The Best Birthday Gift Ever

That was what Elena said when we gave her the watch with its entire set of interchangeable straps, dial etc

That got outvoted when Mami sent both girls gift vouchers for the Oxford bookstore.

I too loved the idea because it meant we could delay buying the books till the exams were over.  (Well, I still can’t work/sleep with an unread book at hand so couldn’t expect that from them in any way.)

The exams done with, we finally made the trip and I could see optimization at its best:

Mom what is 65+65?

What if I take another book for Rs 65? How much is left over from 250?

Why don’t you take a St. Clares’ instead of all Secret Sevens?

Oh but I’ll be able to buy only two of them. And will not get anything for the remaining 30 bucks.

(Being Loverna-I obviously don’t offer to pay up the balance)

Oh where did Aurora go?

We found her tucked away between two bookshelves: I finished two fairy stories. I want to read another one.
Mamma, can you please select the books for me?

I shortlist some really fancy collections:

Mamma they are all tooo expensive...
(Can you believe that? So that’s what happens when they spend out of their own kitty!!)

Ok, if you are buying them for us we'll take these two, but they will not be counted. Ok?

Yeah. Ok.

So call me a weak Loverna, but I really couldn’t resist buying some non-counted books for them before I went around “just looking” for some good deals..

We spent just a little more than two hours: Selecting, rejecting, balancing, prioritizing…till we were all finally satisfied.

So what if I ended up spending four times what the vouchers were worth?

It was still the best gift, because it gave me a chance to spend an entire evening with them and with books. To watch them select what they wanted, give up what they could not get, take decisions, and learn a far more important lesson.

For them, it was the best because as Aurora said it, it gave them choice..


  1. Blame it on the vouchers! Happens with me too :P
    I go with a 5K one from office and end up spending so much more ;)

    Glad u r all hvng a gr8 time :)

  2. Thanks Swaram-how are you now?
    We really had a great time after a dreary fortnight of exams (i.e 15 days of constant arguments)

  3. Selecting, rejecting, balancing, prioritizing…till we were all finally satisfied. - Sounds like a lot of good time spent together :) Reminds me of the time I gave my daughter cash to buy whatever she liked on her 12th Birthday and she bought nothing, because it was her own money!

  4. Love bookstores. Especially crossword. Love the food at their cafe. It is good to see that our kids also love actual books rather than go the e-way.
    Posting under anonymous since I dont have any other the other accounts

  5. IHM: That sounds like something my daughter will do if I give her cash!
    Guess that is a good sign that she will be responsible with money. Or is that wishful thinking?

    Hi: It is something about bookstores that brings about bliss. This branch of Oxford (Leela Palace) also has a Cha bar-one of the best places to go and dip into books. If only we have the time


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