One Stop Gifting Solution –

A couple of years back, my sister and I had decided to celebrate Mom’s birthday with lots of gifts and surprises. One thing we had planned was to send her a bouquet. I tried searching for shops online since we wanted to get it delivered to her office which was in another district. But no luck. Recently I came across a gifting portal and I was blown!

Indian Gift Portal or is one of India’s largest online gifts store specializing in gifts for all ages and occasions. They specialize in categories such as flowers, Cakes, chocolates, personalized products, festival merchandise, kids products, home & living and fashion. The best part about the site is their hampers section. You can gift a set of related products to a loved one with absolutely no hassle! You can see how the gift discovery platform works here –


My Experience with

I believe in gifting something useful to people. So, when I decided to gift something to my Mom for no reason, I was skeptical about giving her bouquets or chocolates. I went into the depths of this portal and found this black sling bag at a reasonable price. There were no second thoughts. Our entire family loves black and something that looks this gorgeous could never be disliked.


They were very prompt in delivering the gifts and opening the package was pure bliss! For a second, I considered keeping the bag but alas! I will be using it anyway. So it really didn’t matter. 😛


Why choose

  1. International Shipping! Now if your better half is away from you, you can surprise him/her on special days. IGP ships orders to 150+ countries (including USA, UK, Australia, Canada etc) in addition to 7,000+ pin codes in India. 🙂
  2. If you are really bad at choosing gifts and you know that, most of IGP’s gift ideas are really thoughtful. Especially the hampers. You just have to click, click, click, pay and click!
  3. There are a lot of hampers and some classy gifts of perfumes and ties for men. Gifting men is not so difficult as you thought it was.Capture6.JPG
  4. They have personalised gifts where they will type the recipients name on the gifts. I thought that was very nice specially with these jornals and diaries. Being a writer and a diary lover, this would be a very thoughtful gift for me. (Ahem 😉 )
  5. Their site categorized gifts in umpteen ways. As you can see below, it categorizes recipient wise, product-wise, occasion-wise, age-wise, personality-wise and so on. For instance, in the category women, they have sub categories like girlfriend, wife, friend, sister, mother, daughter, colleague, boss, teacher, neighbour, aunt and niece. An in depth sub-categorization right?Capture.JPG

While there are plenty of e-commerce sites, a portal solely for gifting is really a boon during emergencies. If your girlfriend is upset or if you forgot to get her a Valentine’s Day gift, you could simply order a readymade hamper during the last moment. Because IGP has same-day delivery in some cities too! So where will your Holi online shopping be from? 😉 😀

All the images without the watermark are from the site of A Few Handpicked Things do not take credits for them.

The Years Changed, Nothing in Between


As I walked into my room for the first time, she was sitting on a cot. I kept my luggages and looked at her uncertainly.

‘Hi’, she said.

‘Hi’, I answered.

In a few days’ time, we became cot mates. In out hostel, we had a cot for two and we took turns sleeping on the cot and on the floor.

Both of us were Bcom first years, both of us were in the music & bhajans group. We had so much in common except, she was silent & I wasn’t. College unleashed the prankster in me. The real me was out there running about to everyone’s surprise. I have no idea how or why I suddenly became myself. Maybe because, there were so many lovely people who were willing to accept my quirky side. She was one among them.

2nd & final year took us through many ebbs & flows and to our surprise, the room shuffling did not affect us. We both. Just the two of us were in the same room all 3 years while the rest changed. It rarely happens. Most of the students have stayed together for only 2 years.

I found her changing with time. She had her naughty side. She wasn’t silent as we had all thought and before we knew, she was cackling away with us. I’d like to know that I brought out her naughty side. But I’d never know.

In our final year, we were THE seniors and as always, our room was the happiest, noisiest and the most happening room for the punishments.

We used to discuss about how she would visit Kerala and how beautiful the place is. Towards the end of every year, I used to force her to come to Kochi. She would agree and never come.

We used to bunk certain sessions and prepare Haldiram’s bhel puri & eat during that time. We used to switch off the lights and prepare the food using torchlight to avoid being caught by the warden.

We had a “Pichakkari Rock Band” where we used to hold dust pan, broom (our guitar and mic) and sing some really weird songs we composed and dance on the cot. Don’t ask me what pichakkari means.

We used to enact how exactly I will be meeting the love of my life. God! We used to look stupid. To satiate your curiosity, I was supposed to meet him in a temple. There was a song sequence after that.

We found two kittens in our hostel. She took one and I took one. She named hers Poona & I named mine Poocha. They mean cat in Tamil & Malayalam respectively. We used to walk around the hostel with the kittens in our hands.

