When you move passed the kitschy, multicolored paraphernalia of mirrors and plastic jewelry, you may get as far as Bollywood inspired memorabilia. Everything from pillowcases to coasters has some long haired or mustached Indian movie star from the 1960’s on it. When you move passed that you’ll find that actually, India has a lot of unique brands and cool, even utilitarian souvenir/gifts that are really affordable. Here I list my top 4 gift ideas, all are unisex, wallet friendly and useful.
First up, is this black stone cup with bamboo handle detail made using Longpi handicraft skills. The cup is sturdy, slightly heavy and are unique in that they are made entirely without machinery from a black serpentine rock mixed with brown clay. It has a bit of masculine touch to it. My male cousin initially wanted one for himself, but then I bartered and got him two and so he gave me one. Now, its my go to tea cup. Where: Dilli Haat
Yet, another slightly masculine item, is a leather wire holder. I saw this at Nappa Dori, a leather store that carries vintage style trunks I would love to have as a home decor detail. I got 4 leather holders for quite cheap. It was something I actually needed since my phone charger wires are all over the place in my purse. These atleast keep them together. Where: Hauz Khas Village
Next up, is something I have mentioned a few times already – my go-to stationary: “Letternote” notebooks. These have fun colored paper and quotable covers. Its not the best quality in the world, but I like the bright colors and the prices let me splurge on these books. I am a pen and paper person at heart! Where: Saket – Select City Mall
I’ve been on the hunt for an authentically Indian tea that was so frou-frou you need an infuser to drink it. As luck would have it, I came across this cool new tea shop that opened near my office: “Anandini HImalaya Tea“. At first glance, I thought it would be way too pricey for me with its glass entry and minimal display. Thankfully, it wasn’t like that at all, the owner was lovely, and quite knowledgeable. The various tea varieties were intermixed with wonderful smells, herbs and spices. The price was not too hair raising either. I wasn’t able to buy any tea as of yet, since I need to buy an infuser and frankly, couldn’t decide on what tea to get, but will update this blog once I do. She did have a cool 4 pack gift pack that included an infuser but was a bit more of a gift than something I could use personally. So I’ll come back to this one with my thoughts on how the tea tastes. Where: Shahpur Jat
So those are my 4 recommended souvenirs and/or gift ideas.
I’m thinking of putting these things in a box and sending them as a gift to friends and family. Would be cool no? What items do you like or don’t like? Would you gift this to your friends and family?
I’ll be on the look out for more cool and inexpensive gift ideas from India – part II coming soon.