JP Uncle returns home from office to find the living room filled with the results of what looks like a shopping trip. Satin ribbons, packets of balloons, disposable plates and glasses sit around on the table, sofa and chairs. The Aunt is busy ticking off items on a list.
“Getting ready for our Raghu’s birthday?” asks The Uncle.
The Aunt nods absent-mindedly.
“And what’s this?” The Uncle asks peering into a large bag filled with toys. Lots of toys. All similar.
“Gifts.” says The Aunt.
“Eh” says The Uncle. “The guests will be bringing gifts right? I thought that’s what birthday parties are for!”
“These are Return Gifts.”
“You mean….. you’re returning them to the shop?”
The Aunt looks at The Uncle and shakes her head.
“These” she says “are gifts we will be giving to all the children who come to the party.”
The Uncle looks even more bewildered.
“Everyone gives return gifts.” adds The Aunt. “It’s expected.”
It is now The Uncle’s turn to shake his head. “Strange customs.” he mutters as he walks off.
6.30 pm same day
The Uncle and The Aunt are busy blowing up balloons and wrapping up 25 return gifts in shiny gift paper. The Uncle is frowning in concentration as he struggles with the delicate wrapping paper. He has pieces of paper and sticky tape dangling from his hair and ears.
“I should have come home late from office.” he mutters.
8.00 pm The next day.
The birthday party has gone well as is evident from the chaotic living room. Boisterous young boys are rushing around the room slipping and sliding on cake and other sticky stuff on the floor.
The Uncle is at the front door bidding Goodbye to the boys as he hands each one a return gift.
“Uncle” says one boy as he tears open his gift. “I don’t want this. Can I exchange?”
“No point, son” says The Uncle. “They’re all the same.”
Another boy grabs his, opens the covering and promptly drops the gift on the floor.
“Uncle” he says, holding up the now-broken toy. “I want another. This is broken.”
“Er…. wait for some time.” says The Uncle. “If there’s an extra you can have that.”
Yet another child takes his gift with one hand and holds up his other hand. “Can you give me one more for my brother?”
“Sorry son” says The Uncle. “It’s only for those who came.”
The child says smartly, “My brother is downstairs in the car. I’ll call him…..?”
The Uncle ignores him and hands over a gift to another child. This chap takes one look at his gift and announces to the world at large. “Such a small gift! We gave them a BIG one. Look. There it is on the table.”
The boy continues as he unwraps the gift “Is this an educational toy? My mother says we should only play with educational toys. And look they run on batteries…..!”
The Uncle nods his head weakly. It is obvious that his battery is running low now!
The obnoxious child then says, “Uncle, my mother says we should not play with battery-operated toys. You keep it” and he returns the Return Gift!
x ———————————— x
This is the 7th in the series – The Adventures of The JP Family as part of the A2Z BlogChallenge
Alphabet illustration – Sudarshan Rao 🙂