Engagement Ring

In Attire
Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring

My great grandparents, Bhojraj and Guni lived in India in the 1910s. They were engaged through an arranged marriage. In Asia, this practice is fairly common. After my great-great-grandparents had chosen Guni for Bhojraj, he proposed with a platinum ring with a rose-cut diamond. He had worked hard to afford this diamond ring and used a year's salary. In 1942 my grandpa, Lal Khemlani was born in Karachi. He grew up poor and very smart but when Pakistan and India separated, his parents migrated to Singapore. Lal studied in Singapore and when he was of marriageable age, he fell in love with my grandma Mohini. The only problem was Mohini’s parents wanted an arranged marriage and not to Lal. Finally, he proposed with the same ring that his father had given to his mother and Mohini said yes. They had defied their parents' rules because they wanted to be together for the rest of their lives. In 1970, my dad named Neeraj was born in Singapore and two years later, his other brother Sanjeev. In 1974, they immigrated to New York because the textile industry was booming and Mohini had a sister living in Long Island. Lal opened up a Sari shop in Manhattan. My dad grew up poor but smart as well and ended up going to the Columbia School of Journalism where he met my mother, Heather Cabot. They had many great experiences and 8 years later he proposed with the ring. Bhojraj’s wish of having the ring passed down through generations came true. This ring is important to me because I am the next in the family to receive it and I will use it to marry my wife.

Place(s): India, Singapore, Long Island, New York
Year: 1974


Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant