“Oh, Thank you so much… What a thoughtful Gift“…  
[Thought running in mind: Oh,shucks, they have given me such a lovely gift, what do i give them in return? do i have anything or would cash do?]
Now is that right??? 
Last week.. not once,but twice i had a bit of argument with mom and others at home.. They consented that i had a valid point but couldnt do anything about it… Let me tell you what happened!
Incident 1 
Gramma [shall be known as G]: So, are you coming tomorrow?
Me; for?
G : You know, S has come of age, and B aunt has invited us all in the evening
Me: What? no way, am not coming.. poor kid
Mom[whose name starts with M, shall be M] enters…. 🙂
G to mom : M, what do you think is an ideal gift for S?
M: Ma, safe to give cash..
G: btw, how much did B give for A or P [ me or my sis]?
M: dont remember.. must have been around 250 i guess.  for A, nothing, cos we werent in chennai then..
G: Oh, ok.. so,250 is enuf? 
M: Ma, these days 250 is not done… you need to give 500 atleast..
G; A, get me an envelope, will give the cash, put it in please
Me: what is wrong with you people… why do you give gifts cash for this occasion? 
1st of all, it shouldnt be celebrated like some big dig… 
Stop humiliating kids… i mean, gone are the days when people announced to the world 
And why should you give gift… what did you do? S just got her menses….
G and M in unison : You wont understand…thats how it is.. we have to give something
Me: Tryin to see reason- why????? what was your role in this? or what is the money for? cant her parents provide for her??? dammit… am sure they can buy watever she needs and more…
This is when mom and gramma give up.. and nod their head knowing am right, but continue their discussion.. Moved on from gift to what saree to wear!! Mom said she had a similar chat with my sis about this concept…. celebrating and gift giving for this milestone!!! 
I only pity the kid.. S is only 10 yrs old~!! Sigh!!
Incident 2
 An aunt who is pregnant was celebrating the 8th month function.. Valakappu .. we were all thrilled… this uncle and aunt have been married over 10yrs and they love kids.. and we all love em to bits… so, all of us were extra happy for em!!! anyways , back to the point… we got invited for the Valakappu.. and again on the prev evening, gramma sat on the bed with mom opening the cupboard to pick out saree and started talking about what gift to give… Grrrr [ that was me…]:) here is what happened…. 

Me: G, why do you have to give gift for this? you anyways give something when baby is born… ippo ethukku[why now?
G: we need to… [end of statement…]
me: [ya, right, you thought i was gonna buy that…].. but why? what for?
G: thats how it is.. M, what did they give you when you were preg with P[my sis]?
M: dont remember.. think K maami gave a silver bowl or was it 100 [ 100 was a BIG amount back then]
G: ohh.. ok… i know for I[another aunt of mine], they gave saree.. So, what should we give? plus i think they are going to have seperate seemandam[ another ritual done at mil’s place].. For that we need ot give something! 
Me: what?? not once, but you need to gift twice…. i give up!! Again, i ask.. what did you do? she got pregnant.. so, why should you give gift?
G and M giving me glares : just shut up and help us find blouse for this saree… 
M: ma, give 500 to S[the preggie aunt] and on seemandam, give 250 to P[uncle]
Me: trying to make some sense… wait a minute, you give gifts when they got married… you gift when they are pregnant and again when you go to see the baby?? whats wrong with you people??? 
M: are you coming tomorrow?
Me: [Oh,god.. do they even see logic here..] yes, i am…
M and G: good…!!! [they’ve gone back to looking for a saree, blouse or make some coffee]

I mean, i dont understand why we need to give gifts for occasions like this… i know i know.. we give cos we wanna.. but you compare what they gave.. whats appropriate… and all that!!! what a waste!!! and just doesnt make sense… sigh!!! is it just me???? 🙁