Housewarming gift

SWALPA CONNECT MAADI

Housewarming gift

 He had deep worry lines on his forehead and every aspect of a man being hounded by the Income tax department. “What happened,” I asked, “have the IT guys got wind of your Swiss Bank account?”  “Nothing that simple,” he said. “It’s just been one long stressful month. I was at my wits end and couldn’t sleep at nights.”

“Did your share fall or did Chotta Mirchi call you with a death threat?” “If only it was that easy,” he sighed. “My problem was on a huge scale. It was not knowing what to give Mukeshbhai as a housewarming gift.”

“Now that is a tough one,” I sympathised.  “I couldn’t for the life of me come up with one thing they would want or need in Antilla. And how could I go empty handed?”
“You poor thing…. How did you solve this poser.”

“It was bad I tell you, I couldn’t even talk to the half a dozen strategic planners who work for me and get ideas.”

“Surely, there are professionals who know the right gift to give the right person. There are professionals for everything these days.”

“I couldn’t hire a professional because I did not want the word to get out. That would put pressure on Mukeshbhai to invite me.”

“You mean you hadn't been invited ?” “No. But then one has to be prepared right?”
“So what did you finally do?” I asked

“I went through five thousand options. From platinum toilet fixtures to special edition designer Maybachs. Even a Silver Ghost Rolls Royce or an island in the Maldives. I even considered diamond paperweights like the Nizam had. Then I said if he has three helipads maybe another helicopter would not be amiss. No go. You simply cannot give a gift to a man who has everything.”

“Why didn’t you think of a couple of Husains or Razas? I am sure they have the wall space.” “Of course, I pondered over all that but then I was sure several of the Mumbai A-listers were thinking along the same lines. Then there would be a surfeit of Husains and Razas. There are only so many paintings one can hang up and forget. I wanted something of real use. Then one night as I lay awake, I got an inspired idea.”
“I can't wait to hear it,” I said eagerly.

 “I had read about his electricity bill…..  So I decided to give something practical…I ordered 10,000 CFL bulbs made in fine swarovsky crystal from China. Then I got Armani to design their boxes out of antique Jamavar shawls and had them gift wrapped in real Moghul miniature paintings with gold chains for ribbons and  packed them all in three brand new Pajeros to be sent over to Antilla on the morning of the party. One doesn't want to come through as cheap.”

“Of course. Most thoughtful of you. After all it's the thought that counts. Did Mukeshbhai appreciate the gift?”

My friend's face fell. “ They never did invite me,” he said despondently. Then he brightened up even before I could offer my heartfelt condolences. “Never mind. I will save it all for Anilbhai's housewarming. But right now I have another huge big worry looming large.”

“Maybe I can help,” I said, “what are friends for if not to share your worries with.”
“What on earth does one give Will and Kate as a wedding gift?”   

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