“And what did you buy for your wife?”
“Valentine’s day! Remember? You don’t tell me you forgot AGAIN?”
“Oh, no! I did not forget anything. I have a memory of the elephant – and a body to match! I bought this great gift for Pragna – only I don’t want to discuss about it.”
“So be it.”
Thankfully, the interest in my gift to my beloved soon waned away – and the discussions started on something else. But that sinking feeling – that hollowness continued to haunt me. I had failed – yet again; and had forgotten to buy something for my wife. How could I?
The thought of buying rose – rose and quickly faded. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet – but a rose on the eve of valentine day did not cost the same! Ten dollars for a single long stemmed red rose? When we could get a dozen for less than that price (well almost) rest of the year – my sanity (and my learned wife) would never agree to this. Options / choices? My mind whirled through various alternatives and tried to arrive at most effective – costwise and otherwise – effective solution. I remember having read somewhere that the best time to buy roses is February 15th. Buy a dozen roses; keep them in the freezer till February 13th – take them out, thaw them naturally and bingo – you got a dozen long stemmed red roses for a fraction of a cost! And your significant other is still very much impressed.
My implementation must have gone wrong – because all I got in the process of thawing the frozen roses is a cross between withered roses and wilted stems. My Gujju mind acted fast, and the gift to Pragna that year was ‘gulkand’ made out of the frozen rose petals. She was not greatly thrilled with the sweet gift – but consoled herself – ‘something is better than nothing! And it’s the thought that matters!’
In the yester-years, my Valentine day gifts consisted of:
- Steam iron
- A very sturdy Ironing board
- Idli / dosa stone grinder – which worked in North American electrical circuits
- Roti Maker
- Hoover brand vaccum cleaner
The reason for choosing these gifts was not mercenary. In the period between the Christmas and Valentine day (post Boxing Day shopping), my significant other did STOP AND STARE (in the malls or at our friends’ / relatives’ homes) at each of the items mentioned above – and yours truly being very observant, picked up the cue; and the items later on – and presented them to the lady love on the Valentine’s Day.
Just couple of years ago, after the gift of vacuum cleaner, Pragna came very close to me, and holding me closely, murmured in my ears:
“How do you like this room? I shall put on some light music, and dim the lights.”
I couldn’t believe my luck. I wished I had listened to the sales-person and bought the ‘steam mop’, too! I nodded my acquiescence.
“Good! Because this is where you are going to be sleeping – have a good night, darling!”
Now, what did I do wrong? Just because I did not buy that steam mop?
Somehow or the other, February 14th and the couch in the family room are very chummy – and I have spent February 14th of several years in the company of the television set, lying on the couch.
Back to present – much wiser and cleverer (age makes you wise, doesn’t it? That’s why we call a wise old man! Have you ever heard of wise young man?). I plan to go to Home Depot and pick up that snow blower – 80% off the regular price! You can’t beat it; and I am sure Pragna will enjoy blowing off the snow (when it snows) rather than shovelling it. After all, I need to take care of her delicate hands and the back, too!
“What? What did you say? What do you mean that I should be watching my back, too? I don’t understand you.”