What to Gift Your Wife on Karva Chauth: Some Gift Ideas

Karva Chauth is celebrated with great joy and passion by women in North India in the wheat belt, to ensure the longevity and safety of their husbands. They fast, from sunrise till moonrise, and eat only when they’ve sighted the moon and seen their husband’s face through a veil. This festival falls on the fourth day of the krishna paksh (dark fortnight), during the month of Kartik. Women buy jewelry, cosmetics, pooja items, henna and so on. They fast as a mark of devotion to their husbands. It is a truly commendable attitude—can you imagine going without food for someone?

If your wife is going to do the Karva Chauth fast in your name, custom expects you to gift her something nice. Here’s your chance to let your wife know just how much you value her and her dedication towards you. Here’s a fabulous idea– get her a gift voucher or card for classy jewelry from brands such as Tanishq, Asmi or D’dmas. Also buy a gift card for exquisite Indian ethnic sarees and suits from Satya Paul. Buy decorative, earthenware Karva Chauth pots— load it up with silk ribbons, glass bangles, packets of bindis, and handkerchiefs for her. Won’t that be fantastic? Your wife is not likely to forget this year’s Karva Chauth, is she? Make this holy day perfect for the woman who tries to make every day of your life perfect.


Unique gifting option for the festive season

Republished here on: 29 October 2012

As appeared in the The Economic Times on 29 Oct 2012:

By: Milan Sharma

Similar to debit cards, the pre-loaded gift cards can be used multiple times across different retailers–

Confused about what to gift someone this festive season You certainly dont want to spend time looking for something that ends up in the pile of recycled gifts.However,going the easy way by picking store vouchers can limit the choice for the other person.After all,vouchers are for onetime use and have to be redeemed for the entire amount.This is why gift cards make for a more savvy choice.These are prepaid cards,which can be loaded for a certain amount,ranging from 500-50,000.They are similar to debit cards and can be swiped at any brick-and-mortar or online store that accepts plastic.Another benefit is that you can swipe a gift card only for a partial value and use it multiple times till it is valid.

Typically,there are two kinds of gift cards in the market.A closedloop card is merchant-branded one and can only be used at a single retail store or chain,such as the ones issued by Caf Coffee Day or Fastrack.Then there is the open-loop card,which can only be issued by a bank along with a credit card company like Visa or MasterCard.These can be used across all stores.
Most gift cards are valid for a year.You can approach a store or bank directly to buy a gift card,or search for one on portals like Woohoo.in,Giftcardsindia.in,Indiaplaza.com and Infibeam.com,which will deliver it for free.Some banks also sell gift cards on their websites.

! Expiration issues

Though gifts cards can be reused,they come with a validity period.Most are valid for a year,in line with the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India for prepaid instruments.However,some gift cards may have a shorter period,such as the merchant-branded ones from Woohoo.in, which are valid for 360 days.While validity dates are stamped on most gift cards,if yours does not have one,write the expiry date behind it with a permanent marker yourself.Some gift cards also come with the condition that they have to be swiped once in a quarter.
The biggest problem is that if the card expires and still carries some money,you will not get a refund.Take the gift card offered by the State Bank of India (SBI).If the balance in the card is below 100 and it has not been used for six months or has expired,the entire balance will be forfeited and it will be closed.However,if the balance is above 100 but the card is no longer valid,the bank transfers the remaining balance (minus 100) to the cardholders bank account if you file an application within three months of expiry.

! Renewal and top-ups

To fight fraud related to prepaid cards,the RBI has issued stringent guidelines on prepaid gift instruments.So,the maximum purchase value for both merchant-branded and bank gift cards cannot exceed 50,000,with the minimum value being 500.These cards are non-reloadable and cannot be topped up.However,you can get them reissued,though there may be a fee for this.The SBI charges 50 for reissuing a gift card,while the HDFC Bank charges 100,plus taxes,for its HDFC GiftPLus card.If you are taking a gift card from a bank,you will have to complete the know your customer (KYC) procedure.This isnt required for merchant-branded ones.
The only exception to the non-reloadable clause is HDFC Banks Mudra GiftPlus Card,which can be topped up any time but can only be used to purchase gold or silver coins at HDFC Bank branches.

