The best gift. A new project.

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 @ (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)


  1. The best gift I ever received was a computer, when I was in 9th Grade.

    I was very very passionate about computers, used to stay back in school to try out the programs I had written and used to just touch them with admiration....

    Finally my dad & mom gave me my first personal computer as a gift, it must have costed them a bomb but more than that I was overwhelmed as I was not expecting to have a computer at all but deep down I so desperately wanted it.

    I made it as a computer science engineer, work for an IT company handling huge programs.

    And it all started with a gift, some 13 years back with a computer (which is not as powerful as m cellphone today) which actually contributed a lot in what I am today. So for changing my life and giving the direction to it, My computer stands as the best gift ever.

  2. I guess the one thing you forgot to add in your post is that for this contest like normally done for all such campaigns family is excluded. is that correct? Guess ideally that should be the case and therefore am excluded from taking part. (boo hoo). In any case given that between the two of us the good deeds are done by you and to balance those I do the not so good deeds, this would be a difficult one for me to win. So taking the 5th Amendment may be the honourable way out on this.
    Satish :)

  3. "Pay it forward" sounds like "Pass it on,please" (From Enid Blyton's Eight O'clock tales :D)

    The greatest gifts for me ever would water-proof wrist watches which my parents buy for me! I wear them till they are completely worn out and still I just love them!

    P.S: I am new to I don't really know whether I should be commenting or not :)

  4. The best gifts in life sometimes can never be seen. A hug from your kids when they think you are their best mom is something I treasure.

    But, looking back, I remember the beautiful cards my dad selects for my birthdays, such lovely words, and such beautiful thoughts. He would place a crisp 100 rs note in it. There would be lots of gifts along with that for my birthday but this card is something I still look forward to and treasure..( he still does that, 'cos he knows I love them!)

  5. you really have put me into thinking mode.. best gift.. what do i like in the gifting procedure.. is it different for when i select a gift for others and when i am receiving a gift etc..

    and i liked how you planned on making cards and even taking effort to mail them to ppl you would find deserving... this talks of your creativity and passion in what you do..


  6. hey Preeti! You always come up with innovative or interesting ideas... The best gifts are :-

    1. my sis (gifted by my parents. I'm sure I never asked for it). She grew up to be my confidante, counselor and best buddy.

    2. Time and support - When I was going through a lean phase, my friend gave me a lotta time and support. Since I was going through a difficult phase, I was just not myself. I put my friend through hell, but that person put up with all my tantrums and acidic remarks. That was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

    These are not tangible goods, so I don't know if they would qualify. But just named something that made a difference to me :)

  7. The best gift that I have ever given to someone is a collage made out of all the pictures that I had clicked during my friend's engagement and wedding.

    She simply loved it and so did her hubby!

    Does this clarify as hand made too :) coz I clicked those snaps myself..

    The best gift that my mom and dad have ever given me is my sister. She has gifted me all the things I have ever needed even before I have thought of it...

  8. And that video! Wooow! What accuracy!! Simply awesome!

  9. //But one thing I do ask of the recipient is to ‘pay it forward’ //

    //Brighten up somebody’s day.//

    Thats really so sweet of U :)) Words wont do justice to express the happiness it showers on both the receiver and the sender :D


    The most special gift that I received would be a tweety (soft toy) made by my friend who got introduced through blogs. Since we both shared the same name (Gayathri) we had a special bond between us. She used to tell me that she lost touch in making toys and not having patience to sit and do one as she wanted to gift a teddy for another friend. When I went to her place to meet her, she suddenly surprised me with this tweety and it still holds a special place in my cupboard :)))

  10. The best gift that I have ever received is a poem composed by my Mom on my 16th birthday. My Mom used to tell me that she likes composing poetry but till date, she doesn't have the time to pen down her thoughts. I used to encourage her to compose poetry but lack of time and sometimes I feel even self doubt keeps her from doing the same. On my 16th birthday however she woke me up, my Mom still wakes me up and incase I wake up and she is not there, I go around looking for her. I just like to start my day with a hug from her :)
    So anyways, she came to my room on my 16th birthday and gave me an envelope with a sweet birthday kiss and hug. I opened it to find a pink post it note, containing a beautiful Hindi poem written by her. I really cherish the poem and it talks of how my mother felt when she first held me in her arms and has a beautiful message for me.

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  12. Hey Preeti!

    I am a regular reader of your blog, they are amazing! Sorry, I have never left behind any comments but your blogs have always inspired me, a lot! I don't blog but I am thinking to start doing so pretty soon..(Thanks to you, of course ;))

    The best gift that I have ever received is a hand made card from my sister on my b'day this year :)

    I have been sending cards to my sister on her b'day every year, since I have started making my own money. In Jan 2005, when I was in my college, I sent her the first b'day card that I bought out of the money I earned from my part time job in college (under EWYLP- Earn While You Learn Program). Since then till today, I have been sending her a card every year. Every year I look for something different, something new but never did think of a hand made one, though I used to make many in school.

    It was a kind of unsaid deal between both of us that if we want to do something nice for the other then it should be on our own strength, know that I mean. This summer when she came to my place to spend her holidays, before joining her college, at midnight on my b'day she gifted me a lovely hand made card saying these beautiful words- "I know you won't like me "buying" some card for you but I wanted to give one. I have been making this at home, behind you after you left for the office, for the past one week. I hope you like it..(and she smiles looking into my eyes while my eyes were getting moist and she says)Happy b'day, Vidu!"

    The card was made out of a thick sheet from my note pad (which I discovered much later, when I saw the tiny dark green line at the inner end of the card in the left bottom most corner and kept on wondering that I have seen this somewhere :)) with pictures of a clock tower, a busy bee with a mobile phone, music notes, some flowers, soft toys and beautiful eyes, all cut from newspapers, stuck on them. She wrote appropriate lines next to them in her very own calligraphic way. One among them said,"Your time and tears are too precious to get wasted,keep smiling always! :)". Above all, she had even decorated the card with some paper-lace work (coloured papers again from newspaper) along the edges and also had drawn the bar code at the back using her black gel pen which had the code 2 5 0 6 2 0 0 9 on it. This was nothing but 25th June, 2009, my b'day this year. The amount of time, thought and love that she has put into each and every minute detail of the card overwhelms me, it is priceless!

