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Monday, June 29, 2009


This is a crib. So, I will totally understand if you want to forego this post.

While cleaning my room a few days back, I came across an offensive piece of item. It was beautifully packed, nicely explained and must have cost a fortune. It was a set of three soaps, made from natural ingredients and was meant to be an "indulgence" according to the elaborate pamphlet that came with it. Hmmm.

I am all for indulgence, and I am definitely all for natural items. But I draw a line at thinking of soaps as decent gifts. That set my mind racing, thinking of other gifts that I have thrown out, without telling the giver of course.
Now, if you are one of those "need to buy something for everyone” types planning a visit to India, I will let you in on a little secret.

  1. We don't care about the cost of what you got us. We appreciate the thought that went behind it.
  2. We will like you less if you buy potentially offensive gifts.
  3. It hurts us to see something silly stuffed into our hands, while thoughts of “Can I pass it on to someone else?”, “Can I put it in dustbin after she leaves?”, ”Will it be toxic for the street dogs?”, ”Can I give her something equally bad?” keeps running through our heads.

Here is a list of all I could think of. Please add or delete depending on your preferences:

  1. Soaps - There is a difference between cheap perfumes and expensive soaps. The latter is offensive, boring, unnecessary or unused, depending on the person. For me it is all of that.
  2. Diaries/Notebooks - We get notebooks here. We actually get pretty good papers too. It might be unbelievable for the kind of people saying "India does not have a Nike showroom like States!" (Thanks jiju for that tidbit!)
  3. Postcards/Showpieces with "we love XXX" written on them (XXX being the name of the country/continent) - by far the most annoying gift ever. Do you all believe we would hang it in our rooms with "that" written over it? What would we get out of such promotional activities really?
  4. Wallpapers/Plastic sheets for shelves/Cheap plastic table mats - I have always had the urge to fling these rolls outside. Jeez, wall papers! I was unbelievably happy when one of them was half-consumed by insects, and I had to discard it with a morose look.
  5. Any flick-offs from flights or hotels- A pack of cards, bookmarks, and small lotion bottles etc are downright insulting. Passing on free gifts is a pretty low thing to do.

On second thoughts, bad gifts make up for a fairly enjoyable cribbing session! So, may the giftrocities continue.


antbrain said...

A simple Apple Macbook Pro or an unsophisticated iPhone 3GS would actually suffice me. I wouldn't bother much :) Yaaru unaku andha soap dabba koduthangalo paavam! ;)

Anupama said...

Happah! I was wondering what to give for your wedding.
Heading to the stores (or the hotels) with the above gift list :-D

Archana said...

Ash: Paavam my *^&$^$&! iPhone eh?!! Wishlist building up eh? Guess you have to satisfy yourself with a blackberry this time!!

Anu: Repurcussions of this post have reached beyond my doordarshan signals.. Siiiggghhhh!!

Kunal Chandra said...

So when can we have a call to go through a list of things from which we can pick your gift in a very collaborative manner so as to ensure that my wedding gift to you does not end up becoming an inspiration for a blogpost? :-)

So from my foreign trips I bring back chocolates. A bite of happiness no offence no showoff and it always go with a statement to the effect of - I bought one for myself as I really like them and thought may be you will ike it too so here is one for you too.

Have given out a few hotel shampoos but then the recepients generally projected somesort of desire fot them... :-)

Archana said...

You are right - Chocolates are safe, non-offensive and can make a very sweet gift (double meanings!!), even for a non-choc-lover like me.

your coming to my wedding will be a very big and much appreciated gift instead of a courier..! I am serious.. it has been years since I last saw you - even in a photo!

Archana said...

Clothes, particularly T's with a brand endoresement or I Love NY!