Gift? what gift?

By Sandhya D’Mello

Ma! What gift do you plan to give me on my birthday?” I stood still, plainfaced and replied, “What exactly do you want?”

“A pair of Apple AirPods would be great,” said my son. Times have changed, the demand for gifts that come at a price of course,  has become endless.

Can materialistic things ever qualify our love towards our loved ones?

Things get worse when comparisons are made by the kids or spouses at home. This list  can be extended to colleagues, lovers, couples and cousins… each one comparing what was received and not received on their respective birthdays or anniversaries, forget the fact that some of us who have high work demands and pressure to meet tight deadlines, may not even have the luxury of time to cut our own birthday cakes.

While gifting may be a tradition,  many of us miss a very valuable point here. Does lavishing our loved ones with gifts increase our emotional bonds? No it does not. Then why is gifting considered a norm for occasions?

I guess it  needs mature thinking to overcome mundane expectations of life. Often it’s our experiences in life that teach us to overcome such expectations.

Another very disturbing habit of people is when they put a price tag to the gift after unwrapping it. It’s common to find people flaunting a new mobile, which they would have received as a gift, on their social media pages. Is it right  to flaunt such gifts? 

What kind of gratification does one derive from that, besides making your peers jealous?

It makes me ponder over what kind of  a relationship they are leading with their loved ones. It seems that it’s purely based on a giving and receiving policy, and if so, it smacks of a hollow foundation in that relationship.

All my life, post marriage, my better half and I have been busy building our lives and our precious family. For us giving or receiving gifts was irrelevant; it did not matter to us at all.

Though we have never used gifts to seal our relationship, the love and care we receive every day from our family members, colleagues and others dear to us is beyond compare, beyond any momentary satisfaction one derives from lavish gifts.

Think about this! Maybe your spouse did the chores at home knowing you were staying back in office due to the workload, or perhaps your ageing parents knew you’d be coming home late and prepared supper for you, or perhaps a dear friend said a little prayer for you and you were not even aware of it. Simple gestures like these mean a world to me than mere gifts.

Fond memories stay on when your loved ones or friends show concern; in the end, that’s all that matters. Remember you can never derive this satisfaction from gifts.

And as it’s Valentine’s Day today, let me suggest the best gift for your near and dear ones – love, care and concern. No gift is greater than that.

Sandhya has decided to stop pondering over why her dear friend did not wish  her on her birthday.

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