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For that perfect gift!

Confused over what present an occasion demands? Dial the Gift Galleria in Malleswaram and relax.



Deepti Taraknath's gifting ideas put a smile on everyone's face

THE CLOCK has just struck midnight when there is a ring at your door, and you stagger out of bed realising that your birthday has just been ushered in. As you open the door warily, you see someone twanging his guitar and singing, "Happy Birthday", with cake and flowers in tow. While you slowly die of embarrassment in front of the neighbours, the guitarist informs you that his serenading is actually a singing telegram sent to you by the family, or friend (or foe, considering the timing of the serenade).

Deepti Taraknath Swamy is the woman behind this and other unusual ideas, and she has started a store called 39, The Gift Galleria, which should solve the perennial `gifting' dilemma everyone faces. So the next time a marriage invitation lands on you, don't go haring off to Commercial Street in the heat and the pollution, curse the clogged parking lots, trudge from shop to shop, and finally, in sheer exhaustion, settle for something you never liked anyway.

Instead, take the smart option and call up Deepti. She, or any of her `gift consultants', will give you a patient hearing while you fill in the details about the kind of person you are wanting the gift for, the occasion, the budget and other pointers towards making that perfect purchase. A little discussion, some suggestions and hey presto! As you are getting ready to leave for the wedding, your gift arrives, beautifully wrapped, and you only have to write on the best wishes card.

Deepti says the cost involved in this personalised service is realistic, and she wants every client to get value for money. It is true that people often get completely stuck when it comes to choosing a gift, and however fast the lifestyle stores are proliferating, zeroing in on something nice and unusual is not always that simple.

At the moment, Deepti has a project brewing in her mind. A gentleman has just been to her, asking for a real out-of-the-way gift for his wife, and Deepti's suggestion: a whole new Italian kitchen. If you have the money, Deepti has the idea, and as she says confidently, "I can satisfy the toughest requirements, it's no big deal." The kitchen set, for instance, has to be worked out very carefully, while the wife is out of town, and Deepti will instal the paraphernalia.

Gifting is serious business, according to Deepti, and one should be very careful about not trampling on others' sensibilities. She makes it a point to learn a lot about the person for whom the gift is intended, and while the item given should, most important, be thoughtful and appropriate, it is equally important not to cross the line and break certain barriers.

Deepti also has a gift reminder service. You can write your details on a form, which gets computerised, and gifts are arranged to be sent out on the occasion called for.

However, if you like to agonise over purchases yourself, a visit to `39' throws up a range of items from which you can take your pick. From snob value, designer denim saris with a soft fall and finish to home-baked whole wheat cakes, Deepti sources her goods mainly from women vendors in Bangalore, and can specially categorise any product to her clients' whim and indulgence.

Her in-house design and sourcing team can create exactly what the customer wants, but Deepti insists on some lead time if the product has to be handcrafted to specifications.

`39' brings in a new sensibility and style to the traditional environs of Malleswaram. In case you are wondering what the number signifies,

it is the address: 39, Margosa Road; and Deepti can be contacted on 3315607.

SANDHYA IYENGAR

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