Some of the best gifts I have received for Divali this year are from my friend who lives on the 21st floor and who spends four times more money on Divali celebrations than the four Hinduja brother combined.
For seasonal sweets, he has presented me with the American Dry-Fruit Store at Flora Fountain. "I have bought the shop in your name, it is your shop from now on," he told me. "Happy Divali."
"I see you wear Proline shirts most of the time, so I have bought you the Proline shop. Your blazers, you can now take directly off the hook at Raymond's, since I have bought you the Flora Fountain and Warden Road outlets of Raymond's, they are yours.
Also, Laffans for your suits," he said.
"It is too much," I said.
"Nothing is too much for a friend, especially on an auspicious occasion like Divali," he said. "And, by the way, I have paid the staff at all these establishments in advance for the next one year, so you don't have to worry about their salaries. Of course if you take new staff, you will have to pay them."
"There is a brand new Cielo waiting downstairs, you will go home in it. And keep it at home, it is yours, my little Divali gift to you. If you don't like the Cielo, go to the shop and get it changed," he said.
"I am sure I will like it," I said.
"By the way, do not go to your regular home. The driver will drive you to the new apartment I have bought for you. You will be staying there from now on. There a servants quarters at the rear of the apartment, the driver will stay there. The servants quarters have a separate lift and separate entrance."
"You think of everything," I said.
"Take this Credit Card, it is paid for up to Rs. 5 crore, use it for anything you like. And when the Rs. 5 crore is exhausted, I will renew it for the same amount again. I don't like to give a credit for Rs. 10 crore at one time, you understand."
"I do, I do," I said.
"Take a break for the holiday season. At Shimla, I have booked the entire Oberoi hotel for you. Spend some time there with your friends, all the rooms will be kept empty for you till December."
"This is turning out to be a wonderful Divali," I said.
"I am not so sure of that," my friend said. "I have bought the entire stock of fireworks manufactured by the Sivakasi factory this year for you. But the police commissioner is threatening to be strict about the firing of noisy fireworks in the streets. So here is a bag of loose change to pay the police if they make trouble. All the loose change is in the denomination of Rs. 500 notes."
"Thanks," I said. "I will ask the wife to send you a plastic bag of home-made karanjis, stuffed with coconut