When All That Glitters is Gold I was eight years old, dressed in my prettiest frock -- peacock blue with bootah print -- hair pulled back into two ponytails. We walked to the bus-stand, and after changing two buses and taking a rickshaw, we arrived at Shri Something Krishna goldsmith’s shop. Krishna ji was completing his morning prayers, incense sticks in his raised hands, as he walked by the God pictures on the wall. He placed the sticks under the biggest frame, settled down on the crisp white gaddi that extended wall to wall, and declared the day as begun. The patiently waiting workmen, seated on the floor, behind their work-desks, started their day, sparks flying as they crafted the gold into jewelry the women had ordered, largely using only hand tools and their eyes. In those days, little kids did not carry books to keep themselves occupied while adults completed hours long shopping. That made for many memories that are indelibly inscribed in my overall memory of childhood. In that visit or another one, I remember Krishna ji both enlightening and disappointing me when he explained how and why copper is mixed with gold. A “heart of gold” has never held the same meaning for me after that. Time flew and soon I was a twenty-something flush with money earned in an MNC, out on a mission to buy a gold ring for a newborn nephew. I was casually dressed as was the norm for MNC employees, riding pillion on my younger cousin’s motorbike who was wearing “home clothes.” By that time, ready-made gold jewelry was more in vogue and even the erstwhile disapproving old aunts and grandma approved of buying ready-made jewelry in some instances. We parked the motorcycle and shaan se (with pride) walked up to the entrance of MD Jewellers. Much to our chagrin, the liveried doorman -- wearing a turban, elaborate shoes, twirling moustache, laathi in hand -- looked straight past us and did not hold open the door for us. We obliged ourselves and entered the store, and the second-class treatment accompanied us inside. The salespeople simply ignored us and continued to chat among themselves. I staged a royal about-turn and we left in a huff. On the way home, my cousin, taking a back-street to avoid one-way, suddenly stopped the bike at a roadside florist and bought me an elaborate bouquet of pale pink roses. So, the MD Jewellers saga ended on a radiant note after all. The first experience of a major jewelry shopping without mom or an aunt along to advise was before our wedding. Two wedding rings, the lightest necklace for me and an exquisite, delicate mangalsutra that remains my favorite piece of jewelry. Would be patidev and I shopped reluctantly as neither was keen to spend money on gold but it was expected of us. Swanky stores. Prices displayed in dollars. We converted that to rupee in the mind more swiftly than the fastest computer of the time. Around the turn of the century, I visited a Tanishq store in India. Oh what an experience it was. So eye-opening to see how India had transformed. Alighting from a rented car, not worrying about finding parking, no liveried doorman (just a security guard wearing grey, and with a not-so-concealed weapon). Mr., I and our local chaperones (sent along to ensure we didn’t pay too much), walked through the metal detector. The plush carpet, the air conditioned room, the comfortable chairs, salesperson who were obviously well-trained to treat customers politely, wearing printed-silk sarees with neatly draped pallu’s, well-designed lighting. I didn’t spend much money but that experience has remained engraved in my mind as a pleasant memory to recall when indulging in tempered nostalgia. Someone recently forwarded me the video of a Tanishq ad, and the memories of the few times I have gone jewelry shopping played through my mind in chronological order. I have been trying to google the full name of the Something Krishna goldsmith store I visited when I was eight. So, what is your favorite jewelry shopping memory? Whom did you go with? What was the occasion? Do share. I would particularly love to read about the shop’s owner, ambiance, management, craftsmen and your general takeaway. . .