Im learning about gift horses these days. How much tact and diplomacy should be summoned to deflect being landed with the horse or if one does get the horse, to talk of saddles and bridles with grace. But one cannot easily summon what is not there ; so I end up having crazy conversations with my crazy family.
‘I want to buy some artificial jewellery for Sindhu for the engagement. What colour is her saree?’
” I don’t think she needs any artificial jewellery . Why don’t you buy her a salwar instead?”
” This is why I shouldn’t ask you. I’m going to buy any colour I like”.
My coz brother:
“ I’m thinking of buying a small diamond pendant for Sindhu which she can wear to the office. Do you think its a good idea?”
” Why don’t you buy something in gold instead? I don’t know if she will wear diamonds to the office “.
( This is because the pendant that someone gifted Dachu is sitting in the locker )
” This is about what Sindhu wants, not you. Im going to buy what I like”.
There is my father, who would always like to gift something large in brass for any wedding though I tell him no one has the space or time these days and a gift cheque is so preferable. But how will they remember me then, he says.
In total, most people have strong ideas abut what they would like to give if they think about it at all.
And that includes me. I’ve cut out the thengai, manjal kumkum and vethalai from the thengai pai which is handed out at the close of every wedding as things that get discarded . And that leaves me an empty bag I have to think very hard to fill 🙂 Bags which I’ve been block printing myself the past few days instead of being busy organizing things.
More than the gift, the way we give , ‘cheerfully quickly and without hesitation’, to quote Seneca – can mean so much and the way we receive too , should be joyous enough to make the giver happy.
Some people have the gift of receiving even the smallest thing so happily, the giver is made doubly happy. The rest of us can learn.