    I have this card on my office desk, next to my docking station. A look at this masterpiece fills me with happiness and makes me repeat this, yet another time, to myself- I can't believe I am so very lucky! :)

  13. Vidya: Why did you delete that wonderful comment?!! I did read it--I got it in my inbox, before you deleted! That was indeed a 'from the heart gift' that u got.

    The thinker: I hope my children too cherish the poems I write fro them as much as you do.

    G3: :)Thank you! I do my bit--or at least try!So sweet of your friend to make it for you--and a complete surprise too! I can imagine how much effort she must have taken.

    Varun: of course its handmade! And a lovely idea too. Satish once made a similar collage for me! :) Yeah even I was impressed with the basketball thing but now I am wondering it its fake!

    Pointblank: Time and support is indeed precious and lucky are the ones who get it.

    Mindspace: Thank you for appreciation! So--what have u concluded?!

    Prats from Blr: Lucky lucky lucky you!(touch wood)

    Its me: of course you can comment! 'blogger-age' no bar! :) "pay it forward' is a superb movie. I like Enid Blyton and I like watches too! :)

    Satish: You're eligible--and i promise to not let bias come in :D

    Prats from Pune: A gift that changed your life and you never even asked for it. Now I am wondering if I should get my children that nintendo wii :)

  14. "If you are going thru hell...keep going.." so apt and so motivating..(read on one of the pictures at the begining of the post)...

    i use to make hand made cards for my subject teachers till the time i was in class 8th. every important occasion of the year..diwali, teachers day, holi was marked by a week long session of making at least 8-10 cards using crayons....(till class 3) and then poster colors/ fevicryl. The zeal and dedication to give best shape to each and every card never died down irrespective of the levels of fondness i had twrds each one of them....:)..later we also came to know that at times the handmade cards given by students use to be a matter of discussion in the staffroom...:)... I stopped this practice after class 8, as i guess padhai became tuff...and scoring higher marks became more dearer..and yeah..also because art was a subject only till class 8, hence no colors after that. But i still feel proud and fondly remember the enthusiasm which i displayed to create cute works of art for our beloved teachers..was unmatchable..hence my most remembered gift which i gave to someone...

    Also, i am tempted to mention here...I gifted a desktop to my parents on their last anniversary. Like most of the parents of their generation parents are also quite technically challenged...but their learn that new piece of technology in their living room is dad recently opened his gmail id..and yesterday i got a call from my mum..telling that now she has an account on orkut..:))...i am sure soon she will have many fans..given the kind and dedicated teacher she is....but i am loving this childlike zeal of my parents to learn something on the syatem everyday. When at home this time..i taught my to listen to songs on system....and he very religiously follows the same one taught process everytime..:))..and the cutest part is..when asked their mail id..they often end up telling their password as well to people....:))....out of all the gifts i have given to my parents all these years...i guess this one is turning out to be the best...:))..


  15. I would love to have one from you. Beautiful cards Preeti, I love making them too, and it is the strangest coincidence to read your post today because,I just drafted a write up for my blog about making cards on my own and the joy that it gives sending it to someone. I am planning to post the pictures of my cards on the blog. The question- As for the best gift ever given somebody was when I received a prize money at school, I bought my dad a watch and the happiness that it gives me watching him wear everyday.
    And more thing, thanks for your nice comment :-).

  16. What I wanted to say wouldn't fit in here, so if you've the time, here it is on my blog :)

  17. Thank you so much for dropping by :D The typo -Eeeps! I corrected it immediately :D

  18. Whenever I give someone a gift, I always try to select something that suits their personality and taste. Buying a gift to anyone is an enjoyable exercise for me.
    When I read your question the first thing that came to my mind was the new year card that I gave to my best friend when we were in 10th std. Both of us studied together from LKG onwards and were the best of friends. We even had the same name and people used to call us [Dhanya] squared. But somehow I felt we won't be together after 10th and so I made the card, drew some characters depicting our life, wrote the message and gave it to her. Both of us were emotional and even now she says whenever she takes that card she cries. True that we didn't sit and study in the same class after that, but even now we still are the best of buddies despite living in two different cities and she having a family(toddlers can be very demanding na) and a busy doctor.

  19. Wonderful post, Mrs Shenoy...

    Hmmmm... So, the best gift I have ever received. There have been quite a few of them which have been special but I think the most wonderful thing about a gift is if it comes when you least expected it to.

    I don't know if it was the best but it was surely unexpected.

    This goes back to my term 4 result at my graduation college.
    I somehow managed to crack it big time. The results in my college used to be put up at some random hour of the day(usually night). This one was put on a nearly inaccessible wall at about 10:30 in the night. So, the hostellers (about 30% of students) will know the result well before the day scholars would.

    Just after I saw the result in the midst of all the chaos and darkness (power cuts were as frequent as supplementaries in my college), the next thing was to ask my batchmates about their results (for they have to be weighted and averaged to get a final percentage figure and you would never be able to estimate your friend's result unless you actually sit down and do the calculation for him/her as well). So, I scored close to 80%, something that the species I belong to, can only dream and not achieve.

    And then one of those toppers (I had almost displaced him) came and asked me,

    "Kitna ?" [How much]
    I said, "unnasi, aur kuch" [79 and something]
    Shocked, he asked me, "Sahi se kiya" [Did you do it right]
    I said," Teen baar kiya" [I did three times]

    He congratulated me and hugged me, but I can see through his eyes almost speaking to me and saying, "How the hell did he manage it ?"

    The next person to ask me was the security guard and I don't know why he did. Probably he had a 10-seconds interaction with me sometime during the year [that's what he claimed]

    Sahab, kitna aaya aapko ? [Sir, how much did you score]

    I said," assi ke paas" [close to 80].

    He congratulated me and hugged me like mad. That was probably the tightest hug [how much I wish, it was someone from SNH]I ever received. I had never expected him to ask my result in the first place. I could see his eyes smiling. That was probably the most unconditional wish and well the most unexpected gift I had received.

    P.S: SNH used to be the girls hostel at my college.

    The most beautiful gift I have ever gifted... That's for tomorrow !


