Small objects are so difficult to find once they 'go missing' by losing. Smaller the size of the lost object, larger the chances of them NOT being seen again. Chances of it returning can be ruled out if lost outside the house. Level of disappointment can be intense when it happens to be a close-to-the-heart object, valuable and of gold or gemstone.
Some years ago, there was a large gathering in our house for a family function. By that evening, guests had left, barring a few relatives who stayed longer into late evening. Our help lady Jayamma had come to wash the large vessels and plates and also clean up the rooms. She had brought her two little nieces who were vacationing from another town. Jayamma lived just a furlong away.
That evening my wife suddenly realized that the ring was missing from her left ring finger. It had two small emeralds and little diamond. It was a much loved ring because it was from her hard-earned savings and custom made from a jeweler in Krishnamurthypuram. The stones were carefully chosen from a reliable gemstone seller opposite Mysore Zoo. The ring had embellished her finger for many years.
A number of people had come to attend the function and gone. There had been a lot of activity and movement of people inside the house, amidst happy moods, but when the remaining relatives learnt of the missing ring, the atmosphere turned pale and my wife's face wore a tensed look. Jayamma also assisted in sweeping the floors in search of the ring while her nieces were playing in the yard.
Vigorous search operation took top priority, with all of us taking active part. All the possible nooks and corners were combed and swept. My wife tried to recollect the exact places where she had gone in the house during the day. Even after two hours, it was not found. The lost ring had dampened our moods. Losing anything dear and also valuable is never a pleasant feeling for anyone.
The next morning, after a worried night, we had hopes of finding it somewhere and began searching again in the same places. When Jayamma turned up for her regular morning work, the first thing she inquired was the ring and it was status quo. Jayamma had the reputation of being trustworthy and not in the habit of stealing. So we never doubted her. She finished her work and went away. The dull mood at home continued. It was also a holiday.
After evening twilight Jayamma came with one of her nieces. "ನೋಡವ್ವ, ಇದೆ ಏನವ್ವ ಉಂಗುರ?" "See madam, is this the ring?" My wife's face lit up in joy. Jayamma had kept up her reputation. It appears that that evening, her nieces at home were playing with that ring, not knowing it was such a valuable item. One niece was showing it to the other in excitement "ಉಂಗ್ರ ಸಿಕ್ಕೈತೆ, ಉಂಗ್ರ ಸಿಕ್ಕೈತೆ" in her own words, "I have found a ring, I have found a ring.", which was noticed by Jayamma who immediately caught hold of it and had come to return it to the owner. The young girl showed us the place where she had found. It was in the passage outside the bath.
The young girl was adequately rewarded and Jayamma was sent two notches up the honesty table. And because of this new 'lost and found' status, the ring got even closer to the heart and there is no measure in money to value sentiments! Hard-earned things do not easily leave us, do they?
A couple of years after the ring-return episode and too busy with her work in other houses Jayamma left, but sent her sister as replacement. We are lucky that Thayamma also carries forward the same qualities.
My gardening friend Susan from Ohio, USA, wrote to me about an incident when something led to her dad's gold ring. In her own words:
After dad died, his body was donated to a medical school to become a cadaver for the students. Some months after his death, mom got a package in the mail. The school had sent her dad’s wedding band. Somehow it got left on his finger! I think that is wonderful, that they sent her his ring. I don’t know about the family heirloom thing, Dinu. After all, mom didn’t even think to take the ring off of dad’s finger before his body was taken away!! Mom is like I am in that she is not a sentimental person. Mom did say that the ring was in excellent condition considering it was on dad’s hand from 1951 through the middle of 2010!!
Susan also had described once before how her dad had struggled to earn and bring up his children.
Astounding acts keep happening!