”My Little Gold Ear Drops”
My first gold was this beautiful pair of “gold ear drops” that mom and dad had bought for me and my sister when we were hardly 11-12 years old.
Today I understand that it would not have been easy for them. With an average-paying job, mom and dad had too much to manage. Three children, two dogs, and a grandparent. Dad used to do double shifts to keep us all comfortable. A job during the daytime and a small business of electronics after office hours from home. He always would make us all also pitch in a hand in his business so that we realize the importance of hard work and we remain rooted. We got payouts too. Fifty rupees or hundred, depending on how much we contributed.
With whatever parents had, they made it a point to make Diwali special for us. Dad would load us all on his Vespa (imagine a family of five on a Vespa) and take us to ‘The’ Lajpat Nagar market to buy us new clothes. What a joy ride it used to be with the entire family strategically fitting itself on the little Vespa! We had no complaints. We, in fact, were able to make enough heads turn in amaze. We used to have so much fun. Dad was very particular about everybody performing Diwali pooja in new clothes. Hence, the must-do, rather memorable trips to Lajpat Nagar, for which we used to wait the whole year.
I vividly remember, mom dad once talking about buying us some gold on one of the Diwalis. Dad sounded worried,” bahut expensive jo jaayega yeh affair. Kaise karenge”
“Kar lenge. Karna padega. We now have to think about adding jewellery, piece by piece, for our two daughters. Time flies and they will be ready for marriage in no time.” Mom said.
“I understand that but we hardly have any funds in the bank. Abhi to education bhi baki hae and I am not compromising on that at any cost.” Dad said in a firm tone.
“Sab ho jaayega. Kuch bhari bharkam nahin kar paayenge but dheere dheere chota mota. Let’s buy them “gold ear drops” to start with. I have some money with me. I’ll pull it out. I have been saving it without your knowledge.” Mom grinned.
“Achaa!! Tum bahut smart ho! How much of it is robbed from myyy wallet?” Dad smiled and said.
Mom looked the other side and laughed, “nahin mere rakhi ke paise hain.”
At that age, I really don’t know how much do we understand of our parent’s struggles. Gifts excite us irrespective of how they have been arranged by our parents. Today’s generation definitely doesn’t understand even a bit of it and we cannot really blame them. Anyways, we girls were happy. Finally, after much deliberations, Gold ear drops were promised to us and a cycle to our little brother.
It was around Diwali and how excited we were. Yaaay! Shopping time. We entered this not-so-fancy Gold Jewelry shop. Mom asked for gold ear drops. Many designs were brought to us. For each design shortlisted, dad did the calculations, and finally, what suited his budget, was bought. I sooo remember how mom tugged the little red jewelry batua in her purse and the entire way back home repeatedly kept checking for it. That’s how paranoid our poor lady was!
We wore them on Diwali and when we went out to burst crackers, Mom nervously said, “please keep feeling your ear drops lest you drop them.”
Today also when I wear them, I keep feeling them lest I loose them. My most precious and my forever piece of jewelry from my parents, my little “gold ear drops”