Our ex­perts help you pick up smart and func­tional gifts

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As the fes­ti­val of lights draws near, the mood and at­mos­phere changes to one of un­abated joy and en­thu­si­asm. It is a won­der­ful oc­ca­sion for strength­en­ing re­la­tion­ships with friends and rel­a­tives by show­ing you care for them, in the form of gifts. Choos­ing the right present is never a sim­ple task es­pe­cially when there is easy ac­cess to shop­ping cor­ners around the world. Nowa­days most peo­ple al­ready have the ba­sics, so it be­comes that much harder to choose a gift that is mean­ing­ful and unique. Though bud­gets and tastes vary from per­son to per­son, sil­ver and sil­ver-plated ac­ces­sories tend to be a pop­u­lar and tra­di­tional choice in terms of ma­te­rial. Op­tions vary from di­vine fig­urines to lights, to larger ob­jects and dec­o­ra­tive arte­facts. So, one can pick in­cense and tealight hold­ers, can­dle stands and diyas, clas­sic puja items like thaali sets and man­ji­ras, photo frames and even col­lec­tion of Ram Dar­bar, Shiv Pari­war and Saraswati. Lak­shmi-Ganesh sil­ver coins be­sides crock­ery items and small sil­ver show­pieces are also quite pop­u­lar and fall into the tried and tested for­mula. This year though, divin­ity and lights seem best­sellers. The writer is Di­rec­tor, Ravis­sant, a lux­ury dé­cor store which re­tails sil­ver­ware and other home ac­ces­sories

The best gifts are those that ex­ude warmth yet are use­ful, ver­sa­tile and cre­ative. This sea­son, homemak­ers are in­creas­ingly look­ing be­yond the usual fare of a tra­di­tional box of mithai to more durable dé­cor items such as can­dle stands, photo frames, lamps, vases, ob­ject d art plat­ters and even art. As Di­wali is a time for celebration and en­ter­tain­ment, giv­ing away th­ese small ac­cent pieces come in handy as they can liven up liv­ing spa­ces in­stantly. Be­fore se­lect­ing any par­tic­u­lar item, bud­get is the first and fore­most fac­tor one should think about. One can be in­no­va­tive in spite of a con­straint in bud­ I find that

ac­ces­sories and knick-knacks priced around ` 2,000 and be­low make pop­u­lar gift­ing ideas. Be­sides bud­get, it is al­ways good to keep in mind the re­cy­cla­bil­ity and multi-func­tional as­pects of the ob­jects while giv­ing. Like, a can­dle­holder or a vase which can be used for dec­o­ra­tion af­ter the fes­tiv­i­ties get over will be most cher­ished. The trick lies in the abil­ity of be­ing able to use prod­ucts for other set­tings all year round. The writer is Projects & Mer­chan­dis­ing , Oma, a home fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories de­sign la­bel

Man­ji­ras with mock co­conut Tra­di­tional puja thaali set

Sil­ver cladded Gane­sha in a sit­ting pose

Vishal Chawla

Chit­wan Sidhu

( Clok­wise from left) Finely crafted cutlery and ta­ble ac­ces­sories; mod­ern glass lanterns make for best gifts; del­i­cate can­dle hold­ers to light up in­te­ri­ors

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