by Vimala Ramu
Gifts have always posed a big problem - What to give the bride/bridegroom/bridal pair or the birthday baby/person etc.
During the time of our parents, silver being quite cheap and affordable, articles of silver- mostly cups and tumblers, plate, rattle, anklets etc would serve as ideal gifts. They not only had the virtue of boosting the assets of the family, but acted as a ready source of cash too.
As the precious metals soared high in rate and receded gradually from the common man’s reach, people started taking the trouble of finding a suitable gift in the shop which would suit their purses and at the same time look not too bad in the eyes of the recipient. Many a time the same idea would strike different minds resulting in the recipients receiving multiples of the same articles as gifts from different invitees. This would cancel any advantage the said article had as a decoration piece or as a utility item and just had to be recycled.
The next option was bouquets and they would look stylish too. Then we realized that giving a bouquet to the bride or bridal pair was an exercise in futility as it would be ages before the wilted bouquets would be collected from the heap and put in proper vases. But we could still give them on birthdays or other relatively smaller functions.
But then, once, we presented a bunch of long stemmed tube roses to a lady for her birthday - 8 stems for 80 years. The bundle was perhaps a bit too heavy for the lady to carry as she kept dashing here and there to check the arrangements for lunch. I was horrified to see her carrying the bunch downwards with the flowers sweeping the floor like a broom!
After all these experiments we decided that giving cash in sealed envelope is the easiest solution. But to do this my husband with his motto ‘Be prepared’ insists on my putting the money into the envelope, sealing it and writing the required literature on it much ahead of the event.
Probably this might be good in the long run looking at what happened to his brother. The latter gentleman had attended a wedding and presented the sealed envelope to the bridegroom, just to come home and see that the envelope that had the money inside it was still lying at home. The empty envelope had been duly inscribed with best wishes and given to the boy!
Fortunately, the boy’s brother was getting married two days later. So, there my brother–in-law met the bridegroom no.1, explained the situation, apologized for it and gave the right envelope.