Among the few X'mas and New Year cards I have received is one from my friend who lives on the 21st floor. The post office said it did not have enough men and vehicles to carry it home for me, so could I please come to the post office and collect it.
It is a nice card, gold border and the rest of it silver…….the gold and silver are both real. Hence, the weight. In size, it is larger than both the Wankhede and Brabourne stadiums combined, but not as large as the Mahalaxmi and Pune racecourses combined.
The writing of the greeting inside is done in pearls, rubies, sapphires, all inlaid into the card. And, when the card is opened, Asha Bhosale and Sharon Prabhakar-Padamsee come out and sing swinging versions of White X'Mas and Happy New Year To You. At the end of the songs, Asha Bhosale disappears back into the card, but Sharon Prabhakar-Padamsee stays.. (I am happy Pankaj Udhas also does not come out of the card, I would not know what to do with him).
There are other features in the card: you press button and one corner of the card turns into a computer playing a game of electronic chess with you. Another corner turns into a little game of bridge, complete with partner and two opponents. The games are so computerised that you always win.
A complete dinner set has been packed into the card, also a set of Parsi Dairy sweets and American Dry Fruit Store dry-fruits. Also, packed in the card is a cake (chocolate from the Taj Mahal Hotel and the entire Oberoi Hotel (not the big one, naturally, the small new hotel.
It the card is held up against the light, an action replay of Gavaskar scoring all his 34 centuries is shown. The only bad thing about it is that the commentary throughout is by Dr. Narottam Puri. There is a choice, you may either see Gavaskar or you may see Mr. Rajiv Gandhi in different headgear addressing meetings in different parts of the country.
Every morning, till New Year's Day, a complete newspaper gets printed on the back cover of the card. The paper is The International Herald Tribune, evidently because my friend must have sent similar cards to his foreign friends also and it is better to have an international paper than our Bombay Times.
To make it easy for people to carry the card home, my friend has had wheels attached to the bottom of the card, like the wheels on VIP travel bags. Only, the wheels are much bigger, and there are wings also, so that you can fly the card home.
There is only one problem, as the wife pointed out. It is all right receiving such big cards, but where are we going to dump the card after New Year!