  20. dear preeti
    theres something about your blog that makes me want to look forward towards it everyday.(i have joined the league of blog reading since last few weeks though).i like reading what you have to say.its so straight from the heart and somehow i can connect so well with what you write in your posts.till a few days back i was this stupid(well almost not fully ok?)hosewife,sitting at home after having left a job as a maths teacher in a prestigious school to take care of my two brats~(read 4 yr old daughter and 9 yr old son)and an aging mother-in-law suffering from was a concious decision but pinched a lot. not having my own world.
    well to cut everything short and coming to the point ,i hated my life as a hardcore housewife(i hope you understand what i mean)and wanted to break free.whatever that meant.
    finally i came across your book.
    saw your freindly face on the cover.
    read your book
    liked it immensely
    thought about opening your blog
    came across many more blogs.
    started reading /writing comments regularly(till now the dell laptop my husband had so thouhtfully bought was lying in a corner---IMAGINE)
    now the answer to your monday question
    the book--YOUR BOOK--;was gifted to me verry thoughtfully by my friend. she knew it was a thing that i needed at the moment.
    A book that would really help me.
    So now you are in a fix, right?
    coming to think of it my answer to your monday question lies in the fact that i was introduced to you

  21. The best gift ever received was from my dad.He has always been busy at work, but on two very important occasions he gifted me a watch. Its not the watch that i like its his love that i cherish :)

  22. This was when I had just finished my graduation, and wanted to go and study abroad afterwards. My parents did not want me to go there on loan. I had secured admission to two of my dream Universities and was appearing for sholarship interviews. I got my last we-regret-to-inform-you letter on the day just before my birthday. I was in no mood to celebrate or do anything at all. My best friends from my school days coaxed me into going out with them. they did not ask me to treat them, instead they treated me and they bought me a gift. It was a simple meal and just a music CD, but, six years later, I still look back fondly on that day and play that CD whenever I need cheering up.

  23. Hi P.S,
    Thats a difficult question to answer. All the gifts(well almost all) I received have been special to me. Some people are just not into applying much thought into a gift even though they want it to be special n thoughtful, I feel..

    All the gifts I've given have been special too,as I apply much thought and time into it n am proud of it too hehee..:)But one incident stands out especially.It was almost 3 yrs back.
    It was my son's closest friend's birthday party..Just like my hubby,my son is not interested in selecting gifts carefully,so he assigned the job of buying the gift for his friend,to me. I spent 2,3 hours searching for the special gift for him,and finally settled on a puppy toy,which also included a small book and a dvd. When we came home one of my friends felt it was too 'kiddish' for this birthday boy..I was soo sad and upset but decided to stick to it. So i gift wrapped it and gave it anyway.
    The next day I flew to India for a vacation. After 2 weeks, I received an email from this boy's mom,who is a dear friend of mine,which said that he had fallen in love with that puppy and book n dvd..and was making her read the book atleast 10 times a day..:)He even celebrated the birthday of that puppy,made everyone sing 'happy birthday to you' to the puppy and cut a small cake which she made at home..!!He put some name for that puppy,but I forgot it now :( Even when I came back after 4 months he used to carry around that puppy where ever he went..So you can understand how it made me feel.
    Thats the best gift I ever gave anyone till date :)


  24. Hi Preeti,
    This is a real nice idea or though which you have passed on... to send card to your friend, i will also do something similar on the same line to send to my fried (not on any occasions)

    As you have asked to pen down... the best gift ever received or ever given...

    Gift Received:
    Oh this is great... This one id after i had passed out from college and had started working (probably the first year)
    My college times buddies ended up gifting me "A Cop on Bike" this was all fancy... you have to key it and would run like crazy all over the place with sirens and flashing lights
    Next year they again followed the same and gifted me a sports cars... my college buddy are the best :)

    Gift i gave (which as per me was best)
    My friend got married... and i had his house key... i ended up decorating the place... had got a digital photo frame and loaded with bunch of their snaps... and 5 greeting cards... you have to arrange them to read a common greeting message.

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  26. Hey Preethi, as always a very nice post :) A bit late on this but better late than never.. The best gift that i ever got and the best gift that i ever gave are the same...A watch.. i got a watch from my grandparents for getting an Engineering seat...I have been using it ever since for the last 5 years..and the love that they have for me will remain in my hearts forever...

    The best gift I ( actually, me and my 2 cousins) gave is probably to my 2 sis(1 cousin and 1 my own) on raksha bandhan esp when they thought they wouldnt get a penny..
    we were rather Uncle scrooge kind when it came to spending money on things other than our food ;) :)..But when they got the gift their face had the smile which was very satisfyiong indeed....

  27. A sketch of me and my son given on my birthday. My husband did the sketch, wrote a nice little poem on it from my son's side and asked him to give it to me while I was talking to someone on the phone who had called to wish me. My son was an year old that time. When he gave me the sketch I lost the context of the talk on the phone and mumbled - jumbled something for the rest of the conversation wanting to end it soon and explore the gift. It sits on my TV now in a frame

  28. My (now 23-year old) daughter and I went through a rough patch many years ago when my marriage was breaking down; I misdirected a lot of my anger for my now ex-wife towards my daughter who was about 16 at the time.

    Although it took a while for us to find each other again (I had apologised to her for my poor handling of my anger), the turning point came when I gave her a hand-made journal for her 18th birthday.

    In it, I wrote of memories from when she was younger, such as falling asleep on my tummy when she was about 18 months old, her first pair of glasses at age 5, her first day at school, her first solo bike ride, growing up, etc. I also included some of my poetry. It wasn't a big journal but I printed it all on nice paper, included photos, bound it all myself - apparently it's the best gift she'd ever received and she still looks it through quite regularly.

    Who says we guys don't have a soft, nurturing side, hmmm?


  29. I don't know what I'd consider the best I have received (I am lucky and have had many friends gift me very thoughtful gifts). But I agree that the best gifts that I've given away are handmade. I do a lot of embroidery and have made baby blankets for friends' children and took on a project for a dear friend who was setting up home. I made a set of colout coordinated cushions... they took me ages to complete, but when I visited her last month, I noticed that the cushion covers on her sofa... beautifully complimenting the rest of the upholstery. (I'd asked her about colours before hand) and she said that they remind her of me every day.

  30. hmmmm.I have so many.. .Almost all the hand made gifts..but the best is hand made twin kitten soft toy my sister gifted for my 18 th birthday[she was in 6th std then].She actually learnt making them first (secretly of course)from an aunt and worked during her school holidays just to finish that for me for my birthday!!
    I remember coming home from hostel.. a grumpy teenager then.. as usual cribbing about every second thing around me . when she gave this to me shyly I was so suprised,shocked at its background story and started crying hugging her.. even to this day I remember that beautiful moment!!

