Indian Mothers and their Love affair with Gold

Have you ever had a conversation with your Mom which turned into a full fledged Q&A about gold jewellery?

Have you ever marveled at their astounding memory of how much gold changed hands between relatives over the years? 

I have heard my Mom say things like:

Remember your third cousin from your Dad’s side? We went for her wedding before India got its Independence, and we had given them ‘moonu pavan’ of gold as a gift.

To be honest, I still do not know how much a ‘pavan’ is. This is written in the Cardinal Book of Sins for South Indians. I could very well be ostracized from society for admitting to this.

In 1983, the ‘moonu pavan’ was gifted for my baptism by the afore-mentioned third cousin. And the Balance in the Precious Metal Universe has been restored.

Ever had a random aunt walk up to you at a wedding, to check out your gold chain or pendant and then guess accurately how much it weighs!  That must be ‘3.78 pavan’, right?

What! How! What black sorcery is this? So you pick up a thin strand of metal, look at it and then guess a weight which is negligible. How!!!

Another thing I dread is the famous ‘locker visits’. My Mom would bring the loot home from the locker and set it on the bed with her lips pursed with utter concentration. Sifting through the gold kick knacks.  If even a little orphaned S hook (we all know that pesky annoying hook) is missing, we can be assured we would be at the end of my mother’s wrath.

Sometimes I am having a normal conversation with my Mom. About the weather, the kids, a nice wedding she  went to and suddenly the conversation has steered eerily to Gold.

Followed by a Rapid Fire Round.

Mummy : “Do you still have that gold bracelet with the  green stones on it?”

Me : “Ummm….the weather has been nice here too.”

Mummy :”What about the obscure gold earring that looks like every other  gold earring you owned? “

*Me breaking into cold sweat*

Mummy : “The bangle that I gave you. It’s ‘pathu pavan’! It is same like your older sister’s bangle.  That’s narrower though, ‘etu pavan‘.”

Me : “Let me go. Sob. Please. Let me be.”



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