Yesterday I learned from my manager (who learned this from a customer who works at the Indian jewelry store close to us) that on Choti Diwali you’re supposed to buy gold in addition to buying new clothes and utensils. This is supposedly the most auspicious time of the year to buy precious metals because it brings you good luck in the year ahead. Having never done any of those 3 these things on Diwali and having experienced the most shittiest year of my life (that I can remember at least), I thought I’d go buy gold to break my streak of unhappiness.
I’m not superstitious, I don’t believe in a god and moreover I am not a Hindu (well except sometimes I claim I am when I order airplane food because airlines don’t want to piss off practicing Hindus mainly out of fear of potential lawsuits) but despite all of that I thought that I would buy some of this fancy precious metal stuff because it is out of my norm and getting out of my norm might steer me in the direction of happy. Today I was going to break the cycle of going from home to work and work to home and shop for something I have never shopped for in my life. So I finished work exactly on time and walked to the Indian jewelry shop in the rain (without an umbrella the day after I washed my hair) with high hopes that today would be the beginning of endless smiles!
I rang the door bell of the Indian jewelry shop and the sales person buzzed me and I walked into another space. A jail like cube complete with black bars, making me feel more trapped than my mind. He buzzed me out of jail into the actual shop which was illuminated with lights which made me feel uneasy and a tad self conscious because those lights are unforgiving (seriously, you think you’ve threaded every last bit of your moustache until you see yourself under those lights). There was gold everywhere, behind squeaky clean clear glass cases on display for every womyn waiting to be tried on.
His face lit up when he saw me. The young salesperson there has a mild crush on me (he’s Punjabi, has a smile of a Bollywood actor, Indian guy hair and is sweeter than apple pie). “Hi, I’d like to buy some gold” I told him. “And what would you like Kiran?” “A ring” I replied, “one that resembles my 10 rupee ring” I said as I pointed to my finger, “just a simple thin little circle”. He took out a tray full of rings and I picked out the simplest little ring to match my simple but complex personality and mind (ha). “Don’t buy this one, it’s 10 carrots” he suggested. I knew it! I knew that the ring that I wanted would be the furthest from gold. I called my mom and explained in detail about the ring I fell in love with and she told me to put it back.
Then he suggested I look at little hoop earrings. He pulled out a new tray and I couldn’t even take what I was doing seriously, I was looking at hooped earrings! “Give one a try Kiran” he said. “I don’t know, I wouldn’t wear any of these” I replied and he immediately pulled out another tray. This tray was filled with pairs of studs that almost looked like a baby’s first earrings. Laughing to myself in my head because at 28 I am buying studs made for a 3 year old. This tray felt a bit more appropriate but I couldn’t take this seriously either because I have so many small pairs of studs.
“Kiran you are so simple. I never see you wearing jewelry” he pointed out to me. “I know I know” I replied. Frustrated that my quirky and picky personality and taste for simple cheap jewelry was getting in the way of a year potentially filed with smiles and hearts, I gave up and drove home.
Later in the evening I receive a text from him, after going back and forth making polite conversation he asked “why aren’t you in a relationship Kiran? You couldn’t find anyone? Or do you not want to be in one?” I laughed and explained that I myself don’t have an answer that you’d think was adequate nor believable. “You’re a nice simple, sweet, cute Punjabi girl with a lovely smile” he replied “It’s sad for me that I am not of your age”.
I sat there looking at those words on my phone and began to wonder, does gold lead to endless smiles or do endless smiles lead to gold?