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Of onions, VAT 69 and a birthday gift

It all started on a crazy day at office. A conversation with my colleague.

Me: What do you eat for dinner?

He: Maam, dal, roti.

Me: Which dal ?

He: Moong.

Me : How do you make it?

He: Boil it and then give a tadka.

Me: Fry onions, cumin seeds and the like you mean…

He: Maam, onions???? In my salary? (Last checked, onions were available for Rs 75 a kilo)

Needless to say, we burst into laughter.


His birthday is on September 28. And this is what I gave him (ONIONS) as birthday gift. Of course, onions put in a Vat 69 container (sans the bottle). And in my note, I said, “We live in strange times but we can still shed tears of joy. And in today’s times, onions can give us the same high as VAT 69.”

When I presented the VAT 69 pack to him, he couldn’t believe his eyes. And then he opened it softly to discover the onions. And then it was time for uncontrolled laughter in the newsroom. Onions as birthday gift? Not many can think of it as a gift to give and not many will receive it too. With so much of grace.

His mail says it all ” Thanks a lot ma’am, this is one of the freakiest gifts i have ever received in my life… it surely has made my day. Though i did all the shopping for the party tonight (including onions) these ones go in for a special treat…


Happy birthday, dear.  Share your thought on ‘crazy birthday gift ideas’….


About Deepika Sahu

I earn my living through writing stories, editing what other people write (in simple terms I am a journalist). I dream of opening a cafeteria in the mountains, owning a beach home on the shores of Bay of Bengal... but right now, they all seem like wild dreams.. A gypsy at heart --- am passionate about life, music, words, cooking for people I love, soaking in the lashing rain and just looking at the changing colours of the sky.... And I am a great fan of the Indian Railways and I long to travel in First Class AC coupe across India.....with my man

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