Sometimes, I think, Gold should be renamed as Wold. Wold & Women sounds more like soul sisters than anything else. They share their most important life events together. Infact, there cannot be a life event of a woman without Wold.
Why is that so?
Is that a tradition? Peer Pressure? Cultural hegemony?
The relationship can be described in one word.
Love at first sight. Women like, love and dream Gold. Gold is their birth right and they shall have it. I am extremely confident that most women, specially in India will deny that the standard scientific definition of Gold.
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79. It is a dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal with a bright yellow color and luster, the properties of which remain without tarnishing when exposed to air or water.
I often forget the same. Gold is a chemical element? Ya…I have a faint recollection of my class 9th Chemistry Book. It was at that time when I had just started evolving as a Woman and was yet to find my soul sister Wold.
It did not take me long to find my soul sister. In a couple of years, my parents took me to a jewellery shop. Diwali, the festival of lights was on its way and would be celebrated in less than a week. My brother and I were hoping to get a long Diwali vacation. It was one of the oldest jewelry shop in the town and apparently most trustworthy too. People swore by its Gold Standards.
We all got up, had breakfast, got dressed and drove 45 kms to reach the main town. It took us around an hour to reach the town and another 15 minutes or so to park the car and reach the store. The moment I stepped in the store, my eyes dazzled, startled and didn’t blink for almost a minute or so..No, it was not because of the gold..It was because of the crowd. It looked more like a fish market than anything else. There were these flocks of people with their heads bobbing up and down pointing fingers here and there and everywhere. Tense brows and serious conversations and side by side calculations were going on.
We were also ushered in and seated in a corner. My dad popped his first question. What is the gold rate for today? Pat came the reply Rs. 8600 per gram for 22karat.
I did my hurried calculation for per kilo. For me, kilo/kilogram was the ultimate standard of purchase. We bought everything but bananas and eggs by kilo standards. Potato, Tomato, Rice, Pulses, Apples and Mangoes. The occasional clothes shopping didn’t count.
So, maths being my weakest subject, I was sure, I had calculated it wrong. If, 10 gram was 8600 then 1000 grams were? I could not believe the result. If I was right, how can so many people afford it? I thought, I was misled by the poverty level index of the country.
A rare metal which was extremely costly had people attracted to it like bees to flowers and the constantly humming over the design, weight and rate.
My parents demanded designs for bangles. They looked at me, smiled and said.
This is for your wedding.
We will start buying one gold item each year on Diwali and will keep for your wedding. This year, we will buy 2 bangles.
The shopkeeper displayed trays of bangles. The thicker the bangle, the more attractive it looked. I was falling for it, the glitter gold bee had stung me and now on Wold and I would be start our journey to soul-sisterhood. She and I would look forward to spending more time together and then life events together.
I had not found anyone so pure, beautiful and celebrated. I had no words. Mom asked me to choose two bangles. I looked at the tray. It was for the first time, I did not know how to choose. There was no difference in color, all of them looked extremely nice and the thicker ones looked even better. I looked at my mom’s face and then her hands. She had no gold bangles on them and it still looked as the warmest and softest pair of hands in the entire world.
I choose two bangles, thinnest ones possible and I swore that one day I would buy a dozen of such bangles for my mom. Till then, I had no idea how the global gold price was going to increase exponentially. In that Bollywood moment, when my mom dad were buying gold for future wedding of their daughter and daughter’s eyes swelling up to give better life to her parents, I did not realise although I chose the thinnest ones possible but those were diamond encrusted and heavier too. So, Wold has a snobby old friend called Diamond who makes it almost impossible for her to make friends with everyone. Both of them together form the SoBo (South Bombay) group, who everyone vies to be a part of but the entry is exclusive.
Anyway, my mom did not approve of my choice and chose a pair of her choice and we paid an amount which is equal to the cost of 10gms, 10 years down. But, cost has not deterred my love for Wold, my soul sister.