Maya’s granny had given her a beautiful gold bracelet on her thirteenth birthday. It had tiny rubies that glittered under the lights and a delicate clasp that could be opened. Maya felt extremely proud and grown up. She decided to wear her new bracelet to her school and brag about it to her friends.
Maya’s mother told her many times that gold jewelry should be worn at special occasions only but Maya would not listen. When her mother wanted to put it in a safe place, Maya simply ignored her advice and would not take the bracelet off from her arm.
Next day Maya wore her bracelet to school. Students were not allowed to wear real gold jewelry in school but Maya pulled her long sweater sleeve over it during class hours. During recess time, she proudly showed her bracelet to her class fellows who crowded around her.
“Wow! It really is beautiful,” Sara exclaimed and Maya beamed.
“Is it really made of real gold?” Hira asked a bit enviously.
“Of course it is. Can’t you tell the difference? And it is very expensive too.” Maya bragged arrogantly.
“Well, you are not supposed to bring jewelry to school so you better not boast about it or I’ll tell the teacher,” Hira retorted angrily.
Maya was afraid that Hira might carry out her threat so she quickly pulled her sweater sleeve over it. Glaring at Hira, she went away to play with her friends.
When she went back home her mother again asked her to put away the bracelet safely as they had to go out for some shopping. Maya pretended that she had not heard her mother and went to change her clothes. She tossed her uniform in the clothes basket and quickly put on her favorite jeans and shirt. They went shopping and later had tea at her aunt’s house. Maya wanted to show her beautiful bracelet to her cousin but she suddenly noticed that her bracelet was gone.
Maya was horrified. She jumped up from her chair and looked around the room. She searched under the sofa and behind the cushions. Her mother and aunt saw the commotion and hurried over. When Maya told her that her new bracelet was missing, they also joined in the search.
Maya could not remember the last time when she had seen it so they checked the shopping bags and boxes. They searched the car and the garden. They went back to the shops and asked the shop keepers. They went to the school and searched the premises with the school peon. But the bracelet was nowhere to be found.
Maya and her mother came back home feeling tired and dispirited. Her mother was silent and tight lipped. Maya was depressed and tearful.
“Oh why didn't I listen to my mother?” she thought guiltily. “If only I had not worn it to school and to the market. Now I’ll never find it.”
After dinner, Maya went to bed with troublesome thoughts crowding her head. “What will Granny think? She’ll be so disappointed in me. She’ll think I am not responsible enough. And it was so pretty and costly too.” Tears of sorrow and remorse welled up in her eyes and she cried herself to sleep.
Next morning, Maya got ready for school with a very heavy heart. As she picked up her dark green sweater, something fell out of its arm sleeve and rolled under the bed.
Maya heard the metallic sound. She went down on her knees and peered under the bed. To her utter delight and amazement, it was her lost bracelet. Its clasp had come loose and opened when Maya had carelessly taken off her sweater and had got entangled in the wool’s weave.
Maya yelled with joy and rushed off to tell her mother the good news. Her mother was also very happy. Maya hugged her mother tightly and gave her the bracelet for safe keeping. Bragging and boasting is not much fun if it comes with such heartache, she decided.
Don’t you agree?