Slashdot
  • Add to Stumbleupon
  • Add to Furl
  • Add to Blinklist
  • Add to Delicious
  • Add to Newsvine
  • Add to Reddit
  • Add to Digg
  • Add to Fark
blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to articles






Sign up for our weekly newsletter




Krishnan Co WebBanner.jpg


Embassy Bank_gif.gif