Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gift-wraps

Gift-wraps are definitely a part of those aspects of life that have intrigued me the most over the years. Exactly why people wrap their gifts in these cute-looking sheets has been a perpetually elusive mystery. I mean, I've heard people exclaim "oh, what a lovely gift!", but how frequently have you heard the phrase "oh, what a lovely gift-wrap!"?

Of course, some people have valid reasons, for example, hiding the fact that they have been recycling hideous-looking dinner-sets or bedcovers in the wedding of an uncle's neighbour's niece, whom you're not likely to meet again, and who is very likely not to remember you at all (which, in my opinion, is way better than anyone commenting upon how much I've grown over all these years, and how difficult it is now to recognise my features).

But the most bizarre feature of gift-wraps are the way in which they are recycled. Almost every mother in this universe is under the constant belief that gift-wraps are the most difficult-to-obtain items ever created. Hence, they always cringe, and often scream, if gift-wraps are hastily ripped apart. They are to be removed, step by step, right from the gentle peeling off or meticulous shredding of the cellotape using a blade to the removal of the red string or golden ribbon to the dismantling of the wrap itself. Why? To put it away, as intact as possible, in store for some obscure future where gift-wraps shall become as extinct as dodos. What if someone needs to pack a gift in those dark ages of mankind? The mothers always plan ahead, and stack gift-wraps neatly under the mattresses, to go with the millions of plastic carry-bags acquired over decades of shopping and exchange of gifts.

And yet, when the next gift is scheduled to be wrapped, the gift-wraps are either forgotten or a couple of inches too short, and hence a new one has to be acquired. And guess what happens to the leftovers of this new wrap? :)

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PS: Consumerism has brought about a massive revolution in the gift-wrap industry over the last decade. Every store seems to have its own branded gift-wrap, and they even employ people at Customer Service for wrapping gifts (and they still say we do not think about the unemployed). Amidst all these brands, the incredibly thin sheets of gift-wrap, pink in colour with minuscule flowers drawn on them, has vanished somewhere, taking a chunk of my childhood along with it. Still now, whenever I think of the bed I had spent my best years on, I can visualise my mother lifting the mattress and placing yet another of those wrapping papers underneath it, possibly for use in the year 2746.

6 comments:

  1. One is being economic, and is criticised ...not fair !

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  2. kichhu comment korar nei karon er shob kotai amio kore thaki,karon ei jinishgulo meyeder bhishon common factors,ota shikhte hoyna ba shekhateo hoyna

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  3. The best gift in life is the childhood days... and yes I hope I still have that wrapper saved - the innocence. :)

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  4. I believe, gifts should be loved for the love wrapped with it. But it depends....

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  5. life-tao wrapper diye mora....bhetor-e mystery ... kintu opor-ta jhha chokchok-e. :P

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  6. "I can visualise my mother lifting the mattress and placing yet another of those wrapping papers underneath it, possibly for use in the year 2746."


    Our Mums (we called them compulsive hoarders) actually were much resourceful than us now. What you've written is not only true of the ultra thin pink wrapping papers, but also of medicine foils, empty mother diary plastic sachets, news papers, broken bits of glass, et ál. Domestic recycling was not an alien concept to them. In London I have seen that domestic recycling has been made compulsory in recent times (though a huge number of people readily makes the conscious effort without the governments intervention in such matters). But long long before they could even conceive of the notion of recycling domestic wastes, our Mums were actively participating in the effort to make the world a cleaner place for us. The question now remains, are we making any - consciously or subconsciously - to leave the world a better place for the gen next?

    And yes, gift giving should be a thoughtful gesture. A properly wrapped gift conveys more than a shopping mall plastic bag clad one.

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