The Idea of Gift
Gifts are something which everyone loves to receive. But it’s strange how few people put their thoughts and efforts into choosing one for others. Many a times, we look for whatever new stuff we have with us and pass them as gifts in the numerous weddings, birthdays, marriage anniversaries etc that we have to attend. At that moment, we choose something, which in our eyes, match whatever the other person had gifted us. Hence, if we received a bed linen set from someone for wedding, we will gift a bed linen set (or may be, crockery set) to him on his wedding anniversary. If the gift shows a price tag of Rs. 500/-, then our gift will never be of a value more than Rs. 450/-.
However, I always take great care while choosing gifts for people. I believe that a gift should reflect your thoughts and efforts and not merely the price. For many years in school, I always gifted my friends hand-made cards on their birthdays. I used to feel a little sad to see my card amidst all the glitzy Archies and Hallmark ones, but more than one friends had told me that they treasured mine the most 🙂 I used to choose the drawing on the front part with some connection to the personality of my friends. One friend who was a chatterbox received one with the picture of a radio blasting “happy birthday”; another with a very warm smile received a card showing a smiling sun, holding a platter of letters spelling “happy birthday”.
I always tried to write my message inside the card in an innovative way. No two cards made by me have similar text, both in terms of look and content. I have a passion for calligraphy and always incorporated the text in nice and unique handwriting. Another reason why I always hated ready-made cards is the boring fashion in which they convey the message. Even in cases, when I had gifted cards bought from the shop (may be I was too lazy or I didn’t feel inclined enough to make one), I have always added my own words to them.
Another kind of gift with which I have honoured a lot of friends are my poems 🙂 I am passionate about verses since the time I learnt of their existence. I remember, once I remembered a friend’s birthday too late to buy anything. Hence I wrote one of my most favourite poems on friendship in a white A4 sheet of paper, decorated it and gifted her. I have sometimes written “exclusive” poems for close friends, meaning they are the sole recipients and owners of the poems and I have no record of them. Sometimes I have been forced to do it when there was no other choice. I also wrote poems as gifts at the time of farewell in school in the slambooks/farewell diaries of two/three close friends.
Gifts become all the more special when they come as surprises. Well, you know its your birthday and you will receive something from your friends, but you are eagerly waiting to see what it is. You have already guessed and made a list of things which you are expecting. But when your friends manage to surprise you with something totally unexpected, that’s when you realise that it is truly a surprise gift. 🙂
I have some wonderful memories of gifts received in my life till date. Birthday celebrations in college used to comprise of a midnight party at the hostel, along with all the girls of the batch (the boys were conspicuously absent because of a ridiculous rule ;-), a big cake, chorus singing (wishing “many boyfriends to you”) and birthday bumps. Once, long time ago, I had voiced my liking for decorations in birthdays. That year, when my four friends planned my birthday celebrations, they spent two-three hours in the staircase landing, just to put up decorations. When the clock struck 12 and I was led out of my room, I gasped with absolute delight at the efforts that they had put in. It was a memorable first-birthday-at-hostel.
We always used to take great pains to keep gift-shopping a secret from the birthday girl. Since we were a close knit group of five girls, it used to be very difficult to leave behind that one birthday girl and go away shopping. We then decided that since all four cannot be present for the gift shopping, two will have to be content with guarding the birthday girl and voicing opinions only over the telephone. And trust me, on all occasions of celebrations, we have always been successful in our secret ventures. We have bought a variety of stuff as gifts – ranging from a leather office handbag for the only one with a job (at that point of time), hand-made beauty products from Lush for the one with a fetish for luxury brands, a particular book for the one who have been wanting to read it for sometime and perfume for the one who is a connoisseur of all good things.
During our final year in college, I came up with the idea of making charts about the birthday girl, with our individual messages written on it. I was actively involved in making four of them and I always wrote my message in the form of a poem. When the time came to receive mine, I worried myself to death as to how it will turn out, without my talent and expertise (;-P). But my dear friends created a really wonderful piece. All their messages were very special, trying to remind me of my own self and worked wonders to help me rediscover myself at a time of crisis. That chart is more than just farewell messages or birthday wishes to me, it was their ways of telling me that they still had faith in me 🙂
Recently a friend of mine celebrated the birthday of her husband in the most romantic way possible. She took time out of a crazily busy schedule of work, made cute gel candles in the kitchen late at night and framed numerous photos of her husband in various stages of his life in a very innovative way. But the BEST gift in my view, is a map of Calcutta, bought from College Street with cute markings on all the places where they have dated and visited together during the 6 years of their courtship period 🙂
A lot more can be written about gifts. I came across this post, which struck a chord, prompting me to write this post immediately. I just penned all that came to my mind and it turned out to be the best post to be published after a hiatus of quite a number of days.