By Dr. Anand Prakash
“WHAT SHOULD I GIFT HER FOR THIS BDAY?”
I was thinking sitting in the metro. For the past 2 weeks this had been running in my mind.I was not able to do any work properly. I was obsessed with the gift for her birthday due next week. I decided not to give something that just reminds her of all our good times. I should give her something that makes an impact on her life. It should make it more special. But what should i give? I had been going to gift shop daily. Not to buy gifts for her. I run it. Its my own shop. We provide all kinds of gifts for any of your special occasions. We provide services from making a simple custom made birthday card costing 500 bucks to a photo box or memory book where we paste the person’s pictures and write personal stuffs costing 5000 bucks to making birthday videos where we send requests to all the contacts given and go in person and shoot videos. If someone doesnt provide a video, we also have an edit option where we shoot with a proxy and merge with the desired face. It costs 10000 bucks. Our itinary also includes planning for surprise wishes, proposals etc. Though our services may look a bit costlier, there are herds of guys flocking to us as these stuff became the trend nowadays. Surprise parties became so ordinary that ordinary parties are a surprise nowadays. Even for sheela’s birthday, her boyfriend came to our shop and got a photo box for her. He didn’t even have the time to look into it as I had switched some of the photos that he gave with better ones from her Instagram. By the way sheela is priya’s roommate cum business partner. They run an online fashion forum and it had been a huge hit.
I was brought back to reality with this kid crying near me in the metro. She was asking for the toy train that another boy next to her was having. Her mother was trying to console her. She was crying loudly.”I want that train”. Showing another metro train crossing us. “See there. How big is that train? Wow it’s so fast. ” The little girl was fascinated by that and went near the window and forgot her crying. Then it struck me. Its just not the kid, all of us are like that only. When we have a bigger problem, we forget all the smaller ones. When we have one big happiness, all the smaller ones doesn’t matter anymore. Our mind always does the comparison and we make our choices. Its just einstein’s theory of relativity.
Priya has this big scar in her left forearm. She acquired it during a childhood accident. People on seeing her notice it first and eventually topic goes towards it. She is very skeptical about it. She does not encourage unnecessary talk about it. She prefers wearing full sleeves for business outings. Even when she is wearing half sleeves, she is always cautious about not using her arm and keeps it close to her body. It had become a habit for her. It looked like she was always under some pressure. I wanted to free her from that wrath. Hence i bought a golden bracelet and sleeveless gown for her. People would look upon the expensive bracelet on her wrist rather than the scar. That was my idea. It costed a fortune. My 2 months of rent and dinner was cut.
I made my choice.
I made it delivered to her house on her birthday by post. On her birthday, she had hosted a party for all of our friends . I went by metro to pick her up. Her dog would always bark at me with envy when i go to hers. Hence i waited outside. And then she came out wearing that simple gown and bracelet that i gifted her. She walked with such grace and elegance, purse in one hand and another just holding her dress to prevent herself from tripping. The bracelet and dress colour were not the ones that go together. Poor me never had that fashion sense. But i knew for sure that they looked more beautiful on her than when they were at the display at shop. They looked as if they were destined for her. Should i feel jealous? I remembered the first time i saw her during our college days. I was seeing her for the first time but it felt like i had spent lots of time with her already. But that day it was the other way around, i was seeing her for nth time but still she looked so fresh and innocent and i felt like seeing her for the first time again. Her eyes always had that zeal. Oh wait . Her eyes are furious now. She was fuming and coming at me.
“Is this your idea of gifting?
Did i ever ask for gifts?”
I knew how much she likes to get gifts. She treasures them.
“That too expensive ones! U know something… It is the amount of effort that you put matters. Not the amount u spend .”
Exactly. Did you know how many sleepless nights i spent pondering over this? How many jewellery shops i visited just to get the correct design? Did you know how i revisited the shop where you once tried that dress and loved it and rejected it only because it is sleeveless. That too it was out of stock. I had to constantly nag them and make a special order for that.
” Do you know what sheela’s boyfriend gifted her? A box full of their happy moments and her beautiful pictures. I expected atleast something like that with some emotion.”
I could not help but laugh at that.. the efforts that each put varies from individual. That was just a five minute work for me. Difficulty level for each varies . For me this is the most valuable gift that i can give. It has all my emotions. Those stuffs have become a cliche nowadays that simple gifts lost their values.
All these i wanted to shout back at her. But thumb rule of love is never speak back when the other is angry. It will just add fuel to fire. I just kept mum and admired on how freely she used her hands to point at me and scold me. I had to distract her from that. I was just looking for a bigger problem.
“Hi sheela” i said looking at sheela coming out of the house . Priya stopped shouting and came by my side and held my arms and stood. Maybe she didnt want others to find that we were fighting and maybe it also had a tinge of possessiveness in the way she held my arms stating i am hers’ and hers’ only.
“My bf is not picking me up today. I guess i can join u guys” sheela said.
Priya thrust the keys to her volkswagon polo in my hand and went and sat on the front seat without any talking. I drove it with sheela redoing her makeup on the rear. None of us spoke during the drive. Radio mirchi was playing snehithane song. I was hitting priya’s thighs each time i changed gears. I could see that small smile that shes trying to control at the edge of her face. When we reached the restaurant, priya gave a punch on my arms when no one noticed. Sheela noticed priya’s bracelet then.
“Finally you have moved on! Happy to see you wearing those.”
“Shut up and come inside. Its getting late”
I was wondering what it could be. Everyone had come and we all cut a cake and started our feast. Some of them noticed her bracelet and none asked her about the scar. I felt happy. She was behaving without any reservations and freely using her arms. I felt happy with my choice. When she went to the restroom, I asked sheela about the moving on stuff she said earlier . She was like , ” Dont you know? She never wears any bracelet or any ornaments for that matter after that incident in her childhood.”
“What happened? Which incident?”
“On her ninth birthday, her father gave her a golden bracelet that she wore and they went outside for a ride. Some thugs saw her bracelet and tried to snatch it from her hand. This made her father lose balance and he died there crushed behind by a bus and she got that scar on her forearm because of that. Whenever she wears any jewels, she gets reminded of that and blames herself for the tragedy. But now, she wearing the bracelet means she had forgiven herself and moved on it seems. Thats why i asked.”
I was dumbstruck. Inspite of all that past she decided to wear that one, just because I presented them. She chose me instead of her tragedy. I felt my gift became more meaningful than i imagined it would be.
She made her choice.
Food was over and everyone started moving on to booz. I wondered how this many people wanted to shed their inhibitions and step away from reality. How desperate should they be to lose their reality! I and priya both loved our reality which was beautiful for us. That left us sitting on the stairs at the entrance holding our hands together. I was wondering where that beautiful aroma was coming from. Her soap? Perfume? Pheromones? An icecream vendor passed on the street.
“Im sorry for shouting at you. Actually I like your gifts.”
She leaned on my shoulders saying that.
“Ahaan. Then where is my treat?”
“What do you want? Go and eat whatever you want inside. There is enough food for you to eat for 2 days.”
“I want an icecream”
” Why not ? Unlimited deserts are available inside. Separate section is made for that. Is that not enough for you?”
“No. I want that chocobar from that roadside vendor on the street. Just like our college days!”
“She gave a smirk. Is that it? I thought you would ask for something else.” Saying so she stood up and started walking towards the vendor with a smile on her face.
“I stood up with a blush. Hey what else is available?” I shouted and ran behind her towards the chocobar.
We made our choice.