  31. Best gift I gave would be[ as I think] is the huge A1 sized hand made card for my parents anniversary[20th] & my grandparents [50th] which falls on the same day..FEB 14th..:)it took me more than 3 weeks.. an hour or two of secret working in the garden shed,with all intricate floral art and painted with great care.. :)

  32. The most wonderful gift for me till now has been a collage made spanning over three black chart papers, spelling the words ' Love You' and each word made by cutting up years of photographic memories to fit the shape of the letters.

  33. The best gift I have ever received is from GOD, who has gifted me with a beautiful family which includes my Mom, Dad, Brother, HUSBAND,Son, M-i-l, F-i-l. I have got a complete package of good people around me. This is the best gift I could ever get in my life and I don't have to ask for anything more. Whatever I am today, is just because of this gift I have received from HIM.

  34. The best gift that I have ever received is a hand-made card by my daughter when she was 4 years old. She could hardly write or draw but she made a nice card, which simply said "Dear Best-Papa, Happy Birthday, from your Best-Daughter" with some butterflies carefully painted. What best gift a father can ever ask for? :-) She is now 12 years old but the card is still hanging near my workstation.

  35. Hi Preeti,
    Back to office (on bench) and since I did not have a machine of my own, checked the office mails during lunch recess and also your piece of work on a borrowed machine ;-)
    Hmm… you sounded pretty straight that gifts need not be the ‘expensive’ ones which would be only be a piece of glass/stone/metal/fur and rather a little trinket given with love and affection would mean a lot and convey a warmth. Mondays… that’s the day of surprises, when one is in office, when the project is going at full swing – there could be a huge pile of information and data waiting just to be read(and probably 50% used real time). And Mondays is also the day, where the mind works is in a state of suspended sensibility ;-)
    Well, coming to your prize question to name the best gift, this sounds a bit tough for me. My parents have tried to give almost anything which I used to ask, with what they could afford. I can understand that most of the parents would feel to give what they can, to their kids. Each of them was the best gift to me, right from the small and ‘sweet’ smelling pencil eraser(a few of them I have got stored, though they don’t retain the smell) to the first bike my dad got me. I still don’t feel to make a choice as pronouncing something as THE best as each of them was ‘special’ to me in my own way. May be, this was not the answer you might be looking out for - I just wrote what I felt 
    I think I have just made it up to your timeline !


  36. 10am GMT would be 3:30pm IST :P Couldn't help but point out :)
    As for the answer to the question, will get back in a bit :)

  37. Anonymous5:13 PM

    Came here down several times to write the best gift I ever got, everytime, went off with loss of words...Theriyala why? Maybe, somethings are best when not expressed....Will open the comment box, sit thoughtfully for a while and then leave..this has happened quite a few times today.
    And yes, PS, these cards you made are very tempting....Good idea to reciprocate the commentators....But, sorry, I will not be able to make the answer this time...

  38. Anonymous5:15 PM

    But, will sure, write it sometime, atleast in my blog. When I do so, will surely update you...

  39. Ajay: You're wrong! We're currently on Daylight savings time. So 10:00 am GMT would be 2.30 p.m IST.

    Nandhu: Oh yes--I remember those coveted 'smell rubbers' too :)

    Sathya: So sweet!!!

    Aargee: I agree--the best gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other!

    Swathy: Wow-your granparents AND your parents anniv on same day--that too feb 14! How cool is that!

    Aathira: U know satish too made a similar collage for me! I too treasure it.

    Raaga: Wow.I didn't know you embroidered.

  40. I am just amazed by the new ideas that u come up with Preeti. Very seldom you can find people who are kind enough to do nice stuff for people in their family, leave doing kind gestures for complete strangers. And ya, even i like it if someone puts in a lot of thought into a gift rather than just gifting a watch or a showpiece. I keep telling "the guy" that ;)

    Anyway, the best gift i have ever got was a small card which was made by my niece. It was Diwali and she was only 6 years old, and was learning drawing and craft. When her art teacher told her to make a card for one member of the family, she chose me, over her parents.
    It was a very sweet card which said "Dear Amlu Fu
    Whish u a Happy diwali and a prosperous new Year"
    I almost cried. I still have it with me in my special gifts box :)
    (In case you are wondering what Amlu Fu means, well Amlu is my pet name, and since i am her bua and bua's are addressed as Fui in our language, so Fu is d hip sounding short form..... phew.... )

    Great initiative Preeti, and ya if i receive your card i promise to pay it forward. :)

  41. Wow! This is so awesome :)
    The best gift I've ever received. My parents,acceepting me just the way I am. Not pushing me into Engineering or Medical, like was the trend then, nor curbing my tomboyish ways to 'turn me into a docile girl). Praising my smallest achievements and genuinely being happy for me. (Strange, I was talking to my sis about this yest, and we agreed that this is the best thing about our parents)
    This is the best gift coz I have come to realize that most parents are otherwise.

  42. Athivas: parva illai! :) write anytime!

    Scotty: Oh yes--some guys do have a nurturing side. Your amazing poetry proves it! I too have made two similar journals for my children which is still a 'work-in-progess'. intend giving them on their 21st b'days :)

    SS: Sooo sweeeet!!

    Shantharam: I can only imagine the wide wide smiles :)

    Anish: Wow--cop on a bike sounds wild! :P :) And what a lovely surprise u gave your friend.

  43. I had never really gifted anybody anything except for the pencil boxes, tiffin boxes and colouring books to my friends on their bday parties when in school(obviously, they were 'pass ons' from my bdays). I always thought them to be a courtesy that should be followed in order to maintain relations. Not that they actually dont, i never really felt the need to gift anybody anything. Those who love me, i know them and those i love, they know it too...

    When i received my first salary, i dont know what made me think to buy a gift for my was a spontaneous thought and i dont know what triggered it. I love my mother and i knew that nothing can replace the enormous love that she has showered us (me and my sis) upon...

    I bought her a pair of gold ear-rings and her joy knew no bounds when i gifted them to her. :)

  44. Geetha: Well some people really dont put thought--just last minute--'have to gift something' kinds were the ones I was referring to. Amazing how we think something we gifted wasnt that great yet how much the recipient values it--right?

    Bhavya: Oh yes--music can so bring back memories! Even for me some songs are instant 'pick-me-ups'

    ani-aset: I love watches :) Of course I understand your sentiments.

    Piyali: I know exactly what you mean by being cut off from your world and being 'just a housewife'. Oh yes--I could soooo relate. I am truly delighted that my book and blog brought you joy and opened up a new world!

    Mayank: Very very moving gift. This is truly 'chicken soup' stuff. I was very moved.

