On Friday my editor took me to lunch in Little India.
Afterwards I went to Priva Jewelers to have them replace a missing pearl on my Navratna Ring.
The ring has nine gems that represent the nine cosmic forces in Vedic astrology, and is meant to bring good luck to the wearer:
The nine cosmic forces are associated with the Sun (ruby), Moon (natural pearl), Mars (red coral), Mercury (emerald), Jupiter (yellow sapphire), Venus (diamond), Saturn (blue sapphire), North Node (hessonite garnet), and South Node (chrysoberyl cat's eye). The various astrological patterns found in a person’s birthchart (Janma Kundali) which indicate affliction, disease, and other troubles can, to a certain extent, be neutralized by the proper, therapeutic use of gemstones.
The last time I had a missing stone -- and they fall out often -- the jeweler asked me if the ring had indeed brought me good luck.
"Well," I said, "Let me think about that....
"I bought the ring in India, in 2004.
"Shortly after I bought it I lost my primary source of income.
"Then my boyfriend left me.
"And then I had a bike accident that broke a tooth and required a trip to the emergency room to stitch up a hole in my chin."
The jeweler looked at me and shook his head in sympathy.
"On the other hand...." I continued.
"The job was really stressful...
"The boyfriend wasn't right for me....
"And the bicycle accident could have been a whole lot worse.
"So in a sense, yes -- it has indeed brought me luck."
It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.
I can't help but wonder, though, if the ring has an opposite effect when one of its stones is missing. Or - worse yet - when the jeweler replaces the wrong stone. This happened once when I took the ring to a non-Hindu shop. Actually, that could explain a lot of things.....