Rina Dhaka Sharma and Ajay Sharma
Fashion designer and CEO of Spark
For her: A bouquet of orchids, Rs800-2,000
Rina is not really into jewellery. In fact, she has a habit of losing her jewellery. I’ve gifted her bags before, but usually because I know she wants them. Frankly, we’ve never given each other Valentine’s Day gifts, so I would probably go for something simple, like a bouquet of fresh flowers. She loves flowers, so I’d get some beautiful orchids for her.
She says: I love flowers. I’d be happier with simpler gifts. I’m not so fond of the obvious gift. I went through phases of obsessive materialism and realized there was no point to it. I really hope he does get me some.
For him: A seven-day training course in ayurvedic massage at the Kerala Ayurvedic Health Care Centre, Kalkaji, New Delhi, about Rs10,000
I would love to learn the art of ayurvedic massage. Ajay loves it when I rub his back. It’s basically a 24-hour requirement with him. So this gift is something that he could put to permanent use. There is no better gift I could give him.
He says: It’s a fantastic idea. She wakes me up every morning with a back rub anyway. Otherwise, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. It’s great if she wants to do it even better.
Sabina and AD Singh
Fashion designer and restaurateur
For him: Osim Noro Melody Massage Chair, Rs1.15 lakh
A.D. is a massage fiend. He has the numbers of massagewallas on speed dial and regularly hits the spa for a massage. My gift to him would be Osim’s massage chair, the one which gives an all-over massage—the legs, feet, back and the lumbar region.
Actually, he’s been longing for one for a while but the chair is quite a big, black monstrosity which takes up a lot of space, so I’ve been stopping him from getting it. But I think Valentine’s Day is more than just gifting, it’s about making the other person happy. I think it would be a great present for him. Maybe we’d try to put it in our bedroom.
He says: Oh I’m glad she’s finally agreed. I’ve been wanting it for a while; I’d love to get a massage a day and it will be great when the chair comes. It is a bit bulky and not attractive, so Sabina’s been unsure about where to put it. But I think it should be on one of our balconies, where we can get a massage while watching the sea.
For her: A pair of dangling earrings from Jewels by Queenie, about Rs2 lakh
I thought of this present because Sabina absolutely loves earrings. A while ago, Queenie Dhody had an exhibition of her jewellery at Olive, and I remember Sabina going crazy over a particular pair of earrings. In retrospect, it has turned out to be quite an expensive exhibition for me. I don’t remember what they looked like because I’m a man, so I don’t think I’d try to pick out a pair myself. I would rather surprise her by taking her there and letting her choose. But I know she would love them.
She says: Diamonds are definitely a girl’s best friend. I love earrings, and have quite a few pairs, but I think one never has enough jewellery, so it would be a lovely gift. I would prefer if it was done in collusion with me because A.D.’s tastes and mine are a bit different, so it’s nice that he’d like to take me along to pick them out.
Suchitra Pillai and Lars Kjeldsen
Actor and environmental engineer
For him: Apple’s iPhone, $399 (about Rs16,000)
We’re quite a tech-crazy family, so my gift to Lars would be an iPhone. He’s a Mac user, so it would be very convenient for him to get used to the phone. Since the birth of our daughter, Annika, we’re trying to spend more time together. So he could use the phone to check his email while holding the baby and he’d spend more time with us if he didn’t have to sit in front of a computer screen.
He says: I would be quite happy with a gift like this. It’s not officially available in the market, but I guess Suchitra will ask a friend to bring one from abroad. It would be an extension to my Mac, which I can’t live without. To take the iPhone everywhere instead of the Mac would definitely make my life much easier. I’d first upload a photo of Suchitra and Annika.
For her: Sony’s high-definition Handycam HDR-HC5, Rs69,990
I’d like to get Suchitra a high-definition video camera. She’s a big photograph and video person and right now, we’ve borrowed a friend’s camera. We have a new baby so we’re always taking pictures of her, so this would be a very useful and fun present. And high definition is going to be the new buzzword, all electronic systems including TVs will be converted to this format soon. This will let us take incredibly lifelike photos and videos, and when she’s grown up, we’ll watch it and it will be like living it all over again.
