Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Sunday, December 15, 2002
I am such an amateur when it comes to shopping for gold in India compared to some of my fellow travelers. Because we had a local friend of the group willing to take us shopping, I made it a point to mention that I wanted some more gold. I was thinking primarily of Christmas presents and special items that folks back home asked me to pick up for them.
Essentially, I went into this establishment expecting to spend a certain amount of money, and I am please to announce that I kept within that. I picked up four pairs of earrings and a gold ring for myself. The most stellar pair of earrings goes to a friend of mine, and I can't give out all the details because she reads this blog!
However, among the people I went with, I watched at least four people make large purchases that I know they were not planning on, including gold ankle bracelets, a long gold chain, and an India style pendant which floats on a gold cord. All these items were stunning and precious.
There is a popular Hindu deity, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Put into practice, some people espouse the idea that you have to spend money to allow more money to flow into your life. I appreciate the confidence with which some of my friends can let wealth move through in their lives, but personally I am more cautious and timid about my resources.
Did I mention that it took about 3 hours to make my purchase?! This was due partly to the fact that I had to have the backs changed on one pair of the earrings because Indian ones come with very thick posts that I could not get through my ears. However, the shop was packed, and transactions here are still handled pretty manually, credit card or not!
Incidentally, gold here runs about 500 rupees a gram, and most of the earrings I purchased were about 3-4 grams, and the ring was roughly 5 grams. The one odd thing I wanted to mention about gold in Indian is even though it is 22K, sometimes they will set jewelry with cubic zirconium...that's just too shabby-chic for my tastes!