We used to sit on the floor and pretend to be carnatic singers giving a concert. We used to spread Vibhuthi (Sacred ashes) on our foreheads – three horizontal lines like the sages – fold a towel and place it on our right shoulder like the ideal carnatic singers and then commence with, “ek… ek… chathuranaar, karke singaar”. There used to be unnecessary emphasis on the ‘R’s. I wonder how our seniors bore us.

Image courtesy:

We also had our own Bhajan sessions where we sang ‘Kambaqt ishq’ as a bhajan. Don’t try to imagine anything. It really did sound like a bhajan though. We had this huge hardbound notebook that we used like a harmonium and another one that we used like Ganjira and some more crazy friends who pretended to sing after us.

She was my partner in crime and craziness. She had a soft toy dog named Rocky. She was very very very fond of him. She used to hold him close and sing,’O Rocky re… tere bina bhi kya jeena.’ 😀

After all those lovely days we parted our ways. Soon after college she got married, and once when I called her up, she told me in that very same childish tone of hers, “Ranju, I’m going to have a baby.” She said so like a baby and I’m sure no one could ever put it so sweetly. I was so happy for her and wondered how she would look after her baby when she herself was one.

100 Happy Days – Day 73

Happiness is meeting up with a long time friend

She never came to Cochin. But I used to know about her daughter from her. A doll, she was. Finally, fed up of calling her, I visited her. When I reached Bangalore, that was the first thing in my mind. I went to her house, met her husband, a very amiable person and her daughter, she is one angel like her mother. 🙂

She cooked lunch and I had hot and yummy Aloo Parathas and since it was Thiruvathira, she had also made Puzhukku which was also very delicious. Her daughter Oviya (a beautiful name meaning art) wasn’t very drawn to food and her mother took around 2 hours to feed her. My doubts had vanished by then. You don’t have to grow up to look after a baby. It was all the more better if you were a child.

She hadn’t changed at all with respect to looks and behaviour. She was the very same person I said goodbye to in our campus on the last day. I asked her about Rocky and she said that, in college, she had gotten Rocky married to our roommate’s doggy and send him with her. I do not remember that at all. Hope they are living happily with their puppies. 😀

She showed me her engagement album and also the birthday cards we had given to her during college. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had painted them and I don’t remember how. I wouldn’t be able to do something like that now.

Shameless boasting: I painted and drew most of them with my roommates’ help 🙂

We spoke about college, life after college, about Ovi; the child liked Ranju aunty a lot! When she realised that I was about to leave, she kept saying, ‘Stay here. Stay here.’ She made me sit down and refused to let me get up. When I finally walked out, she held my hand and said bye to Mamma & Pappa. 😀 We told her that I was going to the doctor and that I will be back soon. That was when she let me go.

As we parted, she also gave me a gift. It was so very unexpected and over-whelming. It was a beautiful dress material she had purchased. She asked me to choose from two and I was confused since both looked beautiful. I asked her to choose and she did. Every time I look at it, I remember those three years and that day in her house, not that I need a token to remember them all.

The Game of Monopoly

100 Happy Days – Day 70

I remember I had the game of ‘Business’ when I was a child. But the money were in coins. With time, we lost the coins and all I had was the board which was split in the middle.

Our aunt came visiting and guess what she gifted my sister?


The Monopoly! With the note version of the money. I have always wanted that. We cousins and aunt played this for hours together and as you know, the game just prolonged and we had to stop.

From now on, here is an addition to our indoor games list. ❤

I Can’t Keep Calm Because It Was My Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to meeee…
Happy Birthday to meeee…
Happy Birthday to meee meee…
Happy Birthday to meee 🙂

It all began with the wishes at midnight. After which I finally slept, though with difficulty. There were so many thoughts passing through my mind – my previous birthdays, the surprises I got, how the next day will be, how sweet of my friends to wait until 12 AM and call etc. And the most prime thought was, ‘Yayy! It’s my Birthdayy!’ 😛

When I woke up, mom wished me with a cup of coffee, followed by the others. My baby sister gifted me a pair of earrings. And guess what!? It was made by her friend. 2 months back she gave the order, chose a color combo I would like and arranged it. Isn’t that sweet? Oh, I loved it! 😀

Here are the snaps :)
Here are the snaps 🙂

Dad gave me some cash & asked me to buy whatever I wanted.

My Anne Cherian Thomas 😉 did call me as usual. Yes, she is my bestie. No, there aren’t any midnight calls during birthdays between us. It was there during the initial years of our friendship. But later, it was alright without them.

