My deparment, CSE, has scheduled a development programme next week. To honour the chief guest, I and my friends, Deepak and Savyan Sir, were asked to buy a gift. Nothing extraordinary. A book. That’s it. You may think what’s so unusual about it. Believe me we were puzzled as to what kind of book would he read because we knew nothing about that person except his name. The thumb rule of presenting is to gift as per the likes of the receiver. It might be a sufficient condition in other cases but when it comes to books, it is indded the necessary condition! We didn’t know what sort of books he prefers. Worst case..if he has habit of reading or not!yet we went to Crossword and began scouting. Firstly, we decided not to buy any self-improvement/ psychology related books. Classic stories,novels, crime & horror,fiction, sports, management, spiritual..these are out of options since they don’t provide that so called to-be-given-(to)in-a-technical-(person)programme touch. R.K. Narayan is great but we can’t gift a Swami and his friends or Malgudi Days. So, What else was left? Only biographies and autobiographies, science fiction, references, mythology. When I felt ‘this could be’, Savyan Sir said no. When Deepak suggested something, I said no. Same with Savyan Sir too. Out of my own experience, I preferred few books but they are my likes. I can’t expect the other person to share the same, right? Not all will read science fiction or mythology for that matter. After so much filtering, we were left with only two, either bio/autobiographies of eminent persons or perceptual experiences. After going round and round, we chose one, by Shashi Tharoor, with an intriguing title. A combination of Indian culture,history and politics. Hope the guest has reading habit and he likes the book!!

This could easily be one of the difficult shopping experiences I have ever had. Only difficult but not worse because, thankfully, I wasn’t alone. I had good company! Especially Deepak..he provided that much needed break (read laugh) by showing me all possible irrelevant books 😀 Well, he was serious too, most of the times. Anyway, the silver lining is.. after an extensive search, I have a pile of books to be added to my must-read list! B-)