It seems to be the general consensus that I have taken after my dad. We have the same egg-shaped head and the same strong chin. Mom says we are equally sloppy and that she couldn’t have imagined anyone could love procrastinating as much as my dad until I came into the picture. But then, there is one thing in which I differ from my dad as drastically as my bank balance differs from the Ambanis’. Gifts.
I love gifts. So much so, that I have been known to often instruct people to get a ‘surprise gift’ for me. When it comes to gifts, there is zero difference between me and my five year old niece. We both go wide-eyed and wild-eyed at the sight of gifts, and get to work with trembling hands with the wrapping paper, irrespective of the company present or the appropriateness of the activity. On the other hand, my dad loathes gifts.
He is a man of few needs. He does not need a third shirt when he already has two. He would wear the second one when the first one is being washed. Simple. A third shirt, according to him, takes up unnecessary space in the closet and wastes precious time during the decision-making process. The same hold true for trousers and socks. The sweater is an exception. Of that, he needs only one, as it is washed only at the end of the sweater wearing season. His mobile phone would soon be claimed by the National Museum of Antique Mobile Phones, because it belongs to another era. But suggest a replacement at your own peril. As long as he can make and receive calls, it will be around and that’s final. he already has enough books for a casual onlooker to mistake his living room as a public library or a second-hand book shop. Chances are, you cannot find a book suitable for him that has been published and that he doesn’t already own. If I suggest lunch or coffee at a fancy place, he would enquire astounded, if we were out of food or coffee at home.
Gifts, to him, are redundant, superfluous and a colossal waste of money. I have given gifts to him in the past only to be reminded of how that money could have been put to better use. So this Father’s Day, I would give myself and him a break from forceful gifts. I would only give him a hug. A hug is everything that a great gift is – it is warm and personal, thoughtful and loving. And it is not what he does not like about gifts – it does not cost money, it does not take up space, and no matter how many you have, you can always do with one more.