Friday, October 19, 2007

The Art of Gifting!

Before I begin, let me state the rules of the Art first –

Art of Gifting for me – Get and Forget!

Art of Gifting for you should be (must be, infact) – Give and Forgive!

Rules set, let me pontificate on this interesting but often a controversial topic. How do we give (remember again – for me, it’s always get) good gifts? Whom do we give good gifts to? (to me of course, silly), What constitutes a good gift? Should there be any occasion for giving gifts? Questions and discussions range from the esoteric to the merely trivial. There have been fights and scandals over gifts received/given (oh yes! Believe me, I have been a part of many ;)). (And, now I use THE statement – a statement which has been beaten down to death a million times over) Gifting is an art and not a science.

I guess the art of gifting has matured (or immatured) over the years. From being a tradition to a means of flaunting money power, the meaning of gift has changed both in its form and intent. Gifts should be a reflection of understanding and feeling for our loved ones (wow!). Gifting is an experience (yes, a bad experience for me – it costs me money!). The value of your feelings should be of much more importance than the value of the gift (yes, definitely – don’t I do that always – lots and lots of feelings ONLY)!

Sarcasm done, let me get back to the topic at hand. I somehow am very clear when it comes to gifts. Always receive the costliest of gifts (actually, demand) and always give gifts of feelings and love – which I guess (and strongly believe) is more invaluable than the former. But somehow people don’t seem to empathize with me (I get stares (not to mention some English (****) which I do not want to understand till date))! However, when I am in my very good moods, I try to buy something of physical value (I know, how cheap of them to demand a gift which they can touch and feel and also has resale value!!) not exceeding Rs. 250 (after frantically searching for a discount sale). But still, I get the looks!! Guess, I am not attuned (or heavily tuned) to the art of gifting at all.

However, I realize I am very good at getting gifts – in fact, without hinting at the gift at all. Here is an excerpt of the conversation I had with one of my uncles in the US when I was 20 (yeah, 5 years back…now c’mon, don’t make me nostalgic!!)

Uncle: So, beta! How are you? What shall I bring for you from US?

Me: I am fine uncle (notice the subtlety, not very fine…just fine). Why do you want to take any effort uncle. It’s ok (Damnnn…how did I say that?!)

Uncle: No, no beta! I have to get something for you. Tell me, c’mon!

Me: No uncle, it’s actually ok. I don’t need anything right now (Damnn..the second time, not happening)

Uncle: Now c’mon, be a sport! Tell me.

Me: (Before he says, No, No…Time out, Time out…Gifts for you only next time) Ok uncle…if you insist! Actually I have been watching NatGeo quite a lot nowadays and I like people in it shooting with some lenses and flashlight and something else (see..hinting, not specifyin…a talent developed painstakingly over years!) the animals. I would like one of those.

Uncle: Ho hum!! Cough, cough! Beta…but!

Me: (Before he could say anything) I know uncle, that’s too cheap for your standards but, but still, you just forced me.

Uncle: (No choice left) Ok Kiran (Beta to Kiran…now that’s quite a change, probably indicated lots of love) You will have it (Wow! So much love!).

The next week when he came – he got me a zoom camera (although now it’s lying almost in some remote garage because it involved film rolls and they cost a lot!...On second thoughts, I think it comes under my category of ‘passing this gift to someone else’…hmm, lemme chew on that fact for a while)! See what I said, get the gift without hinting at it.

However, when it comes to giving gifts – I reign supreme. For, what better gift than lots of love and feelings towards the other person? What better gift that you wished him/her on that particular day (taking the effort to remember the day)? What better gift than wishing him/her with open arms (empty of course, not with a physical gift, chi chi…what are you talking about?)? I tried all of the above – but somehow the other person doesn’t seem to understand/relate to my feelings. Probably they are too immature in the art of gifting – for the best gift, I always believe while giving is the one you give with feelings and love J!!

Update: Almost forgot, I have Excel worksheets with extensive cost-benefit analysis of every gift I have ever given (physical gifts, that is - feelings don't have any cost-benefit :))! Analysis involves the value of the gift I am giving versus the future benefits (which includes gifts, favors etc.) from that particular person. If you want to have a peek at these, mail me :)!!

P.S –

1) I love the recent ad of Cadbury Celebrations – Gifting chocolates is a novel idea and excellently marketed. Touched upon a brilliant point of recycling gifts (passing on the gift you never wanted in the first place) which we do always (Now, c’mon – Admit it!). Perishability of chocolates doesn’t allow you that freedom along with conveying sweet (literally!) greetings.

2) Courtesy AJ’s question – Bribing officials – Will it come under the art of gifting? Hmm…AJ, my blog doesn’t allow scandals :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why is the word ' Pontificate ' being used so regularly in your blogs ?

You were the one who accused Ravi Shastri of using cliches and Harsha Bhogle of not knowing what to say in one of your earlier blogs (BTW Ravi and Harsha happen to be my favorite cricket commentators... so dont u dare pointing a finger at them).... Satish