What is THE best gift you have ever given somebody? What did it involve?
To me, the ‘best gift’ isn’t really expensive or flamboyant or splashy. It is the ‘best’ because of the thoughtfulness behind it, the time spent in choosing it and the trouble that the person took to make it special. The pen-sets and hastily picked up thermos flasks or clocks, just does not do it for me—and somehow I can always tell! (I am sure you can too!)
One of the best gifts I have received which I truly cherish is two original paintings made by a brilliant Artist—Niall Young-- whom I am also very proud to call a good friend of mine. (I have blogged about him many times. Just search for his name in the box on the right if you want to read the posts) One of his paintings hangs above my desk where I work, so that first thing I see when I look up is that picture. One of my favourite artists Van Gogh once said “Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul. " Since I paint myself (Click here to go to my art site) I could so agree. Niall said that only very very few people have had the privilege of being gifted his original work. I did feel special and I could relate so completely because it is the same for me, even though my work is not one tenth as good as his. Very very few people (in fact only three) have had the privilege of being gifted my paintings. When people ask me casually “Oh—Can you paint something for me?” I really am so enraged that I want to ask them to—well-- you know what I want to say! :-) But I smile politely and change the topic. They have to truly earn it.
I also make cards for people who I really like. If I could make a card for each of you who take out the time and make an effort to comment on my posts, I truly would have. Like I said in the ‘acknowledgements’ section in my book, a big thank you to all my blog readers and subscribers. (On the last count it was more than 480 (and 161 followers)—I was amazed.) Since I really cannot make that many cards (else in the 'about me' section I’d have to write ‘full time card maker’ instead of ‘author, artist, poet, mom’ !) I have decided that I am making 15 cards to give away. I will be giving away three or four cards, each Monday for the next four Mondays. (depending on how many I am able to make during the week) The cards aren’t ‘professional’ or 'perfect' but I have done my best and a lot of effort and thought has gone into each one.
Why Mondays? Because Mondays are usually the dullest days of the week (at least, I hate Mondays) and this will be something nice on a Monday morning. To choose who would get the card, I’ll ask a ‘thinking question’ (Don’t worry—no Math or science here) and then choose ‘3 best responses’ . Of course you’ll have to send me your postal address and I will mail the handmade card to you. If you do not want the card but still want to comment, you’re most welcome to! Just mention it in your comment—that’s all (and don't worry I wont be offended if you don't want my card!).
The cards I have made this time have an inspirational quote on the front and insides are blank. (photo at the start of the post;Click to enlarge and you can see the details on each one) If you want it for yourself, I shall personalise it for you and send it. (from me to you, on the inside) If you want to send it to someone else, I shall leave the inside blank and mail it to you with a matching envelope, so that you can send it to whoever you want to gift it to. The cards are all 14.5 cms x 10.5 cms. So in case you want to, you can slip it into a standard photo-frame and you’d instantly have a framed picture which you can prop on your desk at work or home. If you’re too lazy to, you can just pin it up anywhere without any frame—honestly what you do with it is your business! These were just suggestions.
But one thing I do ask of the recipient is to ‘pay it forward’ (like the movie of the same name). You don’t have to make a card necessarily but please do a random act of kindness for somebody. You don’t even have to tell me (but if you want to I’ll of course listen). Brighten up somebody’s day. That is all I ask.
On a different note—Have you noticed the new 'My current mood' panel on the right side? If you’re using IE, it may appear different. It works best with Firefox. I plan to share my favourite songs and videos and it will be updated and changed frequently. (Sometimes I change it even twice a day, sometimes I don’t change it for a few days. But I will surely change it, each time there is a new post. )
Okay— Here is the question for this Monday. (I shall update this post with names of three people who will get the cards, on Friday at 10:00 a.m, GMT which is 2.30 p.m IST)
“What according to you, is the best gift you have ever received or ever given somebody? Why was it so?” (There is no need to mention names if you don’t want to)
Update as promised
Firstly I really wish I could send cards to every single one of you. Each and every comment that I read made me go 'aaaaaawwwwwww..'. Truly ,the emotional value of each and every gift can never be judged. Each one is as valuable as the other, because of what it means to the sender and the receiver. So I am not judging the gifts that were given as they are indeed priceless.
However I had to pick three comments, as I had only three cards to give away. I knew it was going to be very very hard to decide which three. So I did one thing. I read the comments just once, replied and did not read them again. Then this morning ,I tried and remembered which ones have stuck in my mind. Obviously those were the ones that had made an impact on me, for whatever reasons, as those were the ones that came to mind instantly.
They are (click on their names which are links)
Scotty is a Firefighter from Adelaide, Australia. He writes amazing poetry.He has some lovely music on his site. He is wise, warm and very intelligent. Most importantly he is sensitive. His comment really moved me because what he did wasn't easy. It is never easy to swallow pride and make that first step to mend bridges. Read his comment and you will know what I am talking about.
Mayank is a banker from Mumbai. He is also a friend,but that did not influence me the least bit when I read his two comments.In fact he asked if he could mail it to me instead of putting it as a comment on my blog, but I refused. I said that the rules which apply to others apply to him as well and I cannot make any allowances just beause he is my friend. What I liked about his comment was that in both places he is humble enought to admit what he really is and how unusual both incidents were. Both moved me. Read both his comments and I am sure you'll feel moved too. They brought a lump to my throat when I first read them. He does not blog, so I have linked his Facebbok profile.
Deepti, I am presuming is in IT and is based in Bangalore. She says she forgot to grow up and I think it is great if we all forget to grow up! As adults we can be so drab and proper and boring! What moved me about Deepti's comment was teaching her parents to use the computer and the pride in her parents. Old age can be really lonely and that is when you need your children the most. Sadly that is also the time Children have least time for their parents as they are busy in their careers, their family and their life. A computer can make such a difference to their lives . I know, because I too had taught my mom, step by step how to mail me. My dad learnt himself and graduated to a whiz. Something in Deepti's comment brought tears to my eyes.
Please send me your postal addresses and also tell me whether you want blank cards or want me to personalise it. (from me to you) and the cards will be mailed to you as soon as I hear from you.Mail me on ps @ preetisatish.com (without gaps--I have put the gap no purpose to discourage bots and spammers).
I must also say that I remembered Piyali's comment, because I could so relate to what she has been going through, having quit her job recently. But I did not want to be biased as she mentioned my book (probably the reason why I remembered!) and so Piyali, I will be sending you a postcard from Norwich. (Not a handmade card) So Piyali, please send me your address too.
All the others, I am really really sorry that I wont be able to send you a card this time. But I am certain you wont mind or be disappointed and that you will understand my limitations, given the number of people who have responded.
Best thing about this has been reading the comments that bring back happy memories.
The next post and next question coming soon! I have already made four cards this time. So watch this space! (and a BIG thank you for responding to this so well)