Monday, June 23, 2008

Materialism or the birthday gifts I got

Maa: A shirt, a kurta, loads of Bong dishes, and a copy of The Geeta. I gained 2.5 kgs in the last 10 days. 2 kgs come from Maa. Muah.
Dada: A shirt (you know you have a long way to go.) I did not give you anything on your birthday, but I'm younger.
Boudi: I'm sure the shirt above was chosen by her. Also, loads and loads of chocolates. I blame the rest of the .5 kgs on her. On her birthday, I gave her a phone call.
Pablo: Yet to give anything. Hovering between a pair of jeans and a rice cooker. The first one because I use his trousers a lot and the second because he'll use it at home.
Tanupam: Amitav Ghosh's latest—A Sea of Poppies. Very nice cover and I love the type face. I gave him a cheaper book on his birthday. Now I'll have to find some occassion to make up for the price difference.
Sujata: An Irvine Welsh collection with a rather long title. Read the first story on the pot. Hilarious. Not a very comfortable read on the pot though. Those who have read the story called Rattlesnake will know why. Of course, I won't mention her charming company in this list. She had lunch with me and Pablo. I'll mention that in the post on treasures. This is just on gifts.
ST: A huge anonymous bouquet (see, how I keep your name a secret) followed by a sweet poem, and then by a truncated bouquet made from the flowers of the first bouquet. I was surprised, a tad bit embarrassed, and, in retrospect, hugely touched. We all think so much about how our actions will come across: smart? cool? in? Thank you for caring more about emotions.
AA: Very expensive-looking shades. Makes me appear rather cool. Can make anybody appear a bit like Sophia Loren and Jackie Kennedy. She's got taste.

The last one deserves a paragraph or two: I got the sweetest card in my life. Mama punned on a degree and marriage—B.A. and biye; the younger one babytalked me; the older one kindly refrained from emphasizing my age; Mami beckoned me to another home; the quadruped must have drooled over my card. I know I am loved and all (very strongly by blood and others), but this card made me grin at my comp all day. Overwhelmingly, achingly, homely sweet. August it is.

In the same package came a book and a letter. The letter writer distilled her mood of capricious affection (and rather self-reflexive) in an A4 page. I wish I could write like her. When you read her you can almost hear her speak. But she's young, and I'll refrain from more praise lest she gets airs. And then the book. I am amazed how she got hold of that book. Must have taken her weeks to plan.
It is an anthology of modern Bengali poetry in English translation. Was happy to realise that I know quite a few of them in the original. Who is Carolyn Brown, btw? She's a good translator.

Of course, there are many who called. I know Didi will have something in store for me when I go home. The Ms (2 Ms) from Calcutta should quickly decide how they want to get into this list. I'll make it read only very soon.

I love you all. Some a bit more and the rest yet more. He he he...

PS: I'll be ungrateful if I don't mention the penstand I will get from my office next friday. They do it for every employee's birthday. A small gift, but they show they care. LearningMate rocks! (I sincerely hope they give me a good raise after this.)