Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Diamond Ring

This was the first short story I ever wrote ...
My diary shows 31-March-1990.


The attraction was mutual and instant. Love had to grow. Over lunch-time discussions; over coffee-house gossips; during tutorials. He seemed to have answers to all questions asked by the teacher! How could she always see the other side of an argument?
Love had to grow.

But she was apprehensive. All lovers are. What attracted him to her? She or the diamond ring? He had once asked her to keep it away from his sight as it reminded him of the society and injustices. Seemed like a lecture! But were his eyes on the riches which the sparkle of the diamond ring reflected? It was time for the the final test.
"We never discussed my family", she said. "But before we take the final plunge I'd like you to know my background. My mother was a refugee. Being a socialite before arriving to India, she refused to depend only on the meager rations being doled out to the refugees. She befriended the officer-in-charge of the nearby army station. Gradually using her charms on the officer and on others whom she met through the officer, she started climbing the social ladder once more. She must have slept with a lot of officers."
She stopped, looked in his eyes searching for a response. No reaction! A trifle disappointed she continued, "somewhere along the line I was born." She smiled ruefully. "At least my mother kept me away from her, well affairs. She sent me to a boarding school so that I remain uninfluenced. But she was brave enough to tell me all. She is my mother and I love her."

For some time he did not speak. Then gave a small laugh. "Come to my house tomorrow." And left.

That whole night she cried. She couldn't care less if he never returned. She would break to pieces if he left. The heart ached.
He was waiting in his house, flipping though a picture album. As she sat down on a chair in front of him, he lay the album open on the table, pointed and said, "my grandfather. You see, he was ..."
She gave a small yelp. On the grandfather's finger was the very same ring which her mother had given to her. The sparkling diamond ring!

She looked at him. His eyes were smiling as he went down on his knees. "Will you marry me?".

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