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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Diamonds are not forever

Finally I gave up my fetishism on diamonds.

It was difficult at first, what with me belonging to the culture (I am Sindhi) where diamonds play an important deciding factor for placing you at certain strata of society and earning that false respect. The bigger diamond meant a respectable position in Sindhi community, a front door entry to any important religious meetings, an admiring friend’s circle hovering around you, even though you might not part with a centimeter of your carat with them. Ah well.

But diamonds were my best friends, even though I could not compete with my rich cousins. Every time, my cousins flashed their real diamond jewelry I would secretly wish to buy me a better stuff. But my limited budget allowed me to live within my means (as my mom would often say, not to destroy my shack by building castles in air). Nevertheless, by the time, I reached middle age, I had enough of everything. Enough I say because I was satisfied with what I had, and I had everything in diamonds: ear-rings, rings, bracelets, watches, bangles, necklace, pendants, though not those big, huge carats, nah, they were not as impressive as my rich cousin’s booties, but was decent enough, some gifted by my mom, aunts, sisters, some inherited and some, I know not how they arrived at my tijori. I had planned to buy me some more really big ones, those fancy ones that you see in the shopping window, hoping some day in future (when I became truly Richie rich) I would own that too, until one day, suddenly my taste took a U-turn from gaudy to subtle, and it was thinking whether it was really so important to carry such heavy stuff on my neck and on my ear lobes that was dangling so much with its weight that I need doctor’s help to prevent it from becoming a torn chappati. I decided that I don’t really need it. Specially since it was also giving me unnecessary stress.

Now let me explain. What use is wearing all those real diamond-sets that cover your every possible skin so much, that people cannot see you beyond those glittering stones? And you are so busy flashing them, that your topic of conversation is limited to fashion and shopping, while your subconscious mind is eagerly waiting for the compliment that may not arrive from your envious friends. And then you are always living in fear of losing your possessions so much so that you become too obsessive in guarding them. You become vigilant about your cupboard keys and are always hiding the keys in such odd places that you cannot find them yourself. And when you have misplaced it somewhere, you start suspecting everybody: Your maid, your guest, your friend. Okay, you will tell me that I can keep them in bank locker. Then what the bloody hell is the use of freezing them if I cannot wear them? You advice me that it is important to save it for the bad times. So should I wait for those bad times when I can happily cash out diamonds and release them from lockers?

Instead of spending money on diamonds and freezing them in lockers, I have discovered a better value for money. Investing the money in proper way in funds and bonds and see it grow, yielding regular dividends gives special kind of pleasure. It is fun to travel with that extra cash in style. Buy some luxury items to enhance the atmosphere: nice bed spread, good curtains, jacuzzi. And sharing the excess cash with less fortunate and winning their million dollar smile is an heavenly experience.

Also, I am enjoying shopping for artificial costume jewelry, nothing flashy but classic, yes. I like that. No worries about guarding it, hiding it, storing. If it gets lost, I don’t care, I get one more reason to buy another one. I can now concentrate on reading and on other things that I can truly enjoy.

And to enjoy the company of people who can see and hear, just me.

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