    Dhanya: Dhanya and dhanya! So sweet! I too have a friend called Preeti and we used to run these Dramatics and Craft for kids.People used to call us 'preeti and preeti'. We had so much fun :)

    Deepti: i too lovd that quote--and your computer story was truly touching. Blessed are your parents. (touch wood)

    Meira: Thanks! Indeed a wonderful gift that your parents have given you--the freedom to be yourself.

    Amrita: Thanks! Its becoming harder and harder to pick just three with each comment!

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Best gift I have given...
    There was this girl in the Sales team who was the youngest in the office. Though a firebrand, she was the butt of all jokes. One year, her birthday fell on a day when the whole sales team from all over the state was in office for a meeting. I went out and bought this huge funny card and got it signed with messages from the whole team. I still remember the absolute joy on her face when she got the card.
    She was a total tomboy, with very short hair, wore trousers and shirts and even walked and talked like guys. We gave her a red lipstick and a Mills & Boon book too ;-)
    And, thanks Preethi for making me remember all those good old carefree days :-)

  47. Hmmmm , again could not resist myself from not replying even in my busy schedule.

    I liked your idea , in fact follow it to a greater extent of "earning a gift" from some one then just expecting people to give you gift. and the gift earned are precious (in terms of time and mind behind it, not the monetory terms)

    I am not a person who would send out cards to any one ,and specially with this internet age, paper cards is bit rare to be done. Instead this april i created two cards with front pic of a flower (clicked by me) and inside of it very much personalised to the two person i sent it. First one was my dad , where the card carried his pics inside with a short messageinside. sent it via air mail (international post though). Dad was pleasently surprised and has kept it in showcase of our drawing room(yes m away from my family at the moment)

    Second one was for a a friend of mine, we have been mainly in touch via computer and hardly met face to face. had similarly personalised inside of the card with her pics in the inner side. Even that was sent through air mail. But she never got the post though both the post were sent at the same time. to same city. :(

    On a different note, i completely second your thought of "a random act of kindness for somebody". i just returned from my afternoon lunch walk, gave company to one of my friend as she wanted to discuss the website project she is doing (i m a biochemist, do not konw anything about creating websites), just helped her out in what ever limit i can. at the end i am kind of surprised with the amount of things i know (in a good way)

    i guess too big comment. may post more on this in one of my blogs. tc till then

  48. That is very very “Giving” of you. A selfless project..i guess all that’s in it for the joy of creating some wonderful cards n then the joy of hearing how happy n thankful the receivers are! Nice. Very Nice.

    My answer to ur Q.. -(without having to think)

    Occasion: I was a bride-to-be!
    Gift I received –: A handmade book from a school friend; with pics of us in LKG n then class xii n then some random “mad” but “very precious” pics that we had clicked during the 20 odd years of knowing each other. A caption, anecdote n memory captured under each picture. A long long letter/note which had me looking back at the past nostalgically, made me laugh out loud n shake my head in disbelief at some of the things we’d done, made me hope for a bright future, assured me that I would be a wonderful wife and an even better m om when I had to take up the role and MOST OF ALL…reassuring me of friendship that will last a lifetime.
    (oh god! I must call her once I’m done writing this comment. I miss her so much)

    - I like these 2 presents equally…so listing them both
    Occasion: Every B’day and the 1st Valentines’s day
    To: Rishab – my sister’s son
    Gift I give – a hand-made card n a nice long letter..rambling on about how much I love him n how much I miss him, about his mom n I, just so many things and random nothings. His mom has a scrap book for my letters..He will receive that book when is he 10 or 18- (I’m yet deciding) n from then on he can put my letters in there himself.
    He also got his VERY FIRST V-day card from me…when he was 2 months old.
    (Aren’t girls going to line up for him n LOVE hearing the story of the letters his aunt writes to him)

    Occasion : A B’day n the time when I thought I was bidding farewell
    To: my closest friend : prax
    Gift I gave : a Surprise party. This was during college, when we were not yet earning, So I took 1000 Rs from mom and then had to give up on pocket money and other things for the rest of the year. Coordinated with his girlfriend(who was in a diff city & didn’t like me very much then)Organized it on the terrace of a friend’s place. Invited over 60 ppl. Arranged food n music. Got this scrap book n made everyone write a note for him. Called him to say “hey I’m stuck at X’s place. Can u come n pick me up?”. The surprised look on his face was worth ALL the effort! The evening was one neither of us will ever forget n will narrate to our kids when its time to talk about some good times.

    BTW my comments are alwez longish. so one standard “sorry” for all my longish comments! Pls to xcuse!

  49. I read this post as first thing in the morning after i reached work. But could not post a comment. 8 hrs later and i am still thinking about it. I couldnt resist and so i am back - writing.
    I have received so many gifts which i treasure and can't forget and picking one out of them is dead hard. Best i can remember is the watch i got from my parents when I started working and got my first salary. So a gift for "me" when "I" start earning :) :)I still have it and I love it like anything. I equally loved investing my first salary on getting gifts for mom-dad-brother and sis.
    Another lovely thing i remember is a toy walking duck that i got when i was few years old - perhaps 2 or 3 yrs. My parents got it for me and as soon as i saw it first thing i did was to sit on it and make it walk and *bang* it's wing broke then and there :( I had it for many many years but somehow it got lost somewhere in past. I wish I had it today. That is the first gift of my life that I can remember.

  50. i just saw the left with a lot of Hows?????..!!Amazing..!!


  51. Thank you, Mrs Shenoy.

    Btw, you are the muse and people like me are just mortals and it will always remain that way.

    So, as promised, this one is for the best thing/gift I have ever given to somebody.

    And, am sure you can understand the motivation behind two separate comments. Theoretically, it just doubles your chances!!!

    This one has been very recent. One fine morning, I was just outside my office at Nariman Point, not for a client call but for another short break. If you have picked up a newspaper in the last 12 months, then you would know that people like me who work in banking and financial sector have, of late been spotted at panwalas and chaiwalas more often than not. (Not by choice but by lack of options, options to kill time).

    At one of those spots, a beggar approached me. I normally never give money to beggars. Call me stingy, call me heartless, but that’s been the case. I have always felt that they will use it buy alcohol or smoke and just ruin themselves further.

    This guy looked into my eyes and started conversing with me.

