Monday, January 31, 2005

A Suitable Gift

Buying wedding gifts has always presents a dilemma. I've never been an
adept gift chooser, hence the ardent detestation for the
task. However, faced with the invitation to my dear friend's brother's
marriage I just had to go and get a suitable present.

First came fixing a budget - that's the easiest - my purse dictates
the terms there. So with a upper spending ceiling of Rs 500/- in mind
I landed up at the neighbourhood gift shop. Lined all along the walls
were statuettes of various gods and goddesses. Much as I would like the
Lord Ganesha to bless the couple at the auspicious occasion, his
bronzed image did not impress me as a appropriate gift. Other choices
included a pair of bronze giraffes, ornate candle stands, picture
frames. None of these satisfied the vanity of the gift giver in me and
so I ventured to greener pastures.

A 15 minute bus ride landed me at the nearest big shopping
complex. Lined along the road were a whole bevy of choices - a couple
of gift shops, a watch shop, few garment stores and a couple of home
appliance dealers. Amidst all these the "Vardhaman Bartan Bhandaar"
beckoned to me - hmmm seems distinctly familiar - I thought. With much
trepidation I entered, and came face to face with the toothy grin of
the person manning the counter.

Ji Sir? Kuch paanchson rupiye main dikhaiye - gift deene layak. Ji
Sir! Out came a tea set - blue coloured china. Hmmm looks - errr -
the big fish on the tea pot sported a huge grin - what else do you
have? Ye dekhiye sir - another tea set - this one bright lemon yellow
in colour. Ye Caffee set hai sir. I noted that the cups had COFFEE
etched on them with a simmering cup drawn on the side. Inspired by my
disinterested look the man produced a frosted glass plate set - yeh
dekiye sir - microwave proof, dishwasher proof, available in two
designs sir. Hmmmmm - I gave a very pensive look at the glass plate -
how much? Only 650/- sir - No, no, budget se zyada ho gaya! Aapke liye
550 sir ...

Before I could protest any further, out came a flurry of casseroles in
all shapes and sizes. Very useful sir - has inner glass bowl,
microwave proof, branded product sir - Milton - very good
quality. Hmmm how much - 400/- ah ... this looks really good! I turned
the thing all around - the lid looks a bit dirty - purana hai kya? No,
no sir - I'll clean it - he sprayed Colin on the lid and rubbed it
sparkling clean. I pondered a while and decided the newly wed couple
would be in dire need of a casserole when starting a new family - hmmm
- maybe they'll thank me for it someday ... and I smiled to .... Ho
gaya sir - Isko gift wrap kara dijiye. After little haggling with the
price, it came down to 350/- and I was suddenly feeling very proud of
myself. Feeling content with my acquisition, my eyes now wandered to a
mother n daughter pair beside me. They were looking at some crystal
glasses, presumably as a gift for someone. Payment sir - Ah yes .. -
I paid - the crystal glasses looked really nice - set of six glasses,
would have made a better present but must be really costly. Ye lijiye
sir - pack ho gaya - Thanks.

Ye glasses ka set kitne ka hai? This ... only 200/- sir - ek set aapko
bhi de doon? I collected my gift and walked out of the store.

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