! Invisible charges

Bank gift cards can be used at multiple establishments,which makes them score high on convenience,but this benefit comes at a cost as several extra charges are levied.For instance,ICICI Bank levies 200,plus taxes,if you want to check the charge slip for any fraudulent transaction.If you swipe the Union Bank of Indias gift card at a restaurant,20% of your food bill will be blocked on the card to cover any possible tip.The same is true at gas stations to cover fuel surcharge.However,if there is no tip or surcharge on the final bill,the amount will be unblocked after a few weeks.So,you need to be careful while using the card towards the fag end,because if the total amount is more than the money loaded in your card,the transaction will be declined.
On the other hand,merchant-branded gift cards do not have any extra charges.The policies of such cards are governed by the retailer.If you are a frequent customer and also have the stores loyalty card,any problems that may arise will be handled smoothly by the store.This is why 70-80 % of the gift card market is merchant-branded, says Kumar Sudarshan,director of QwikCilver,a gift card solution provider to various brands.

! Specific or general

Merchant-branded gift cards can be limiting and binding since you will only be able to use them at a particular store.If you present a gift card of a certain value of a high-end store and the giftee has to pay extra to make a purchase,the thought behind your gift diminishes.Consumers tend to spend 100-400 % more than their gift cards face value while redeeming them, says Sudarshan. This is why bank cards are preferable as gifting options since these can be used across retailers as well as for online shopping.The latter also makes more sense if you aren’t sure of the store that the other person prefers.Another advantage with a bank gift card is that you will get a tele-banking PIN and an Internet banking PIN,which will allow you to check the balance on the card as well as the transaction details.


Best Birthday Gift idea For Your Boy Friend- Skyfall

The sky is falling! Are you ready? The newest James Bond movie, Skyfall, hits theatres in India this week. Going by the rumors, this movie is supposed to put all the other Bond movies to rest! Perfect release timing as well – the world celebrated the 50th anniversary the first Bond movie, Dr. No, on October 5th, the Global James Bond Day. There’s a bit of everything in Skyfall; the theft of high-end technology by terrorist agents, plenty of gunfire, thrilling escapes and international locations. And of course, Bond’s in the middle of everything as usual. Daniel Craig sizzles in this movie, moving with the speed of light as he dodges a sniper….no, we’re not giving you more than that, you’ve got to go see the movie!

So how are you going to watch Skyfall? All by yourself or with some exciting company? The latter, we hope. Make it really special – send a PVR Cinemas gift card  in advance with a note that says, “Meet me at Skyfall”. Don’t say anything about when you plan to take your friend to the movie. The PVRCinemas gift card is valid for a number of months and you can use it to buy tickets and snacks as well. If your special movie companion is a major Bond fan, how about picking up a Landmark gift card as well? Your gift recipient can pick up any number of Bond memorabilia, including books, comics, Bond movie music CDs and the entire set of Bond movies till date! How about sending your friend a Pizza Corner gift voucher  as well to let them know there’s going to be dinner after the movie!


Gift Cards For The Indian Grand Prix

Have you always been a Formula One fan? Then you must be really excited about the 2012 Indian Grand Prix that’s scheduled to take place on 28th October. This time the crowds are going to go crazy at the Buddh International Circuit, just as they did last year when the first Indian Grand Prix took place. Formula One cars reach top speeds of around 320 km/h (199 mph) on these tracks. Fans are waiting to see if the 2011 Formula One lap record of 1 minute 27.249 seconds will be broken this year. Will you be rooting for the 2011 Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel again this year?