    Imploring for 10 bucks, 5 bucks or maybe just a penny. He continued, “Sir, do din se kuch khaya nahin hai.” [Havn’t had anything for 2 days]

    Somehow, it did not sound clichéd. I wanted to help him. And I wanted to ensure he gets to eat something.

    I took him to a nearby sandwich shop (about 100 metres from there), and asked him to pick his choice of sandwich. He was speechless. He just could not believe that I was actually going to buy a sandwich for him.

    And I watched him eating the sandwich. I don’t know if it was the best gift ever that I have given to someone, but the satisfaction on his face was so joyous, that I am sure, even you will find tough to put it in words.

    That’s gonna remain the best deal I have done as a banker for quite some time [again more due to current crisis and not due to my incompetence ;) ]


  52. the best gift I ever got was a note from my younger sister telling me how much she missed me and asking me to come back from hostel. She had just learnt to write at that time. I still have that note with me and read it whenever I miss home real bad :(

  53. Hiya,

    I missed replying to your question in the previous post.

    You asked: What is BS? its BullS@#T :)

    Anyway, its truly remarkable for you to come up with posts such as this one. As a writer, you succeed very well. You take the thoughts of your readers to such a wonderful place :) Kudos!

    When I think about the best gift I have received, many things come to my mind.

    One gift is - My late grandma (dad's mother) made a chaniya choli for me - mom got the fabric and printed the design, and Grandma (I used to call her "BA") EMBROIDERED the entire outfit in such beautiful design and color.....I still have it and even though it doesn't fit me anymore, its something that I will always cherish.

    And another wonderful gift is a POEM that my brother (my rakhi brother who I met just 3 years ago....exactly on 13th July 2006, and we celebrated our 3rd anniversary by going out for lunch together just a short while ago).....the POEM describes me, and it was one of my wedding gifts from him.

    I try to give unique and personalized gifts to my family and close friends - I write letters, make keychains from beads, personalized cards, scrapbooks, frames, etc. Everything for me is special, because I put a lot of love and effort into the whole process, so I won't single out anything here.

    The cards look absolutely lovely :)

    If we meet, I would love you to sign your book (my copy) for me :)

  54. Once again , thank you for writting about my work....I think you are the only person championing my work at present!

  55. Once again , thank you for writting about my work....I think you are the only person championing my work at present!

  56. **The best gift i have ever received --

    from whom? --- my mother
    what? --- bringing me into this life/world.
    when? --- sometime in july some decades ago.

    ** The best gift i have ever given to someone -- honestly, my smile.

  57. **the next best gift i have ever received recently

    from whom? --- all the comments on this blogpost.

    what? --- their happiness reading your blog and your book

    'tis truly wonderful! thank you :)

  58. I have an idea :) for the lovely lovely cards that you are sending out, I would like to send you one - just to say how much your actions are appreciated:) Maybe make your day!

    Can I?

  59. Hi Preeti, what a nice iniciative! For me it's quite difficult to reply to your questions; I've received so many gifts in my life! (friends, situations, little things, big things... it's hard to choose!) Here is the one I picked:

    When I was in my 10th grade, my Math teacher invited the whole class to participate in a regional Math Contest that would include all the cities around mine. We all made the inscription, and when the results were announced, I and my best friend had won in 3rd! We never imagined we'd be so well ranked. Each of us were awarded an expensive financial calculator. My father worked in a bank, and I asked him if he could sell the calculator to one of his friends. He did so, and with the money I could buy my first computer!!! It was one of those pre-PC computers that had to be connected to the TV, but nevertheless it made me very happy for many months (many years later I became a systems analyst :)

    Now for the other question: I have O negative blood, and because of that I decided to become a regular blood donor; I believe this is the best gift I could give to someone else. Every time I donate I feel happy to think that my blood may be saving someone's life. In fact it's not exactly a "gift", because I don't have to do any effort to give it, just lie there waiting for the bag to fill up, lol.

  60. hmm..the best gift i gave was a card on a cute recycled paper..stylishly made, which i felt was best because that was the first poem i ever wrote :) unfortunately the person to whom it was given, felt it was double refined gibberish and politely threw it back on my face :D best gifts received..hmmm...lot many..all my friends are my best best gifts..

  61. i think 61st spot in comments section is reserved for me :) wenever i come here the top 60 spots are always filled

  62. Hey Preeti,

    I want to receive your card. The best gift I believe I have given somebody is to listen patiently to a friend of mine who had just lost his sister suddenly. He gave a call and all I could do was hear him out because there's nothing that you can say that would change his grief or sorrow. But just hearing him out made him feel much better, that's what he happened to mention to me sometime later. I was happy to be of help to him withou absolutely any effort on my part.


  63. Anonymous4:09 PM

    That was such a beautiful post. You are so right, the best gift you could get/give is probably one which has a bit of the giver in it, isn't it? Something that has been well thought out, something that shows how much you care.. Loved this post!

  64. Yes Preeti, I concluded, after 2 days of merriment i had thinking about all gifts i gave or recd as far as i could remember. And then I wrote a post on that. Thank you for triggering my thoughts :) Can i call you a sweetheart :D for that!!

  65. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Dear Preeti,

    I have just started reading your blog. Wonderful to say the least, really.

    I loved your previous post. The one that started with "one flower can make my garden". Beautiful, really!

    I found your Monday question quite interesting.

    And I do have a gift that I must tell you, and others, about.

    I worked as a volunteer with this NGO in Pune (Akansha) for three years. We worked for children from economically backward families. The day I left all the kids in my center gifted me two bookmarks of which one said "I love You" and the other said "You rock". It was the best thing I could expect from the ones I had seen growing in front of my eyes.

    I cried then. I am very close to tears now. I still use them, the bookmarks. Your post tells me that I should put them up in my blog and acknowledge them publicly. Its probably the least I could do!

    Long comment.

    Keep writing.


  66. The best gift that I have recieved is from my father.The day I was getting married,I was happy,yet very sad because the thought of leaving my folks was unimaginable.
    The morning of my vidaai,my dad gifted me a huge thing wrapped in a gift pack and asked me to open it once i reached home.
    When I opened it,it was a collage of pics of all three of us.Each moment,my birthday,my graduation,my singing compeition pictures,we all so beautifully put there with a a quote/line for each moment.
    There was another envelope that had a letter,from papa.
    I was spellbound and speechless for hours..The words in his letter were so inspiring and honest,that made me so proud to be his daughter.
    And that night ,my husband told me,that he wanted to be the same dad to his daughter,as papa has been to me...
    Now that huge collage rests peacefully on the wall of my living room.Everyday I look at it and my childhood is revived back to me:)

  67. interesting post.The best gift i have ever recieved is a watch from my husband.

