It’s that time of the year when gifts wrapped in colourful packages seem to be the new fruit of the season. My office is a ten story building with about two offices on every floor. Boxes wrapped in glittering wrappers are strewn almost everywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes, leaving us guessing what treasures they may be concealing.
Though realistically speaking we all know that gifts are not like fruits. A gift given must be returned to the giver with an equal or better one within a given period of time, as suggested by Marcel Mauss. For those who are not familiar with him, he is held in high esteem, for having turned an innocent and often frivolous act of gift giving into an economic and calculated act, quite similar to what goes on in the money market. In other words, no gift in this world is merely and loosely ..a gift! It comes with a baggage of preconditions and responsibilities that would follow the act of gift giving. However since I’m not really a part of this intricate network of gift exchange, as I just started working and socially I do not have too many responsibilities towards my extended family, I love the fact that I can sit back and enjoy this beautiful spectacle called Diwali.
With lights and gifts illuminating the cold chilly winter evenings of Delhi, I like to absorb quietly the beauty of it all. To me the most amazing thing about gifts is that they are what they are only till they are wrapped! Once opened they become just another thing, stripped of its mystery and charm.
Little lights strung over buildings like necklaces that one chooses to wear only on a very special day, makes me feel festive just by looking around. In midst of the Gift giving establishing equations of power, fire crackers playing truant with your ear drums and all the smoke in the background there is an all encompassing tone to this festivity that I cannot cease to admire.