‘Perhaps I should have asked questions about the ruby ring. What was its story? Where did it come from? But, at that young age, and in the societal milieu of the time (where fathers were somewhat aloof and not to be questioned), I did not…It was only much later that I unearthed the significance of the ring, and some of the mysteries it held—a lifetime later.’
One evening in the early 1950s, when Ajit Singh Dutta was a young boy, his father gave him a ring. The ornament with its glowing cabochon ruby might have made 10-year-old Ajit curious, but at that age, he did not give it a second thought, and the ring ended up forgotten, locked in the safe of his mother’s almirah.
It was only years later, after his father’s death, that the beautiful ring gradually unfurled its mysteries—a stack of letters in cream-coloured envelopes, familiar piano tunes, a mysterious woman named Louise, and a whirlwind romance caught between competing family loyalties that tried to defy the hurdles of distance and cultural differences.
The search—spanning decades—that followed, for a woman whose love was reflected in the beauty of the ring and in the intimate letters she wrote, opened up not only an entirely new world for Ajit but also helped him rediscover his own father. He learnt of the passionate ‘Raj’ who had remained hidden within Rajinder Singh Datta, the strict father and philosopher that he had grown up with.
Written in evocative prose, this deeply moving, nostalgic story of a lost romance is also a son’s unusual and extraordinary tribute to his father.