  68. This is a novel idea, but it would be evil on my part to lay the claim :).

    I am guilty of stopping gifting on b'days within our group in schooldays .
    This time, I called up my younger brother on his b'day and asked "Kya chaiye?"
    He said "Paanch Hazaar". I transferred 10 thousand in his account and he was extremely happy :).

    Does this count :) ?

  69. Wow! There is always something surprising and novel about your posts and I don't want to ask anymore how you do that, coz u just do! :)

    I loved that movie and I almost cried at the end :(

    Hmmm...the best gift I ever received was from one of my sister's - she bought me a cool white gold capsule shape pendant with 'I 'heart' (it's the shape of the heart) U' in blue sapphire stones. It's so awesomely beautiful and the reason it felt so special is coz I know that she had it made specially for me :)

    Wow! it feels good just thinking about it! :D

  70. hmmmmm.... what can I say to win this card? hmmmmm..... just kidding :)

    The best gift I ever got Nazia Hassan album from my cousin when I was 15 ("aap jaisa koi meri zindagi me aaye") I lived in a small town in India back then and none of the shops carried the album. I wrote to her and she sent me a copy. Later I found out that her town had sold out as well and she sent me her copy. It was so special - I used to listen to that album every day.

  71. The best gift I ever got is 'something' in a little notepad.
    Let me explain.
    A close friend wanted to buy me a gift but thought that everything is going to be too less or too boring. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a memory. So, I bought a notepad, gave it to my friend and said, "Keep this with you till we meet next week. Give it to me then."
    He was confused.
    Then I added, "Till then, scribble in it, use it for your rough work as much as u want to. Draw, write, solve, do anything in it. But don't erase anything and don't tear any page."
    "Oh", he said, smiling.

    We met the next week. The little notepad wad handed over to me only at the end of the day so that I would not look at it in the presence of my friend. And then, I opened to see the scribblings and drawings. The only drawings in the 50 paged notepad were a few stick figures here and there. The little book was filled up with words. I had happy tears reading the things written in it, it was about the journey of our friendship right from the earliest memory, references to some really memorable, cute incidents, teasing here and there... a book that could very well be titled 'cuteness in closeness'... an overall summary of 'us'
    am getting emotional
    Without a doubt, the best gift I have ever got :)

    :) I feel so very good right now to think that I have safely kept with me a card that you had sent to me last year :)

  72. 'pay it forward' is a great way to spread happiness :) Each of us can actually find a way to be the start of a happiness chain, isn't it? :)

  73. Hi Preeti! how are you??
    well, to answer your question, the best gift I have received would probably be the call from my best pal 15 minutes before my birthday, hogging the line till midnight n then singing aloud "happy birthday", much to my surprise, while on her way to Nasik. One which I cherish till date.
    the best I have given... ummm... a few I suppose. and most have been for my best pal mentioned above - like a saree (she never had one gifted to her before that), an anklet, an orchid brooch, coffee mug (hunted around for a few days for the perfect since we both love coffee n our frndshp started over irish coffee @ CCD) when she was moving to a different city. can't recall any more apart from the random poems I have written for folks I care about on their birthdays n other special occasions.

  74. Dear preeti

    U really are something! brightning up someones day and thinking beautiful thoughts and hand made cards to people , wow.. When I read warriors of light - paulo book (duh!) I think u are such a person, bringing light , love , kindness and upteen good qualities to the people around, not by great acts but by simple kind ones and by being urself!

    This is one blog where i find comments are bigger than the original posts :)

    Ok the best gift I ever got would be small tin made car which my friend brought for me on my birthday, It was month's ago that I told him we used to keep such tin toy cars at kolu which I loved most and I dont get to see them anymore. He somehow managed to buy it from some old second hand store. But they were as good as new ones! waah my heart just melted right away.

    the best gift I gave is to my office friend. when she left singapore I made her a video of the pictures we took when we went out with Shaan's "Tanha dil song" she loved it so much and said she never received such a gift and would treasure it , most!

    Do I get a previlige of sending u a hand made card from u to ur family ?


  75. Hi Preethi...

    Nice blogging..this is my first time in your blog..

    To ans to your qn..

    The best give i hav ever recieved is a book

    "YOU CAN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN" by Norman Vincent Peale

    This was gifted to me for scoring good marks in my Xstd exams.

    I dont know somehow the book helped me in looking things into a much positive manner and to develop some hope on life.

    There are many examples in the book one which i wud never forget will give the moral as " A person who has no problems in life would be a dead person"

    "Problems keeps us lively" and make us look ahead and live the life...


  76. Sundari: Thank you and welcome to my blog.Yes I have read Norman Vincent peale.

    Srivats: New photo! Nice! Thank you for the lovely compliments! :) Nice gift u got and received.
    I didnt get you--you want to send my card back to me? Or was that a typo?

    Sumit: Hi :) Am good. Lovely gifts you've mentioned here! Sweetest gifts are unexpected.

    Shruti: What a superb gift of cherished memories!And you know what--I had forgotten that I had sent you the card till you mentioned it now!! :)

    Pink Dogwood: i used to listen to Nazia Hassan too! Even used to have a pencil box (which was treasured) which had her and her bro's pic printed on it!

    Still thinking: yes--the movie is lovely, isnt it?! The pendant sounds gorgeuos! I can imagine how happy it must me making you feel.

    Brown Phantom : You evil guy! ;-) Why doesn't my brother ask me what I want?!! :)

    Jyotiajay: thanks. I like watches too.

  77. Santasizing: i would have cried had I got such a gift that too on wedding day!You are indeed very fortunate. BTW satish (my husband) did make a collage for me with my pic in the middle and several of his all around and he had written some lovely things too :) I too still treasure it.

    Rayparoma: Welcome to my blog!Thank you! I too have volunteered with Akanksha. Grew very close to the kids.Formed a bond with them.They used to invite me home too. On my b'day they gave me a handmade book, cards, book marks and a diya. I treasure it.

    Mindspace: U can call me anything except rude names :) I'll always respond :)

    wordsndreamz: Thank you!

    Palsworld: Yes--being there for someone when they need is really a wonderful thing.

    Gils: oh yes--friends are indeed gifts..What kind of a stone hearted person would throw poetry back at your face?!That too on recycled handmade paper..That person must have been mad!

