The Ring – A Short Story


It was an emergency. She was going crazy with worry. She had only two more days. 48 hours. A lot was at stake here.

She had this annoying habit of removing all accessories and jewelry that adorned her ears, neck and arms, the moment she walked into her apartment from work – sometimes dropping them on the shoe cupboard, sometimes on the kitchen counter, pretty much anywhere and everywhere. The same habit had brought this emergency upon her.

She had lost her engagement ring.

On a glorious afternoon, a fortnight ago, her boyfriend of many years had finally popped the question. She still remembered the golden and rust coloured leaves of Autumn raining down on them, as she accepted his proposal. He had then slipped the most exquisite emerald ring on her finger; a
ring that had been passed down in his family, over many generations. He had told her about its significance and history, and about how he had asked his mother to take it from the bank locker, for this momentous occasion.

And, in 48 hours, she would have to meet his mother. She had met her before, but this was different. She had been invited to meet her future family.

She had not told her fiance about the missing ring, very confident that she would find it soon. But after nearly 36 hours of turning the entire house upside down, hope was draining – slowly and steadily. On this predatory hunt for her ring, she had come to know every nook and cranny in her house.

She dialled her fiance’s number. Hearing the love in his voice, courage nearly deserted her.

But she couldn’t take the pressure anymore and blurted out, “I have lost the engagement ring. Please don’t be me mad at me….”

There was a killing 10 second silence at the other end. Finally he said, “Tell me you are joking.”

10 seconds of silence from her end, which told him the truth.

“You know how valuable that ring is, and its significance, don’t you?” he said.

“Can we postpone the dinner at your mom’s? she asked.

His voice was curt, “No way. This is very important to my mom. You’d better find the ring, I have no other solution.”

There was a click at the other end as she stared at the silent phone.

Another round of searching, going crazy, trying to retrace her movements on the day the ring went missing…over and over again. No clue.

She had to come up with a convincing plan. An idea slowly took shape in her head. She would wear a pain-relief patch covering the fingers and wrist on one hand, feigning a muscle pull. That way she could always say she had left the ring at home.

She felt a lot calmer. Her fiance visited her that evening. He joined the search, though his eyes looked hurt.

She gently broached the pain-patch plan. He reluctantly agreed.

The family dinner was a huge success, as she was warmly welcomed into their midst.

At home, however, the ring remained elusive, and the strain was beginning to tell in many small ways.

After nearly three months, Lady Luck decided to visit her in the form of a Dryer Serviceman, who found the ring in the lint trap of the dryer. The dryer was used only when it rained. So, there it was, the shiny ring, bringer of relief and happiness.

Her birthday was coming up, and she decided to surprise her fiance by wearing the ring.

On her birthday, as they sat down to a candlelight dinner, she moved her hand this way and that, but he didn’t seem to notice.

Just after dessert, he asked her to close her eyes and stretch out her hand for his gift.

She heard a loud gasp. She smiled as she imagined his reaction on seeing the ring.

His voice sounded strange, “Why didn’t you tell me that you found it?”

She said, “Wanted to surprise you.”

He said, “Open your eyes.”

When she opened her eyes, she let out a loud gasp as she saw another emerald ring, identical to the first one.

“I had this made especially for you”, he said.

A Bride’s Journal


Journal entry #1

The  date for my wedding has been fixed. In two months, I will move to my husband’s house.

Sid is a nice guy, in as much as I could glean from the three meetings we have had.  After all we have known each other only for the last week, five days to be precise.

Am I freaking out? You bet I am.

Journal entry #2

My parents and brother (who has no choice) have had their thoughts programmed to only one word, you guessed right, my wedding. The intensity overwhelms me….my two aunts are visiting us next week. Should I take on an extra project so I can come home late from work? Worth pursuing.

Journal entry #3

Not sure if the term ‘arranged marriage’ talks about the craziness involved in the arrangements. Flowers, catering, shopping for my trousseau, jewelry, invitations, menu choices, make up, hair dos, I am unable to leave the house without my parents thrusting a few samples of ‘this or that’ for me to choose from.

Journal entry #4

Today, Sid called me at work to ask if we could have lunch together.

Was I excited?  Yes, a  bit…hmmmm….actually,  a lot!!!

Journal entry #5

The lunch was good…yeah more than good. He has a great sense of humour. We captured our first selfie. We kinda look nice together. He gave me a chocolate…

Journal entry #6

The craziness at home continues….things seem to get finalized one moment…and new checklists are being made the very next.

Today we went shopping for my trousseau (read my family of four, plus my four aunts and their spouses, my two cousins, a brood of nieces and nephews) plus Sid’s family, his two cousins, three aunts and their spouses.  Thankfully pets were not allowed in the shops.

Observation #1
30 odd people screaming their choices is embarrassing

Observation #2
Getting a reservation for so many people in a restaurant is a challenge at such short notice……

Journal entry #7

The bride, that’s me, is ready with her sarees and jewellery.  Sid & I call each other frequently – the family indulges me….Once we get off the phone we are on chat mode on our phones. We are both doing a crash course on understanding each other after all….

Journal entry #8

Did I tell you that in India it is not only the couple that marries, even the families marry? So I am now being introduced to Sid’s  first cousins, second cousins, great uncles thrice removed, to the aunt who is a great singer, to the aunt who is a style icon and to the uncle who was just two steps away from making it to the Indian cricket team, among others

Sid has also met my great grand mom, my third cousin who happens to be related to Sid’s family, my  first cousins, the three bad boys of our family, the talented singer aunt, the dancing sensation aunt, the rangoli cousin and the chef-in-the-making aunt.

Our families have outdone each other….huge resource pools of talent!!!

Journal entry #9

Sid and I sneak away for a midnight drive and an icecream. ‘Twas wonderful.

5 more days to go…

Journal entry #10

We are married. I get to show off my new dresses at the many family lunches (on both sides) that we are invited to almost every day.

We are on an eating orgy here. I applaud and over eat at his cousins’, he does the same for dinners on my side. We are extravagant in our compliments….everyone is happy.

Journal entry #11

We are back from our magical honeymoon.

Entering the phase called ‘digitally yours’… repeatedly looking at the wedding albums, uploading videos and pics & enjoying all the gifts.

Journal entry #12

The calm is restored…it is just the two of us now…starting our life together, bit by bit. Planning the move to our own apartment

Fully focused on transforming the apartment into ‘home’.

Journal entry #13

We had our first guests over for dinner. Received two invites in return. Our social life starts….

Journal entry #14

We had our first argument….I was right, of course…!  We are well & truly married.