There’s no such a thing as ideal gift…

In the previous post, we sneaked into marvelous Madhuri’s happy married life. Ram, her husband gives her gift on her birthdays and other special occasions. It does not really matter what the gift is. Madhuri is happy receiving them.

As you would agree, there is no such a thing as perfect gift. Tastes of different persons obviously are different. Also, it all depends on the current state, shade and intensity of your relationship!

Basically speaking, the thoughtful gift is the one that counts and creates a space for you in the person’s mind. If you take the effort to work out what the person is aspiring for, and give a gift accordingly, the price tag won’t matter. It might be a book by the person’s favorite author or his/her favorite singer’s music CD. If the person loves collecting certain memorabilia, you can add to the collection.

With a bit of planning and innovative thinking, you can get a perfect gift that conveys your sentiments and adds value to the relationship. Instead of pushing a rushed delivery of flowers, or last-minute reservation request at a restaurant, think of your gift and locate your favorite romantic spot well in advance for any special occasion like a birthday or anniversary.

A loving husband may opt for a set of soft silk sheets in conventional colors like dark maroon or silver would make a good gift. Dress your bed and decorate a vase on a bedside table with some fresh flowers. When she walks in, she will get a real surprise!

Love charts its own undefined course. Yet you can give a definite direction to it with timely gesture to match your level of involvement and the intensity of your love. 

Madhuri Dixit receives surprise gifts from her hubby

Change is the only constant in human life, as they say. However, not many are able to take to change – gradual or sudden easily. The erstwhile Bollywood queen, Madhuri, Dixit is an exception to this. Not long ago, she was the undisputed number one heroine – the most in demand actor – of Bollywood, Madhuri’s birthday was a major occasion of celebration for the industry. There used to be a lot of pomp and splendor then.

Things though have changed. In stark contrast to the earlier gloss and glamour, her birthday now is low-key. Her itinerary this year only had a visit to the museum nearby with Arin, her elder son along with his classmates. She was quoted as saying:”A few parents volunteered to accompany the children, so I volunteered too. I am happy, and hope to come to Mumbai in June when the kids get holidays.”

Her famous laugh has not diminished, and she is enjoying life away from spotlight in the US.  The DNA news report stated: “No one else has perhaps settled into anonymous domesticity better than her (Madhuri).” A true Taurean, she remarked, “We (Taureans) are supposed to be Rock of Gibraltar. I think that (description) fits me perfectly. I do not really let anything affect me too much. Once a Taurean takes a decision, he or she sticks to it, no matter what.”

What she looks forward to is free time with husband Ram Nene to go out. Discreetly revealing the secret of their happy and successful married life, she mentioned: “I met my Mr Right and immediately took the plunge. Every marriage is a gamble, and one has to make some adjustments all the time. But I am very happy and comfortable in my married life. I feel wonderful. It has been a good experience. Marriage and my family have completed me (as a person).

And when it’s her birthday, Ram often gives her surprise gifts on the birthday. What are they? Well, she is not going to divulge.

Gift a moment of Bollywood glory

Do you want to make your friend or colleague act and think like a star? Quite possible that the person might have visualized himself or herself in a super hit Bollywood romantic movie? It does not matter at all if he or she hasn’t had any acting lessons or do not have an iota of acting skill to be part of the tinsel world.

These movie posters look like a painting when hung on the wall. And when they are customized, they look even more stunning. You can now make someone a star and have one posing in a scene from one’s favorite film poster. This can become possible thanks to Arvind Chudasama who gives one a moment of eternal glory.

An animator by profession, Chudasama for the last two years has been painting and digitally morphing photographs and then placing it on movie posters. It is a hobby that turned into a professional venture when he was designing a poster for a new film. He did it by hand, using colored pencil. He made a similar experiment with different film posters, and it worked.

He started by putting his own photographs on his favorite movie posters and slowly graduated to featuring his friends in movie posters of their choice. His personal favorite is the one he made for an anniversary function. He morphed the old couple’s photos as the leading stars on the Kabhi Kabhi poster. He can do such innovative posters.

They are usually a mix of digital modification and hand paint job. It takes at least two to three days to finish the poster.
His clientele range from romantic college students, die-hard fans of old cinemas and foreigners crazy about Bollywood films. College students seek posters featuring them with their girlfriends or boyfriends. DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) has many takers even today.

A fantastic film poster with your friend a part of it will make a truly offbeat gift. It costs roughly between Rs8,000 to Rs12,000 (Contact: 98208 76707). Such customized movie posters exude a special charm of their own.

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Collaborating sports and fashion

If hip hop stars are indeed the ultimate in cool, Adidas has got its formula perfectly right with its line of appealing apparel and accessories conceived in association with noted musician Missy Elliot. Termed, Respect M.E. it has all the ‘Elliot’ trademark style, with ravishing rap star bling.

The line is available for sale in Adidas Originals stores globally and in leading Indian cities such as Chandigarh, Bangalore and New Delhi. Tushar Goculdas, director (marketing and sales) Adidas India, has been quoted as saying, “We first launched the Originals lifestyle brand at the 1972 Munich Olympics. It was inspired by the famous sports stars of the time.

