It’s that time of the year again. The festive season is upon us… that means tons of gifts finding their way into our homes, miles of ribbon and wrapping paper and much more chocolate and sweet treats than one needs to eat.
Yet with people getting more calorie conscious and environmentally conscious there is a band of well-known gifters whose festive hampers are much awaited and coveted.
Meet some of South India’s most famous faces who not only celebrate the festivals in style, but also put much thought, sensitivity and loads and loads of love and good wishes into the unique gifts that they send out each year.
We give you a sneak-peek at some of the most different, yet special gifts they’ve been sending out to their near and dear ones.
Talk about gifts and the receivers of these special Diwali treats can only speak of Ravina Belani. Her love for elaborate gifts is legendary in the city and we would be right in saying that a lot of her friends wait to see what the enterprising lady has planned for this year!
“I don’t give food items,” she tells us. “Usually I have stationary that I get customised keeping in mind the ones I want to send it out to. I plan pretty paisley printed boxes that contain an assortment of stationary items like gifting envelopes, letter writing paper, gift cards and note pads. I have them made in various shades and always keep a festive colour scheme in mind,” says Ravina. Being a talented designer with a huge circle of friends, she’s usually planning gifts for at least 75 close friends and then about 50 to 60 more of her husband Sunder’s business associates.
That’s taking gifting to a new level, we say!
Owner, Gallery G and Entrepreneur
Diwali is an important festival in the Maini household. Matriarch Reva Maini has her set of gifts planned well in advance. Known for her green thumb in the city, Reva Maini gets ready a whole lot of tulsi saplings which she passes on to her daughter-in-law Gita to add to the festive hamper that she puts together each year.
Says Gita Maini, “I always plan a hamper which I send out to our close circle of friends and family, along with a few key business associates. And I’m probably one of those people who send out gifts a bit early – sometimes around Karvachauth – a couple of days before the Diwali festivities actually begin.”
It’s the season of gifting! Today gift options are varied. From the traditional to the modern options, the sky is truly the limit. A lot of planning goes into large gifting depending on the season, occasion, profile, budgets etc.
Gone are the days when one used to gift a box of mithai bought from a local store. Today everyone wants something unique and special, right from chocolates, cupcakes, brownies, sugar-free options for the health conscious and dates or almonds and other nuts both candied or roasted. Even the mithai has taken on new forms and shapes, the only constant being that the packaging should be amazing. I use a lot of different products right from mirrors, pearl-encrusted trays, mason jars – vases, colourful baskets, pretty planters, customised boxes with oodles of colourful ribbons and my all-time favourite – lots of candles! I have even got some wax urlis made to order which we fill with sweets and then pack with a flourish. That and my big wax lotuses are the new items I have introduced for this festive season. They act as containers for the goodies and are so beautifully appreciated because they light up your house forever. I also use a lot of fresh flowers in my packaging because it just looks so pretty. Of course corporates still prefer to gift utilitarian items but they too are now conscious of the importance of them being well packaged. Essentially one can make anything look pretty with a little bit of creativity!
Every year we get elaborate gifts customised for the festive season. Last year we gifted friends and family bottles of honey sporting customised branding with our surname Nahata. In the last few years, people have become very health conscious and prefer anything other than sweets. So we sent out the honey bottles. For Diwali last year, we had customised a set of playing cards and gave them to friends. This year too we will be doing something different and unique. We’re still in the process of thinking what to do though.