Talk of 'toor' de force

Swalpa adjust maadi...


My super rich friend from Mumbai has started on his Diwali gifts early this year. “These are tough times,” he grumbled. “What with recession and all, I cannot think of a single thing to send to my friends.”

“The sensex has put a damper on everything,” I said. “But I am sure you will come up with something that will make the Ambani bothers wish they were on your A list.”   

“Ambanis huh? As a matter of fact, I think they are there. That is why I want to plan a special Diwali gift this year. Something they will use and not pass on to their drivers.”

“These are not the times for extravagance. Have you thought about return tickets to Monte Carlo?”

“No, can’t do,” he said shaking his head. “Wife insists that it’s got to be a practical, useful gift this year.”

“That leaves out the Husain paintings for sure. What can you do with a painting except hang it up and look at it occasionally?”

“You are so right. And it’s no use sending what I did last year. My wife says she hasn’t spotted any of her friends  wearing those three-carat Harry Winston rings.”

“How about MUVs filled with crackers? Now that is as practical as it gets.”

He shook his head. “All the people on my list have MUVs for their cook’s weekly visit to the market already.”

“I suppose a Louis Vuitton set of matched bags will be seen as too trifling?”

“My share price is down to what it was when Great Granpa started the company. But come on ‘yaar’, I have standards to maintain?”

“I see your point,” I said. “If you don't want to look cheap, how does an IPL cricket team sound?”

“Forget it. There are not enough cricketers going. Think, think. I am sure you will hit upon the right Diwali gift for me,” he urged.

“How about a neatly-packed custom-designed brick of gold with your crest embossed?”

“Got to be a very practical something. Gold will only be hoarded.” He looked gloomier than ever. There is nothing like not finding the right Diwali gift, to make a millionaire feel depressed. My heart bled for him. Then I had a brainwave.”

“I've got just the thing. How about a bag full of ‘toor’?” He looked puzzled, “Tour as in eight days, nine nights to South Africa? Last time I sent that, only two people went.”

“No. Not tour. ‘Toor’ as in ‘dal’. It’s so expensive that people are settling for black sea caviar instead. But that the non-vegetarians. The veggies are left high and dry.”

He looked upbeat for the first time in the morning. “That is what I call an original idea! I am sure no one has thought of it. Are you sure it’s expensive enough?”

“Yes. You could even have it packed in designer bags made of cloth of gold,” I said improving on my idea.
`
“The wife will love this ‘toor’ idea. But get a good designer for the bags. I cannot afford those Rohit Bal types.”

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