“Your car is arriving in 10 minutes.” beeped her phone. With a slight frown, she switched off the data and all but chucked her phone into her roomy tan handbag. A 10 minute delay at this time meant getting stuck in traffic. It meant answering questions and ruining the surprise. But what to do, he was still getting dressed.
He walked out of the room, wearing casual brown solid trousers. His off-white and beige checked shirt hung loosely on his broad shoulders, untucked. “I am ready”, he said, “We can leave.”
“No we cannot, the car will be here only after 10 minutes and you are not ready. What is this you are wearing?” She said, the frown growing deeper every moment.
“Why, what is wrong? I am only wearing what you bought me” he replied and was not amused to be pushed into the bedroom. “Wear the new blue shirt with the Navy textured trousers, and tuck it in this time” She said while dumping the new clothes unceremoniously into his hands. As she was closing the door, she peeked in and pleaded “Please, dress well” with a smile that could disarm the fiercest of warriors. He was putty in her hands.
The drive was awkward. He was irked as she would not tell him where they were going. She might not be getting Diamonds for Him but knowing her he knew that something big was in store. She was the Queen of surprises. He knew that she would not go till Alwarpet on a Saturday evening to ‘research for her work’. Not that she was lazy, she was far from it. She worked almost 12- 14 hours every day just to keep her passion going. She only hated being stuck in a traffic jam when she could well be doing something useful as she often said.
In any case, she would not drag him along in a taxi unless she required him for something or to do something. He wished that he could do anything for her. However, he was shackled by life’s many woes. Despite his best efforts, he felt that he would not measure up to her standards. All he could do was love her. Love her with all his heart.
The taxi finally came to a grinding halt just before the Mehta Jewellery store on CP Ramaswamy road. She paid the driver, got down and strode towards the store purposely. Excusing herself, she went inside. I stood outside gazing at the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 bike on display. It instantly brought back, memories of night shifts at the Engine workshop of Enfield where I had begun my career. I let my fingers trail absentmindedly over the famous Hand painted Madras Stripes on the bike. She came out with another man, probably the store’s sales executive and invited me in.
As I sat down, Mr. Anand brought out trays and trays of gold. He told us the story of the hand crafted Menswear collection comprising of gold, gemstones, Diamonds for Him. It was inspired by the magnificent Royal Enfield; the hand crafted power horse. He spread out chunky bracelets and gold cuff links while telling us how 24C gold dust has been used to paint the stripes on Enfield bike. He also explained that one lucky client, who purchased from the men’s collection over Rs.25,000 and posted a selfie taken with the said bike stood a chance to win the bike itself. My heart leaped, just a little.
Chains carefully handmade by interlocking dainty gold rings made their appearance. They looked like the chains that she had by the bagful, back at home. She reached out to them, picked one up with a reverence, that only a designer would possess. She stroked it gently and murmured her approval at the interspersing of textured matt links amongst shiny loops. Though she looked at me or spoke to the executive, I realised that she was lost in a world where only she and the jewellery existed. After the table was cleared, Rasi kal modharam (Birthstone rings) and Zodiac charms were brought out and with a quick dismissal head shake from her, went back in.
Then came out trays of rings studded with diamonds and other coloured stones whose names I had no way of knowing. She tried one on and was delighted when it fit her well. I had learnt the hard way in the past that delicate feminine baubles hardly suited her. After looking at three trays in less than 30 seconds, she picked out one ring. “This one” she said and handed it to me. “try it on, see if it fits you.” And, yes, it did.
As I was wondering how she knew that it would fit me, she said “Appa it is for you, I hope you like it.” I was flabbergasted; it was not right. She was my little girl. There was no way on Earth she could buy me jewellery, let alone diamond jewellery. I shook my head and said “No! you are of marriageable age and I should be the one buying you raasi thodu or vaira besari or a solitaire ring. Amma will be furious.”
“It’s ok pa” she said with her typical hand gestures, “if and when I get married, my future mother-in-law can buy thodu and fiance can buy the ring; you won’t have to buy a thing. We will make them get something for Amma too”, she laughed and her eyes twinkled.
I knew I was losing fast and hard. It was hard to change her mind, and she looked determined. So I decided to appeal to her practical side. “Do not waste your hard earned money on this; you slog like a mule every day.” No problem pa, I have saved for it and can afford it now. “If you do not like this pattern, we pick another one but I am buying you a ring.”
It was elegant, classy with a matt band and a shiny gold edging. the diamond was the right size for a man of my age and position. It was beautiful, no it was perfect.
“I do not deserve it, I do not do anything for you” I cried out trying to touch her emotionally. She gently shook her head, put her hands around me and said “All the gold and diamonds in the world, no one who deserves them more than you do. For all that you have done and continue to do for me, I love you Appa!”
I, all but wept, with pride.
After all, the jewellery was not meant for just about any man in your life. Only the best, Only your hero and I was hers.
This post “Gold and Diamonds for Him” is written for “Ride the Royal” contest organised by Mehta Jewellery for their exclusive men’s collection. Visit Mehtajewellery and browse their other collections as well. Visit their Alwarpet store to see the full menswear collection. #RideTheRoyal #MehtaJewellery
Though I love imagining, telling, and writing stories, this is the first time that I have ever written fiction on this blog. I apologise, if I confused any of my regular readers with this sudden entrant. Like most of my stories, it is made up of many half truths and one
lie (or wishful thinking). I do indeed wish that one day I am able to get my dad, my hero something beautiful. If he was younger, I would have probably won him the bike too.
Dedicated to Appa – for putting up with my innumerable sourcing trips, research meetings, and ferrying me across town all these years. There is indeed no one who deserves it more.
I hope you found it interesting