Pleasure and pain —foreign style

You get lovely semi precious stones in Malaysia, don’t forget to buy them, advised my friend as soon as she knew I was going there for a conference. Try to get a few for me as well, she added.

Onyx is real cheap there, please   get a strand for me, requested another.

You get beautiful key chains   made of pewter, pick up a few for me, ordered my husband.

Mamma, I want the latest mobile with a camera, pleaded my daughter Preeti.

I tried to reason with her saying we get better mobiles in our own country but she refused to get convinced.

Conference over, the organizers arranged for   site seeing and shopping for the delegates. We were accompanied by a local guide who could speak English.

After seeing the highlights of the city, at the end of the day we headed    for shopping .

I picked up the mobile at one of the shops in the biggest mall I had ever seen reluctantly parting with a large sum. To my surprise I found a variety of semi precious and synthetic stones in the   pewter factory.  On an impulse  I  purchased  a couple  of strands of onyx, black and  grey  costing  thousands  when converted into rupees.  The pewter key chains were the most inexpensive of the lot, I realised.            

Seeing the gleaming black and gray stones my friends suggested we string them along with gold to enhance their beauty.      

Where did you buy these strands, asked the jeweler even as he examined them?

In Malaysia, I said proudly and more out of curiosity asked him to assess their value.

Well, each   strand of onyx might cost less than a thousand   and the black metal (seeing the grey “onyx”) probably a hundred rupees, he said without batting an eyelid!

Pleasure and pain go in pairs, don’t they?

n.meera raghavendra rao


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