Saturday, 5 December 2015


(The title will be clarified the way conflict in Ravi Subramanian's novels is resolved - at the very end.)

                       Misogynists, skeptics, pawn brokers: I write this not to disprove a stereotype, but to try my hand at elaborating a non-event into a merely-short-of-annoying rant. Do lend me your judging eyes.

                       I have as much love for jewellery-shopping as I have knowledge of Quantum Mechanics. But when the older women have decided on it, you can wield only so much power as the ex-Prime Minister. My unwillingness to load myself with the 79th element in the periodic table and check myself out in the life-size mirrors notwithstanding, I did tag along, expecting a generous dose of street food, given that the ladies had declared a kitchen-holiday.

                      The men of the family, whom, I expected, would come up with lame excuses, decided to accompany the gold hunt expeditionists(if that's a word), quite unwittingly. Much to my disgust, they were equally interested in the metal (as a liquid investment), if not more.

                      We alighted from our Alto, whose headlights seemed to me like eyes that were pleading with the nine of us to please ride a bus on our way back home. Contrasting hoardings of uniquely under-dressed and clumsily traditional photographs of the same model, welcomed us.

                      Loud blares of ‘Vaanga ma,Vaanga ma’(Come in, come in)made me think, for a moment, that I was entering a ‘mugs-combs-key chains-at-rupees-twenty’ shop at the exhibition. The cacophony lasted until he’d made sure that all of us had reached the interiors of the shop.

                      The cashier, to whom we seemed to be bags of money, checked himself right before smacking his lips. The attendants, who, I’m sure, were muttering “Not again”, managed to don smiles that would put China-mades to shame.

                      What followed was a session of incessant rejection of close to 60% of the displayed chunks of yellow metal. The only piece that caught my eye, an exquisite chain (chain, not necklace), with a tiny pendant, invited a unanimous “No!” on grounds of not being marriage (occasion)-worthy. It’s funny how marriage-worthy jewellery is the exact opposite of marriage- worthy women – big, heavy, attention-seeking and not at all modest.

                      Finally I settled on a piece just so I could get it over with and proceed to the stall that served chaat. Wait, not yet. The men of the family were arguing with the guy-in-charge enquiring about ‘Norukkappatta setharam’(for the Tamizh challenged, it
----- translates to                    :   vandalized rate of wastage
----- is supposed to mean     :   extremely low rate of wastage
----- is                                        :   a damn lie).
For some reason, the ‘bitch please’ meme guy flashed across my mind.

                      Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Sensing that they were losing the battle, the men displayed a trait, which I’d assumed, was only characteristic of women - bargaining. Trust me; it’s not just women who haggle over that extra shopper bag at a textile showroom. If a woman’s bargain ends with ‘Na tera na mera’, a man’s begins with ‘Sir (manager of xyz shop) knows me’.

                      Seizing an opportunity, my cousins and I sneaked out to where else? Food. Couldn’t help wondering ‘why spend on a one-time-affair (okay, twenty-times-in-a-lifetime-affair) when there are delectable options to choose from?’
                      Remember the fox from the sour-grapes story? You guessed it right – the entourage made its way to another jewellery shop. Within the next twenty minutes, I was safely tucked under my blanket and the jewellery box, (yes, the second mission fructified) in its safe haven – I, until I woke up next morning and the box, until the next wedding.

(Auromania. Through limited research (by that, I mean Googling*), I see that the word does not exist, but completely deserves to exist. It would mean intense obsession for gold.)

Update: 01/09/2016
*That word is a good example of mind share.
And 'auromania' is a sniglet.


  1. I am absolutely able to enjoy your 'rants' as you call it :). Loved all your double entendres and casual figures of speech. In all , good blogging :)
    Auromania now is a word :D
    - Varshith Radhakrishnan

  2. Omg you make me fall in love with every single word you've written! Witty and beautiful ♡