She says:It would be a very pleasant surprise and a gift that I’ve wanted for a while. The high-definition format makes the most sense because we were planning on buying a DVD player that supports it. The first thing I shoot with the camera will be Lars and the baby.
Pashmina and Rohit Barker
Model and DJ
For him:Calvin Klein aviators, Rs7,050
This is one of the gifts I am going to pick up for Rohit. The rest are too personal to reveal. He’s been looking for a pair of aviators for a while now, and the shape and look suits him brilliantly. I think gifting is not just left for special days such as Valentine’s Day, but all through the year.
He says:I used to own a pair of aviators which I loved so much, they actually wore out. I must admit I looked rather dashing in them. Glad she did the hard work and found the perfect pair.
For her: Scuba-diving mask, Rs2,100 and a trip for two to Malaysia and Muscat, about Rs2 lakh
I have gone scuba-diving several times, but never with Pashmina. I can’t wait for her to see the world down there and I know she will be overwhelmed by the colours and sights of the sea.
The diving mask is a simple thing to pick up from Hatrick Sports at Church Street in Bangalore. I plan to put the tickets inside the mask and give it to her. As for the rest of the equipment, we are sure to get some good stuff for hire in Malaysia.
She says: I have always wanted to go diving, and have heard so much about Muscat and Malaysia as great places to visit. I’ve been listening to Rohit describe his diving experiences with great fascination. This time, I guess I get to be part of the real thing.
Netra Srikanth and Raghava KK
Musician/art promoter and artist
For him: Time Capsule from Apple, Rs17,680
I plan on getting Raghava the Time Capsule. It’s a new, 1 terabyte hard disk from Apple. It has the capacity to automatically backup several computers at once every hour, so there’s no need to do it manually. This is a perfect gift for Raghava because he loves new gadgets and he’s been wanting to create a wireless database that’s accessible to all the computers in the house. His old hard disk crashed recently and he lost a lot of extremely important data. He was really upset and hasn’t had the heart to buy another hard disk after that.
He says:I didn’t know that Apple had come out with this new hard disk, but I definitely think it’s a perfect gift for me. I’m not the kind of guy who appreciates clothing or expensive dinners, I’d much rather get something that has a practical application.
For her: 53-book collection of the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie, about Rs30,000
I plan to get her the entire series of Christie books, both the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple collections. She’s always been a reader, and it’s perfect as she loves collecting series of books. I used to enjoy reading Agatha Christie books as a child and would love to introduce her to what was a part of my childhood.
She says: I think this is a fabulous gift. I’ve been collecting books since I was a child and I love to have an entire series by a specific author. I’ve really enjoyed the few Agatha Christie books I’ve read because they’re light reads, but still well-written. I love mysteries, and these really keep me guessing. I always suspect the wrong person, right till the end. I’m really happy to have these series to add to my collection but I just hope Raghava’s planned a few more bookshelves for the house, because I’m already running out of space.
Reena and Jitish Kallat
For him: Lounge chair by Kenneth Cobonpue from Pallate, Rs89,600
Jitish has had a marathon working spree for the past few months, with a lot of shows and exhibitions. He keeps saying that he’s going to slow down after this one, but it hasn’t happened yet. I want to gift him the chair because I’d like to see him pause, unwind and have some time for himself.
I’ve recently vacated a room in our apartment that I was using as a studio and we plan to turn it into a multi-purpose room and study. I think we will put the chair there. He can sit there and look through books and do the other things that he keeps saying he wants to catch up on.
He says: Reena, like everyone else in the family, thinks I am a workaholic and I admit it. This armchair idea of hers is a way to try to get me to slow down, but I don’t think it will do the trick, because I’ll take a pile of books with me to the chair. I won’t be able to just sit and relax.
For her: A pair of Nike Air Relentless running shoes, Rs5,200
This gift is at worst a bribe and at best a request. We used to run together sometimes and really enjoyed it. Reena jogs very infrequently now, but I’m more regular. I’m seeking a jogging partner again and I thought maybe a new pair of shoes would do the trick. We really love running together, so I hope she can make time for it again.
She says: With my work schedule, I’m exhausted by the end of the day. And the evenings are reserved to spend time with our son. But I would love to make time sometimes for a run; we really used to enjoy our runs at Jogger’s Park.
Melissa A. Bell contributed to this story.