As a youngster, the only days I paid some attention to was my friends’ birthdays, and even though I was pretty hopeless in remembering the exact dates, I never passed up the opportunity of presenting them with a greeting card and a hand-made one at that! Most of the ideas I made use of were from store-bought cards, presented to me by my friends. Some had glittery designs, some vibrant colors, while others had a colorful appendage which spread out when one opened the card.
Call me old-fashioned, but however imperfect it may be, there’s something heart-warming about a hand-made gift. A greeting card, a note, a cake, a cassette ooops….now it’s a CD containing favourite songs, a hand-painted garment, beaded bracelets…..you name it! Each occasion was marked with a sense of surprise and wonder; surprise because someone remembered that special day, and wonder because the person attempted to give me something which he/she made with some effort, keeping my likes and dislikes in mind, and with the obvious intention to please. Makes one feel special and cherished indeed :-)!
With the passage and lack of time, I succumbed to the pressure and thus, store-bought gifts preceded the hand-made ones. Even with that, I used to scout stores to find something suitable. And I would undertake this ‘expedition’ only when I was interested enough. Else I would ditch going to any b’day party altogether – feigning you-are-my-bestest-friend wasn’t my forte. This was on the ‘giving’ side. On the receiving side, I received some thoughtful gifts. Some included books (my favorite gift of all :-)), while others included personal knick-knacks. On one occasion, one of my friends had bought a lunch-dabba filled with lip-smacking North-Indian snacks. What more could I have wanted! That was one memorable b’day (burp!).
Most of my friends now have married, had kids, and are generally busy with their careers and lives. Though I miss them a lot, I am in touch with them through mails and sometimes calls. We hardly live in the same city, let alone same country to visit and exchange gifts on occasions of b’day or anniversaries. However, these small reminders are all the wishes/gifts I can afford to have. And it cheers me up immensely that they (unlike me) can remember :-).