“The line happened to catch on so well that shoes and apparel seen on the field in the 1970s are now often seen in movies, music videos, and on celebrities at clubs and many rock shows.” 

Tracking the trend, there seem to be quite a many takers for a curious collaboration between sports and fashion. A peep into the actor Amrita Arora’s wardrobe and one instantly realizes that it is dominated by top brands such as Adidas, Lululemon Athletica, Juicy Couture and Reebok.

Interestingly, she isn’t really a sports enthusiast. In fact, these clothes do not make her appear like one either. It’s rather the ‘sporty chic’ look she prefers. Amrita likes to wear workout tops that go nicely with jeans and heels for those outings with special friends. 

Amrita Arora has been quoted saying in an interview: “They are made for workouts; they hold the body together and also give you a good shape. The actor loves the sporty, colorful apparel from Lululemon Athletica, which is a Canadian brand. At filmi parties and events, she has often been spotted in Juicy Couture tracksuits, even pairing black track pants sometimes with a shirt and boots. According to her, it’s quite comfortable and cool.

Sports memorabilia for gifting

There are many cricket or football fans around who are crazy about sports memorabilia. You may be aware of friends or colleagues who are keen to grab their favorite soccer, basketball or cricket team’s jersey.

They are not averse to spending to buy them up. Needless to say, that the caps, jerseys or trousers that symbolize their connection with say Manchester United or Mumbai Indians is a prized possession for them.

Sales of the host of merchandise related to the various Indian Premier League teams picked up. As IPL fever gripped the country, the merchandise of the IPL teams’ specially targeted at their loyal fans was vigorously marketed. In the UK or the US, the average share of items like monogrammed T-shirts can be very high.

The point to be made: Merchandise is an integral part of soccer or basketball team’s fan base and economic structure. Fans are always keen to buy say a monogrammed David Beckham T-shirt, which is a hot property. IPL merchandise sales were lower though. “It’s a new concept in India and will take time to catch on,” Rajiv Mehta, managing director of Puma was quoted as saying in a Business Standard article.

In fact, according to him, the response this year has been better than expected. Linked to the novelty of this concept is the fact that popular team jerseys – like the highest selling item for any team globally – are priced high for the average cricket fan in India. For example, a KKR jersey cost close to Rs 800 at a Reebok outlet. Similarly, an Adidas’ Delhi Daredevils polo t-shirt costs Rs 1499. A Rajasthan Royals jersey is available for Rs 699 at Puma.

You sure can consider sports memorabilia for gifting. Spot the person’s team or player before you gift one.

High fashion meets mainstream everyday clothing

Sportswear has surely made its way out of the rough n tough gym bag to enter the high-flying wardrobes. As a result, most fashion labels are getting sportier.

For example, Boss Hugo Boss last year launched its brand Boss Green to complement its popular Boss Black range of formal wear in India. The brand manager of Boss Hugo Boss, India, mentioned in an interview: “It’s a collection for those who don’t mind doing business at the golf course. They probably wanted a choice of luxury sportswear that wasn’t available at all. Those who earlier would (compulsively) wear blazers to after-work parties have switched to golf wear.”

The reasons are obvious; the look is rather simple and informal with golf T-shirts, jerseys, jackets, trousers, and shoes. Designer Narendra Kumar’s captivating collections for men have had a sporty edge. His collection for Spring/Summer 2009 at LFW 2008 went a step further.

The line was inspired by sportswear with cropped cabin jackets, denims and formal track pants. India saw a funky fashion-sport tie-up when Reebok got a psychedelic makeover – shoes in bright colors like orange, pink, silver, red and blue, topped with superb Swarovski and sequins as well as activewear under the Reebok label Fish Fry.

High fashion is indeed meeting mainstream everyday clothing. The trend is quite pronounced in the West and is catching up fast in India. A big workout culture is developing.
Take the case of actor Deepika Padukone who likes to wear short dresses to go with metallic sneakers & hip hoodies with three-fourth trousers. To party with friends, Nina Manuel often slips on her black Puma dress with orange-n-white boots from the Missy Elliot line. She might pair shorts & stockings with a purple halter Puma top.

Malaika Arora Khan often shares her sister’s liking for tracksuits. So the next time you are shopping for someone who is sporty type, you know where and what to look for.

Fantastic fashion apparel and accessories

A velvet jacket with exquisite Swarovski detailing, a corduroy mini skirt, a double-breasted denim jacket, a pinstriped shirt, a trendy knit tie, a nice neon green belt studded with dazzling diamantés and fabulous pink ballerinas.

It’s wrong to think it’s only the high street that’s really street-smart! In fact, you can now hit Puma, Reebok, Lacoste, Nike and Adidas stores for latest fashion apparel and accessories.

These fantastic fashion apparel and amazing accessories will make a wonderful gift for someone who is sporty and contemporary in attitude and outlook, which reflects in the person’s appearance and dressing style.