The official sponsor of the Indian Grand Prix event is none other than the famous global sports brand, PUMA. PUMA will also be the official supplier of race wear for the team that drives the Scuderia Ferrari cars. At the 2012 Grand Prix event, fans will be sporting PUMA shoes, PUMA Formula One racing shirts, PUMA Formula One caps and much more. What can you do to make this year’s Grand Prix the best event of your life? You can buy PUMA gift cards for your friends so that all of you are kitted up in PUMA gear in time for the event. PUMA gift cards make for great gift ideas. Wear a PUMA t-shirt with Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull-Renault car number to show your support. Go ahead, wear your passion, wear PUMA, and show your support for the brave Formula One drivers who make racing history every year.


New Gift Idea- Titan e-Card

Here’s some fabulous news for all Titan watch lovers! The new Titan eCard  is an instant gratifier – you just purchase the eCard and the electronic redemption code is sent to your recipient instantly. How much simpler can it get? Now your gift recipient can shop for a fine Titan watch on the very same day that you purchase your Titan eCard. If you are looking for a birthday gift idea for your friend, you have an answer now. Make your eCard purchase, and then call up to wish immediately. Your gift eCard is probably waiting in his or her email inbox already!

Everyone loves a classy Titan watch. There are so many beautiful design options, each designed for suit specific tastes. The Titan Edge with its slim edge is the best style statement a fashion-savvy person can make. Titan Raga watches, on the other hand, are coveted pieces of jewelry, desired by every woman. The bold and Swarovski studded Titan Purple is just the right ticket for that pub event, along with funky jeans and a flashy top. Who could say no to that? So many options from Titan, each one crafted to the highest standards, using time-honored craftsmanship, quality and diligence. These are the qualities that make each Titan watch a collectible, to own and pass on to one’s offspring, and passed on as an heirloom piece down the generations. So go ahead – it takes two minutes to purchase your Titan eCard, and just a few more seconds to deliver it to your recipient’s email account. Compare that few minutes to a lifetime of joy and the mark of prestige that comes from owning a Titan watch. Two minutes of your time buys a lifetime of joy for your recipient.


Selecting the Perfect Gift for Diwali- Apple’s iPhone 5

Great news, iPhone fans! The iPhone 5 has already hit markets in the west, and is soon to be available for sale in India! We don’t have a launch date yet, but it’s certainly on its way, going by updates from Apple. The tentative date for the iPhone 5 launch in India is October 26th, just perfect for our many festivities during that time – Dussehra, Diwali, Bakr-Id. BGR India cites multiple sources while declaring October 26th as the date for Apple’s iPhone 5 launch in India. As we all know, demand for the iPhone 5 in India is high. People wait with bated breath for each new version of the iPhone; there’s heavy anticipation and much frenzied discussion on forums for months before the release!

So here you have it – the most fabulous, unique and perfect gift idea for the festive season. No one can beat this idea, because the iPhone 5 has not yet released here. Here’s your chance to surprise, or rather shock your loved ones with a gift card from a store that stocks the iPhone 5 when it arrives. You can buy the iPhone 5 via sites such as Flipkart, and stores such as Landmark, Croma, e-Zone, Planet M and many others. Why wait? You know that the iPhone 5 is on its way, so why not buy the gift cards or gift vouchers now and have them sent to the devoted iPhone fans in your circle? These gift cards have long term validity, so your loved ones can wait till the iPhone is available for sale at the store and then grab it, just in time for the Diwali festivities.



New Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones- Shoppers Stop Sale

Shoppers Stop brings you a fabulous array of women’s Indian suits and footwear from some of India’s top brands and designers in the sale of the year. This collection has been inspired by the elegance of the Taj Mahal, which has been the muse for many poets, writers and artists over time. The Taj is more than just a wondrous monument, a triumph of architecture – it is a veritable ode to a woman’s grace. The Shoppers’ Stop Taj The Poetry collection takes its inspiration from the intricate work done on the Taj. The delicate floral inlays, jail work and the towering minarets are beautifully translated into the clothes and the footwear in this iconic collection. The entire collection is designed with such eternal style that you will feel as loved and cherished as does Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj was built.