    Guto: I too have O negative blood! And I too try and donate when someone needs it. And how proud you must have been to get the calculator and then get a computer after selling it.

    Justsomeone: thank you! Your comment already made my day :)

    EM : :) I like both the gifts you mention :)

    Niall: I always will!

    Shachi: i did not know you had my book. Will surely sign WHEN we meet. (Not if) :) Poem about you sounds so lovely. I too would chrish such a gift. And I love it that you make stuff for people who love.

    Hashir: Tha must have been so moving! My daughter when she first learnt to write wrote the words "I love you Preeti" (not mummy!) on her white board. I took a picture and I cherish that pic.

    Mayank: You know how to pull the right strings. Speechless.

    Geetha: My friend said that they must have done some 20-25 retakes for each shot. that made perfect sense!

    Life begins: Wow! Amazed that you remember the duck!

    Pavi: u need not apologise for long comments! Oh yes hand made books esp of memories are so treasured arent they?! And what a trend setting aunt you are! :)

    Mihir:What a lovely gesture for your dad. And so sad that your friend didnt get it. I too had mailed a card and something else to a friend. He too never got it. Horrible it is when people dont get stuff you send--that too stuff you put so much effort in.

    Wanderlust: happy it broguht back memories. She must ahve been so happy!

  78. Best gift I have received :

    A book. What is so special about it?? More than the book it was the writing by the person who presented it to me, which goes like this “ I will not say thanks to you because I know you are my big bro who will be there always through thick and thin”

    Recently while seeing off my daughter in the airport, she hugged and said, as soon as you go back to home, open my cupboard and there is something for you. Upon reaching home I found a cute little triangular card, handmade with so much of love and care and usual girly décor with wording “ Dad, eventhough me and mummy are your angels, but you are our best friend. Dunno how to thank you coz there are no words to thank you. I luv you both.

    I wish she was there to give her a tight hug!!!!

    Best gift given….. I donno if I can call it best…but the response from the person who received my gift wrote a mail like this ( since you know tanglish- To read tamil in english….I just copy the message here)…

    wowwwww...epdi en taste apdiye therinju vechrukinga..chansella....nijama...varthaye varle..sentimenta pesrena tehrile..but konjama i felt tears..too much-nu feel panringalo….heheee..unga card ..azhagu.oru kutti paiyan papa-ku anupina card was lovely...hand written n shows ur care...and ur kavidhai..marupadi marupadi padichen anna..thanku so muchhh..enaku adhukumela ena solradhune tehrile..varthaye varamatengudhu..thanks for considering me ur sister n ivlo enakaga paninadhu..i feel so proud of u anna.( of course i met her online only)

  79. oh! I forget to mention about your card. Is there any short cut to get it????Just kidding. I shall come back again to see if i have luck.

    In our city this movement of Pay-it-forward is popular too. Have a look in this web if you have time.

  80. Oops sorry for the typo. I wanted to make a card for you :)

  81. Preeti,

    I dropped out during your marathon. Did visit few times but no comments as I felt it would do justice. Today read available posts. Nice poem by your son. I agree with you on men & women post. I too posted one yesterday on the similar subject. Flowers do make one feel happy. Gifts ought to be practical and not just for giving sake. The best gift I had always received was big hug & kiss from my grandmother and that is what I give to our grandchildren.

    Take care

  82. This is such a wonderful post!

    It's always such a heart-warming feeling when someone gives you a hand-made gift, because you know how much thought and effort went into it.
    But then, any kind of gift from friends makes us feel nice. :)

    My best gift so far was given by my four very very close friends on my 21st birthday. It was a thick album full of our pictures, taken during various outings. I cried when they gifted me that.

    Ah, God bless such wonderful friends!

  83. Wow! Those cards are so pretty! Those buttons seem so very pretty and ofcourse the wordings too. Used to make such cards long time back, and know how the small details make such a difference. Loved your designing.Absolutely! :)
    Gift, mebe those small miniature bouquets a friend used to make which i could pin on my dress, almost every day!

  84. I think I was tricked by the post title and when I read "the best gift" and "new project" I immediately thought the best gift is to have new projects. I suppose this gift can either come from the World or from ourselves (to ourselves) but it is priceless to feel motivated, excited and hopeful about something new.

    And I suppose that's how you're feeling about your cards right now!

  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

  86. Preeti,
    you write books, you paint and yet you find time to make hand made cards.My God you really rock !

    The best gift I ever got was from my grandfather. He was a writer and dramatist and when I was a kid, he used to tell great stories and I pestered him for sotries day in and day out. One fine day I guess he got fed up of my pesterings and asked me to tell him a story instead.I let my imagination run wild and told him a wild tale involving elephants and tigers and a village boy who befriends them. I guess something in my imagination must have caught his fancy because the next day he got me a note pad and asked me to start writing stories, poems or whatever came to my mind in it. He would read what i wrote everyday and give me his opinion. He taught me the secrets of story telling and encouraged and nourished whatever small talent I had for creative writing.
    He is the one who has inculcated the art of writing in me and that to me is the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me !
    In turn I noticed the same talent for art and writing in my little niece and I encouraged her to start writing as well. I write her a poem on each of her birthdays which she cherishes and now she sends me her latest paintings and stories by email !
    So I guess in a way I have already done a "pay it forward" with the best gift I got !

  87. Boo hoo... I did not win ;(

    Will not quit though... I'll keep trying. :)

  88. Oh dear !!.. i have a feeling I missed the deadline :-)

  89. Oh Preeti it was just wonderful to go through the thinking process and recalling all the gifts. I asked the same question to my brother and husband and they both had a truly amazing time with a trip down memory lane. Me and my brother discussed so many things from our childhood. It was all so nostalgic.

    Thanks a lot! I win a card or not was not at all the point - i enjoyed thinking about all those memories which once had been so close to heart.

    You deserve a BIG THANK YOU card for this.

  90. thankus....:)))...

    sent my address to ur id....:)


  91. Wow, thanks Preeti - I've just got home from a night shift to a very pleasant surprise indeed. That's just made my day. Thanks again.


  92. i just remembered this since the talk is about gifts. like in '06, I got mum a crystal pendant and earrings to go with it and next year it was my dad gifting her with a diamond set for their 25th anniv, which clearly bowled my mum over. she suspects it was inspired by the crystal :D

  93. Anonymous4:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  94. Anonymous4:06 PM

    A post written after being inspired by yours :-) Lovely lovely blog...


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