Later I went to a Shiva temple nearby. Mr. Shiva looked majestic. The face made of Gold just emblazoned the Shiv-linga. It shone all the more bright and austere with all the lamps. I stood there drinking in the beauty, spoke to Mr. Shiva for a while & got back home.

Now comes the dull part of the day. Firstly, I felt sleepy because I slept late and got up early, on top of that, I had my Financial Reporting questions spread before me. For the next few hours I scratched my head, stared at the walls & doodled on my book wondering why on earth those stupid companies had to amalgamate. :O Even if they had to, why couldn’t they just add all the items in both the companies’ Balance Sheet together and form another company? Why complicate life? :O

Sorry dear non-commercialites. I got a bit carried off there. But still, I don’t get it. Why?

Then came the lunch time. My chweet Ammamma (Grandmother) had prepared many dishes to celebrate this angel’s day *blush*. She made rice, parippu, sambhar, potato curry, pachadi and pappadam. To start with something sweet, she put some sugar in my mouth. And then I had that sumptuous feast. But she was upset because she couldn’t make payasam. 😦
I know, right? She is so adorable you have no idea. The entire day went by with her telling how upset she was about the payasam not being there. *Choo cute!!!*

Courtesy: Google Images


Meanwhile, more calls, more texts, more whatsapp messages and facebook posts poured in. Oh! And I couldn’t attend few calls because of this & that. Sorry folks! I felt bad when I saw your missed calls. But the wishes have been accepted. Thank you. 🙂

Evening came & I had my music class. The rains, the cold & my birthday were all screaming at me not to go. But I pulled my raincoat over, rode my lavy, crossed all the puddles and went for the class. I was back by 8PM and after some loitering around, settled to study when the door bell rang.

I opened the door. But no one was to be seen. I took a step forward and people just sprang at me from both sides ‘Happy Birthdayyyyy!!!’. I first jumped, then stood there open-mouthed & gaping when my sister came with an all knowing smile.

Ashwin, Godwin & Blissen came in, unpacked the cake and placed it on the table. It took me some time to register what was happening. Slowly I came to my senses while they gifted me a bottle of wine. This was followed by a Bournville sent by another friend Varna. Both have a backstory.

The wine: I had mentioned a month back that I badly wanted wine. Earlier, we used to have it for Christmas. But it has been quiet sometime since I had. So a craving had begun for the same. I said it, forgot about it & here it was; my birthday gift. 🙂

The wine :)
The wine 🙂

Bournville: I love Chocolates. Like crazy! Most of my friends know that. My favorites are Dairy milk fruit & Nut and Bournville (Also any other dark chocolate). Just before I left office, many of my friends either lost a bet with me, or they had to give me a treat. Every time, I insisted on a Bournville. So, sure enough she knows I like dark chocolates.

After the gifts session, as usual, pulling each others’ legs went on. Should I mention that I was the scapegoat most of the time? I’ll skip that part 😛
Apparently, those guys were really hungry and there was nothing at home to eat. I made some delicious tea (Oh yes! They said they liked it.) and tried to keep them entertained. Soon, all sang the birthday song & clicked some snaps while I cut my cake. I hurriedly gave them some cake to appease their hunger a bit.

My Birthday Cake :)
My Birthday Cake 🙂

Meanwhile Amma swished her wand, converted the lunch’s potato curry into masala (Guess they didn’t know that). You should have seen those faces when I announced they will be having Masala Dosa. I swear I saw someone punch the air & say a triumphant ‘Yes!’ 😀 They relished the food while repeatedly saying that the sambhar was awesome & the Dosa was superb.

From somewhere my sister appeared and smeared some icing on my face. And I was like :O.

After a few more sessions of pulling legs (mine!) and some laughters and chit-chats, they left.

When I checked my phone, I had a voice message waiting. My friend Sharu and her parents (Yes, her parents :D) sang the birthday song for me and wished me!!! 😀 Isn’t that lovely?

That was one of my special days folks. Whether it is typing that message, ringing me up and telling me how much I mean to you, appearing out of the blue and ringing the doorbell, recording a birthday wish with the entire family, singing the birthday song while handing me the coffee, ringing me up at 11.30 PM with an intention to talk until 12 AM and be the first one to wish me, cooking my favorite dishes or getting a custom-made gift for me. Love you all for this love. 🙂 :*


20140823_150645Once again, Happy Birthday to me. 😛 Love myself too for this love! 😀

PS: Next time you’re planning to come home unannounced, let me warn you in advance. All the snack items here, finish in a jiffy. So ensure that you’re sufficiently loaded. 😛