The Diamond Necklace
Gopu was a reasonably wealthy man and a very devoted husband, but he had one failing. Gopu did not believe in spending money on what he considered to be unnecessary luxuries, especially jewellery for his wife.
This was a pity because his wife Sundari was wonderful and naturally felt unhappy when, unlike her friends, she had no lovely jewellery to wear on important occasions. This led to arguments from time to time, and Sundari would always speak of Gunavati, a neighbour, who seemed to have an endless array of costly jewellery.
But Gopu was never at a loss for soothing words and often tried to console Sundari by telling her that jewellery was essential for ugly women like Gunavati and not necessary for a queen of beauty such as herself.
Sundari was quick one day to reply, “But queens at least have crowns to wear.”
“Oh, you are an uncrowned queen, Gopu replied with a smile. “And a very beautiful one. “
It seemed useless to argue with her husband over jewellery. Then one day, Gunavati called to show Sundari a new diamond necklace her husband had given her. It was indeed lovely, and poor Sundari was quite envious.
That evening, with her mind still full of the diamond necklace, she begged Gopu to buy her one, which she said would only cost ten thousand rupees.
“Ten thousand rupees!” exclaimed Gopu in a frenzy. “Why, if I invest ten thousand rupees, I am assured of at least a thousand rupees interest each year. So why waste good money on jewellery?
Later that month, it was Sundari’s birthday, and friends had been invited to dinner. When Gopu got home that evening, Sundari rushed to meet him and, in a cheerful voice, said, ” Do you see anything different in me this evening?”
“You look wonderful,” ex-plained Gopu in sheer admiration,” But that necklace, where did you get it?”
Sundari was excited, “It’s Gunavati’s necklace,” she said. She very kindly lent it to me to wear for this evening.
Gopu quickly saw that the diamond necklace made his wife look lovelier than ever, but the thought of ten thousand rupees expenditure was another matter.
The dinner party was a great success, and it was pretty late when the last guest departed. Gopu thought that Sundari should return the necklace that night, but Sundari pointed out that it was very late and Gunavati and her husband would be fast asleep so that she would return it the following morning.
The following day, the household was in an uproar. Sundari, with tears streaming down her face, awakened Gopu. “The necklace has disappeared; what shall we do?”
Gopu helped search every nook and cranny, but the necklace was not found. Ultimately, they were forced to admit that robbers must have entered the house at night to steal the necklace.
Gopu realised they had no alternative but to get the goldsmith to make a copy of the original necklace, even though it would cost him so much of his money.
Fortunately, the goldsmith was able to make an exact duplicate, and he promised to have the necklace ready within two or three days.
When the necklace was delivered and the goldsmith paid, Gopu implored his wife to give it to Gunavati immediately before it could be stolen a second time.
“Oh dear, how foolish of me not to have told you,” Sundari said with a meek smile, “I found Gunavati’s necklace. I suddenly remembered that I had hidden it in the bottom of the chest, and I returned it to Gunavati yesterday. So please, may I keep this one?”
Gopu was lost for words but had to admit that Sundari would look more beautiful than ever with her diamond necklace. So perhaps, after all, it was a good investment.