Gift

Sheela was arranging stuff at home, like she always does on Saturday mornings. One piece stood out as a sore sight – a rather cheap wooden showpiece gifted by her maid. Radha was a very good, devoted maid who had worked for about 6 years before moving to her native, few months back. She always insisted on giving gifts but Sheela would dodge it somehow, knowing well that the gift would end up more as a burden. Last year Radha had been adamant and this piece had ended up in the showcase on Sheela’s birthday. Sheela managed to keep it out of sight by carefully arranging other stuff around it. As employers go, Sheela was a good one, she gave 2000 as salary, two advances every year, a day off every month and as a parting gift, she even gave one of her sarees to Radha. But she didn’t want to put up with piece anymore. Then she remembered that her colleague Nithya had invited her for a dinner tomorrow. She didn’t particularly like Nithya, but you have to be in good terms with everyone these days. Aha. How about packing this as a gift to Nithya. Wouldn’t that be one stone – two mangoes. Sheela relaxed and smiled to herself.

Her husband didn’t think it was a great idea but he wasn’t against it as well. The dinner was good and they were back home by 9.00. At 10.00 Sheela got a call. A very excited Nithya was at the other end. “Thanks Sheela for such a costly gift. We saw it once at a reputed antique shop and even though we liked it a lot, we couln’t bring ourself to part with 10000. You probably know that it is from Indus Valley Civilization times. I didn’t know you were into history . . .” Sheela ears were failing her and her eyes had gone to take a bath.