As I was driving home from a party recently I noticed that the Kohinoor on my ring was missing. I use the word Kohinoor very loosely here. For us non- royals any diamond upward thirty cents qualifies for the title. In any case, the loss was enough to give me an arrhythmia if not an heart attack. My friend, who was with me, nearly had one out of compassion.
Fighting the mounting panic, I tried to think logically. I inferred that the stone must have fallen in the car else I would have noticed it earlier. It was getting dark when we reached home and systematically searched the car, but in vain. I felt it was impossible to find the diamond at the venue of the party. The banquet hall was not the only place I had been to. I had used the toilet, took the lift, walked through the foyer and out to the car lot. The stone could have fallen anywhere. Heartbroken, I tried to be philosophical about my loss. I did what I could, using the Karma theory, I blamed it on some past sin.
Two hours later my friend’s husband called and said that we shouldn’t give up without looking for the missing gem at the venue. I tried to reason with him, telling him that it was impossible to find a tiny diamond in such a vast area, it would have been easier had I lost the entire ring. He disagreed saying that anyone would have picked up the ring. But since no one knew the value of a loose stone, it would be lying where it fell. We just had to go back and get it. Using the probability index, he theorised that the chances of finding it were maximum where I had spent most time which was sitting at a table in the front.
I was reluctant, but he was persistent so I finally gave in. On the way, he tried harnessing positive vibes by recounting miraculous lost and found stories. While I dutifully nodded to his tales, the sceptic me kept thinking that finding mine was impossible. As we entered the hotel premises he prophesied, that since he had sought God’s blessings, we would not return empty handed.
The hall had been swept. The tables and chairs stacked in the centre. We first inspected the place I had been sitting and then spread out. Within two minutes my friend announced her first find, which turned out to be a crystal, but she kept finding things. Her husband had meanwhile got hold of the sweeper and was making him go through the garbage. He too had eyes only for sparkly objects and kept finding crystals, zircon and fake pearls. I looked around half heartedly, thinking of all the nooks and crannies where the diamond could have landed. All I could see was rips in the carpet, holes in the upholstery, cracks in the plaster and accumulated grime. Not surprisingly, I found nothing. I wondered aloud how anyone could spot a tiny stone in all the filth. That is when my friend called out, holding up a brilliantly luminous sparkler in her palm. As unbelievable as it sounds she had found it. Minutes earlier I had combed the same area with my cynical, non believing gaze and had found nothing.
On the way back apart from gratitude for my friends, fate and the forces above, I was filled with awe. In a small way I had witnessed the power of faith. My friend could see it because she believed that she could. I didn’t because I thought I couldn’t. Have been wondering since. Could this be a turning point in my life, that profound moment that converts me from a doubting sceptic to a believer in miracles ? Faith can move mountains…of that, I am still not sure, but it certainly helps find stones!
( published in the Hindustan Times on 6/7/2018)