Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gold Finger.

My husband's childhood friend (Sunand) came for a visit complete with his two kids, mother, Macs but sans wife and jackets. Even his child figured out that the further north you moved, the colder it got and she's just 7! Nonetheless, the shifty nature of Chicago weather and and its politics should have been well known. No wonder it's called the 'The Windy City'. The friend lives in Indianapolis, the name a mouthful by itself and often mis-pronounced as Indiana-police by many (Indians and others). There have been many instances of the lost and confounded being sent off to different Indiana police stations when seeking directions to Indianapolis. English is a tough language and unfortunately not phonetic like Hindi or even Spanish. We Indians have a hard time pronouncing some names here in the US.

Anyway, our friend was in Chicago for an Indian wedding where anything less than the color of gold is unacceptable. So in keeping with the Indian tradition, the 7 year old son was donned with shaadi gear and a beautiful gold ring. I'm sure the ring looked perfect with the shaadi clothes except for the unfortunate fact that the ring grew smaller and tighter or the child's finger grew bigger and bulkier as the hours went by. I noticed the finger being red and bulging around the ring; told Sunand about it and from there on our entire house was plunged into a frantic activity going across state lines. Grandma said get oil; I said which oil - almond, sesame or arnica.; my husband said forget all oils, bring out the soap. My evil teenage children suggested a big saw for the finger and the ring. The child screamed and I'm sure the gold ring shrank even further. Sunand quickly got on the phone with his wife in Massachusetts. 

From Massachusetts, Sunand's wife gave some brilliant suggestions albeit one at a time; put the child's hand in hot water which would expand the ring. I protested what about the finger that would expand simultaneously as well. I was ignored. Sunand quickly gathered the confused child and headed off to the bathroom. Some whimpering was heard and within a few seconds before gold could even think of expanding, Sunand came out as quickly as he'd gone in. Grandma cried out in horror. Our friend was back on the phone with his wife. This time she said use ice cold water. The child wailed that he would freeze. Sunand asked my husband for one ice-cube. My husband said one was not going to be enough; three ice-cubes at least were needed for freezing one little finger. I said ice was going to shrink both the ring and the finger thus making everything redundant. I was ignored completely, again.

The only one who cared to expand the conversation at any time was the other non-gold-ring-child, the one mentioned in the first paragraph. She stated in a matter-of-fact manner how difficult it would be for her brother to eat his food with one finger missing! Meanwhile, having run out of options and the ring being stubborn about staying stuck on the finger, I sighed and suggested trying some jeweler who kept special pliers or saws to cut rings off. (Somehow marriage bands also tend to get tighter and tighter as years of marriage go by. My husband and I have both landed at the jeweler's at different times). This time I was heard, my advice heeded, and everyone looked hopeful of finding a jeweler that would be open on a Saturday evening except the gold-ring-child who was completely oblivious to all the whirlwind of confusion and fuss around him. Ah those adults and their incessant worries!


  1. Jim Decouto:
    So is the moral of this story about the only self professed logical one ... what happened to the gold ring i say in wonderment.

  2. Neera Pant:
    Great reading as usual, Joyce..I can understand not being heard and typical..absolutely right about marriage bands as well...

  3. Vandana Shah:
    Hilarious account as usual...what mass confusion...everyone experts...but nobody listening to the one logical one...Joyce;))

  4. Soma Ghosh:
    If only the Wise payed heed to the words of the Wiser ... history wouldn't have been so murky :D

  5. Jaiya Venkat: Hilarious....ring out of his finger?
    (5 hours ago)

  6. Chhabi Agarwal:
    Reminds me of the time when my son stuck his head out of the railings of a staircase, and couldn't get it back in. That I lived to tell the tale is a miracle.

  7. John Samson:
    indiana police -lol. hot water and soap ought to have worked, as metal expands more than flesh. being a hindsight, is not of practical value, more in academic interest. members of the younger generation would resort to googling for solutions.

  8. ‎@John: Given time anything can be beaten to shrink or expand; in this case the child's hand was merely being dipped in hot/cold water.
    June 14 at 7:09pm

  9. Chhabi Agarwal:
    Just an observation..Americans have adapted the spelling and pronunciations of the original English for their own convenience..and created tongue twisters and mind benders for those who were not fortunate enough to be born in England.
    Even the On-line dictionary now offers two spellings, and two of the UK English, and the other of the American. June 16 at 2:34am