The collection comprises of fabulous ethnic salwar suits and churidars, HauteCurry, Kashish, and Stop. Well-known women’s designer footwear brands such as Pepper, Lemon, Catwalk and HauteCurry bring you fabulous footwear options. This iconic collection is available on sale at Shoppers’ Stop now; in perfect timing for Dushera, Diwali and Christmas gift ideas. What are you waiting for? Grab Shoppers’ Stop gift cards and have them sent to the women in your life. It doesn’t matter which corner of India your loved ones are – they’ll be able to find a Shoppers’ Stop outlet nearby. Surprise them with Shoppers’ Stop gift vouchers bring the grace of the Taj into their lives through this collection.


Bring Durga Home Through The World Of Titan

On Durga Pooja day, achieve a true triumph of good over evil by sending the blessed figurine of Maa Durga to your friends and family along with your gift. All you have to do is buy a gift card from Titan World for Rs. 1000 or more and have the card sent to your friends. Maa Durga will accompany your World of Titan card to your loved one’s home, bringing blessings of prosperity with her. What a wonderful way to gift your loved one a gift of unparalleled quality and excellence with the added element of divinity attached!

Titan’s trendy watches are just perfect for everyone, no matter what their individual tastes are. Titan’s incredibly slim movement makes Titan Edge watches the slimmest watches in the universe. Each watch is a marvel of technology and a true symbol of class. Titan Edge is the favored watch of corporate executives all over the world. For the women in your family, Titan Raga watches offer a seamless blend of tradition with modern looks. Titan Raga is an exquisite range of watches for that party, wedding or function for any woman. Titan Purple is bold, brazen and Swarovski studded – perfect for those who love that extra bit of attraction! Titan Nebula is made of solid gold and promises the quality of its time-honored jewelry craftsmanship. There are many other fabulous offerings from Titan, each one a great gift idea for this season. And why not, since Maa Durga will be personally accompanying your gift card this time.


Are You The Student Of The Year?

Ok people, you’re in for a rare treat this weekend. The Karan Johar directed Hindi movie, “Student of the Year” is releasing in all major theatres. “Student of the Year” has newcomers Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan in the lead roles. Alia Bhatt, apparently, is the daughter of producer Mahesh Bhatt, and sister of Pooja Bhatt. Let’s see if the family talent runs true in her too!

This movie has fresh faces and sounds like it will break all moulds. So what are you planning to do? Taking your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend to watch the movie? Or are you planning to go with a bunch of your friends? How about sending your special one a PVR Cinemas gift card to signal your intent? It’ll be such a fun experience to your friend! He or she will sit there trying to guess which movie you have in mind, and you don’t have to tell them till it’s time to buy the tickets! If you have a special grandparent or aunt or uncle, whose B’day is coming up and if he or she likes to watch Karan Johar directed movies—you can treat them to a gift card for birthday  from Landmark so that they can buy CDs of their favourite movies!


Whom are you supporting for CL T20 in South Africa?

Ahoy cricket fans! The Champions League Twenty20 (CL T20) match will be held from 9th October to 28th October in South Africa. Pool 1 comprises domestic T20 champions from England, Pakistan and New Zealand. Pool 2 comprises domestic T20 champions from the West Indies, England, and Sri Lanka. So what if India did not win the ICC World Twenty20, 2012? Forget about the ICC World Twenty 20!  Four teams from India will be playing superb cricket in South Africa to bring the CL T20 cup home. Whether you support Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils or Mumbai Indians, there is sure to be plenty of sporting action.  And it’s up to you to support in every way possible.

What can you do to support the Indian Cricket Team? Well, for one thing, you can wear the team jersies. Wear the colors of our IPL teams proudly and support them to the fullest. Also if you are into playing crickrt, buy gift cards and gift vouchers from Nike, PUMA or SportsNest for your friends and help them select the right gear. If a lucky friend has his or her birthday this week, what a fabulous gift idea it’ll be to buy gift cards from these sports brands! Lace up your white cricket shoes from Nike, and pick up jackets, caps and backpacks and play a wonderful game.  Be sure to hurry and buy your gift cards so there’s plenty of time for your friends to shop for their sports gear!