Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smoky Evenings..

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.


  1. you have beautifully tried to explore the nature of the gift and what it conceals while in the process of revealing itself.

    But allow me to explore another modest way in which the gift presents to us, it can manifest in the beautiful smile, in the little surprises that that we get in our daily lives through the relationships which we create around ourselves. Here it is not about receiving anything in return, but just sharing a part of urself, a thing which though shared still remains with us. what we say as a gift of frienship or what people who believe in god wud suggest a gift from then just transcends the materiality of being, sometimes dwelling in the realm of transcendental...

    I like the title of the piece, it suggests more ....a smokiness associated with diwali, with what lies hidden in those gift packets and also our own nature to revel around the festivities we see around even in midst of great chaos...

  2. Thanks Manohar for comment! With your insights I think you have in a way completed the thought process that I was not able to pen in its entirety.

  3. And just like that we shall all be stripped off the idealism we so want to protect from the reality of the world...but some of us will not give up...until we are able to instill the ideal in the real, we shall not cease to try...happy diwali:)