Buying gifts for your father is a tricky thing, because parents are a bit like furniture – sure, they’re there, but you might not pay them much attention as individuals. So don’t be alarmed or feel bad if you can’t come up with an innovative idea on what to buy your father – it’s natural. Or maybe you’re just not a very observant person. Either ways, you could always borrow some wisdom from more observant friends and family. Enlist the people closest to your father in the quest for your father’s perfect, insightful gift. Start with the driver.

Drivers, especially if they have been with your father for long, understand your father’s routine well and can help you with his routine towards and away from office. Is there a particular cigarette he smokes or paan masala he likes? What radio channels does he listen to? The driver will know.

school and college buddies know him inside out

Dad’s school and college buddies know your him inside out and have seen a side of him you never have (and hopefully never will). Connect with them on Facebook or call them. They will probably think it’s cute and may even tell you an embarrassing story you can use against him later. They will have good insight into things he enjoyed as a young man (ABBA CD’s? Zeenat Aman posters?) and will be happy to share with you.

If your dad has a secretary, please use him/her. Secretaries have a very keen insight into their boss’ schedule, work-stresses, health issues, hobbies and relaxations. So enlist this minefield of information.  Your father has many facets and his colleagues and juniors at work will see sides of him that you don’t. So if there’s a colleague he’s friendly with, who you think you can approach, do so.

His boss. On this, a word of caution. Only, only ask your father’s boss if he’s someone your father shares a good rapport with. How do you know if the relationship is friendly? Dad’s boss attends your birthday, and you are friends with his kids.

Mom – ok, the usual suspect. While Mum seems obvious, we sometimes see our parents as a single unit and often forget that they are separate people. Twinkle Khanna did do a few roles (bad acting, mostly) before she married Akshay Kumar.

Your grandparents are also a storehouse of information that you might consider borrowing from. After all, they changed his diapers, took him for polio shots and shouted at him when he bunked college, so they probably know him better than anyone.

 

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