When I was born
…my father came to see my mother in the hospital delivery room.
She handed him the baby and he pressed a gold bangle into her palm.
“Ponn kodutha kai-kku pon kodukkaren,” he said with a shy grin.
Ponn in Tamil means daughter. Pon, without the end emphasis, also means gold. My father, ever the wordsmith, played with this pun.
I was that daughter.
The story gets retold
My Mom repeats this incident with relish at every momentous occasion.
Just before my daughter was born, she took my husband aside and asked him if he wanted to go to the jewellery store, to buy something to remember the occasion by.
Perhaps a diamond ring.
My parents define themselves as Palghat Iyers, so Kerala is equally their home as is Tamilnadu.
Why not get a Kerala-style filigree necklace, said my Mom.
Cake and balloons
My husband came to the delivery room with cake and balloons, which we distributed to all the nurses.
“My wife is a modern woman,” he said. “She will prefer to choose her own jewellery.”
He was right.
The contrarian in me would have liked a sapphire ring for instance, simply because most Indian families are worried wearing “neelam” or blue.
It is linked to the malefic planet, Shani or Saturn, in Hinduism.
Jewellery has many definitions
Through this exercise of creating this website, I have discovered what jewellery means to me.
Here is one definition: jewellery has been a companion, a comfort, a marker of milestones.
My jewels have accompanied me at every life-stage and transition.
They have borne witness to my victories, failures, joys and sorrows.
It that sense, my jewels have been my silent friends.
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