To offer you ample scope for selection, Lacoste has on offer a range of funky as well as formal shirts and jazzy jackets for both men and women, besides jeans, trousers, and ties. On the other hand, the Nike Sportswear (NSW) range comprises sizzling sports-inspired fashion product portfolio with prints, exquisite embroidery and just more than a little bit of bling you are looking for.

You will find that shelves at Puma are decked with sunglasses, comic strip-printed handbags, beautiful ballerinas, metallic sneakers, belts in neon colors with crystal buckles, and gold clutches. Their superb sports lifestyle collection is not for the field action, of course.

Gorgeous gym wear is another category worth considering. Metallic boots from Adidas are available at Rs7,999. As is apparent, the popular brand’s business strategy for the evolving Indian market is to focus on sports trendy lifestyle rather than churning hard-core sporting accessories and equipment.

As amply made clear by managing director of Puma Sports India Pvt. Ltd., Rajiv Mehta, in an interview, it gives them a clear edge over other leading sports brands. The brand has already tied up with designer Alexander McQueen internationally for a fashion line.

IPL merchandise is slowly becoming a rage

Sports and fashion have an integral link. Young sports fans are equally fashion conscious, and event organizers well know this. In fact, for most popular sports teams globally, the mark-up for high-end memorabilia is well justified by the brand value. It usually works when a team or its star players tend to achieve cult status (just as, say, Liverpool or Manchester United charge hefty premiums for an official embossed T-shirt.

The ongoing IPL cricket tournament is another example of this. The cost price of an IPL T-shirt manufactured in the factories of Tiruppur, Bangalore and Chennai is between 15-20 per cent of the final cost, according to an estimate. Brands such as Puma and Adidas have a fixed cost sharing ratio with the teams. Though the marketers are unwilling to divulge the revenue-sharing arrangement with the cricket or football teams, teams roughly get up to 20 per cent by way of royalty.

Last year, KKR had launched actor and KKR owner Shahrukh ‘Khan’ special jersey with Reebok. It was priced at Rs 1,999, with King Khan’s name on the back. This time – for the second edition of IPL – franchisees have increased the scope of their portfolios to introduce more categories to gain from the IPL fever. The products range from Rs 50 to 2,000 plus.

Most of the IPL teams retail caps, mugs, badges, key chains and flip flops, all of which bear the insignia of all the participating IPL teams. IPL merchandise is slowly becoming a rage as fans are not averse to paying premiums.

The team owners know there are enthusiasts who consider all these items a prized possession than mere another piece of clothing or accessory. As you would read in one of our upcoming posts, sports memorabilia is becoming popular for gifting purpose. Of course, you should be able to get the choice right as each sports fan has different favorite teams or players.

Vacation laughter package from Giftex

Please, ‘weigh’ the consequences of your gift!

A husband was in trouble. Guess why; it was because he had forgotten his wife’s birthday. She was willing to let it go by if the husband made up for the mistake in the ‘right’ way.

She told him, “Tomorrow there better be something nice in the driveway for me, which goes zero to 100 in 10 seconds”.

The wife found a small package next morning in the driveway. She curiously opened it and found a brand new weighing scale.

‘Cheap’ husband’s gift

After being away on a business trip, Manjit thought it would be great to get a nice little gift for his wife so as to make her happy.

“How about a good perfume?” he asked at the cosmetics shop. The salesgirl showed him a bottle worth Rs 1000.

“That’s a bit too much,” said Manjit. She returned with another bottle for Rs 500. “That’s still quite costly for me,” Manjit complained again. Getting annoyed, the girl brought out a tiny bottle.

“What I mean?” said Manjit angrily, “It costs Rs 150. I would like to buy something that is really cheap.”

The girl handed him a shampoo pouch. It’s for you, baldie,” she shouted.

A precious gift, but is it for the real?

A guy got his wife a lovely diamond ring for Diwali. After coming to know about this rather extravagant gift, a friend of his remarked, “But I thought she was looking for one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles.””Yes, she did,” he replied. “But how and where was I going to find a fake Jeep, tell me?”

Gifts and jokes – I

It’s vacation time; it’s fun time, so Giftex blog is here to make you smile. We present jokes and interesting anecdotes about gifting.

A surprise gift for the teacher

“It was the last day of Bittu’s school. All his fellow students were thinking of a present for their class teacher. Bittu, a florist’s son, stood up and gave his teacher a big box.

The teacher said to him, I shall bet these are flowers!” The boy asked, “How did you know?”

“Just a lucky guess, my child,” he stated. Next, came Sittu whose family ran a candy store. He also stood up and gave the class teacher a box. He immediately said he knew it was candy. When the amazed boy asked her how the teacher knew it, he again quipped, “Just a lucky guess, my child.”

Finally, came Mittu, a girl whose father owned a liquor shop. She came up and gave her teacher another box. But one of its corners had become damp from a leak. The class teacher asked the girl if it was wine. The girl said, “No.”

The teacher touched the leaking liquid and put it to his tongue and asked if it was a bottle of champagne. The girl again said no. Finally, the teacher gave up and asked her what was there in the box.

Mittu said with a big smile on her face, “It’s a surprise gift for you, teacher; it’s a puppy!”