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Sometimes you are so involved with yourself that you fail to acknowledge the little blessings life has bestowed on you. So here I am rectifying that lapse on my part.

As a few know, I have been gallivanting the countryside yet again as is my wont. I was surprised to be informed by the Lord and Master during one of our frequent talks courtesy Airtel, that I had a parcel waiting for me from a certain Hrishikesh Bawa. Now, Hrishi is my little brother (or ‘little fat bro’ as he would have it). I have one of my own who is littler to me as well, but Hrishi is a lot more littler than him and was acquired along the way as I journeyed through blogdom.

Coming back to the mysterious parcel that the L & M said awaited me, I was nonplussed and also filled with remorse on hearing about it. What was my little bro doing sending me parcels when I should have been the one sending them to him, it having been his birthday on the 5th of October??! Besides which, he had already sent me a book by my most favorite author (any guesses??) called, ‘Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen’ for Rakshabandhan, I said as much to the L & M. but he being oblivious to the dynamics of birthdays and gift exchanges among my friends and I, could not offer enlightenment on the issue.

On my return, I found the parcel waiting for me in the car, the L & M having helpfully collected it on the way. I tore it open to find a book called…. Triple Sudoku. Hrishi, knows I am a big sudoku fan and hence the book as gift.  Some time back he had even gifted me with a small soft toy knowing my weakness for them. Isn’t my bro the best?!

One may receive a hundred gifts in one’s life time, but gifts received with a thought of you the person behind it are always special. When someone takes the trouble to notice and remember your likes and gives you a surprise, the gifts become all the more dear. Thank you so much Hrishi. Hugs to you.

Someone else did something similar awhile back. His name is Maddy. He took the trouble to go through my page at Shelfari, choose books from those I was planning to read and gift them to me. But that pales in comparison to the real surprise he gave me. On my last birthday, the golden one, I received a call early morning, from a young girl, a stranger to me. Imagine my surprise to learn that she was from the local FM channel and was conveying the wish on behalf of Maddy! I got to choose a favorite song too. Aren’t I lucky to have someone care enough to arrange such a surprise for me?? Maddy and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but at the end of the day we agree to disagree and remain friends unlike some others who forget that I am entitled to my own views and opinions.

Then there is Bob. He is a familiar figure to many of you as he is regular in leaving comments here. Bob and I have been friends since long. He is a real funny man and makes me laugh with his comments he makes at his own expense. Bob’s wife Chris has such a lovely smile resembling our very own Madhuri Dixit (I feel). Jimi is their grandson and is the subject of Bob’s blogs. Once Bob made a video of Jimi saying ‘Hi Shail’ and posted it on Youtube for me to see. How sweet is that??! Here is the video.

Recently Bob wrote a post dedicated to me. I am really honored Bob values my views and opinions. He does not hesitate to ask me if he needs help with something on the net. No false airs and graces, down-to-earth and a wonderful human being is our Bob.

Once on a journey from Baroda back to my hometown I happened to meet a stranger Rajesh and we got talking. It was such a fun conversation we had that went from one topic to another in an easy flow that the two hours of journey just flew by. I am still amused to think that  initially Rajesh thought that I was the high-brow type because the first thing he had noticed was the book I was reading, ‘The Argumentative Indian’ by Amartya Sen. He became my Facebook friend and wrote this about me:

Met by “accident” on Tvm Express and got derailed by the sheer spontaneity, wit, humor and her infectious +ve vivacity. Never have talked to any unknown co passenger with so much fun. Cheated on my office time, early morning to hv a cursory glance at your blogs. Will surely attempt to fulfill my latent, but a strong desire to “write”. Reach Tvm safely and “let your fingers do the Tap Dance” as you cannot keep your readers/ admirers waiting any longer !!

I have not been able to push him into blogging as yet. But Rajesh, I assure you, you have not seen the last of me.

Then there are others like Kannan who took the trouble to send CDs that my son needed and even helped me identify suitable colleges for him, his wife Jayashree and daughter Dyuthi; there are Salil and Ambika who not only met me (with chocolates) when they came down to Trivandrum, but also were gracious hosts to me at their beautiful home along with their daughter Niharika who became my fan and even offered her toy room for me to stay over; there is Govind of the four-line poetry fame, who apart from regularly beating me at scrabble is the one who introduced me to Stephen King by gifting a book of his; there is Roopa who gifted me a most lovely hand bag and though much younger to me, she had been there when I needed some help……  the list goes on.

This is just a small tribute to those of you who entered my life as strangers and voila! transformed yourselves to special people, giving to me of your time, respect and unaffected affection. For a time I had forgotten.  Remembering you all reminded me of how lucky I really am. Thank you all. And don’t any of you dare tell me that there is no thank you-s between friends. I simply don’t agree with that stupid philosophy and may get violent and throw those bricks I am always threatening people who annoy me with, if you dare. No thank you-s and sorry-s between friends indeed. What dashed nonsense! Borrowing from Wodehouse, I have never heard such drivel in my life! So, THANK YOU ALL once again.