One night,while narrating bedtime tales to her six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter,Pune-based Priya Thittai realised that she had run out of stories to tell. The worried mother found a solution in personalised books during her visit to Delhi. In these books,well-known stories were modified to include her children as central characters. Now,her son is a cricket champ in a book called You are the Champ while her daughters adventures make up The Unforgettable day at the Zoo. My children love being in the stories and ever since I got these books,they have started taking an interest in reading, says Thittai. Big brands may not be passé,but customized gifts are the latest secret to make a special person feel extra special. The products range from films and board games to ties and,for those with big bucks,personalised art.
The trend,popular in the West,is slowly picking up in India. For a personalised book,visit Virtual Store in Defence Enclave,East Delhi,which specialises in creating books for children. In these books,characters like Dora and Spiderman are replaced with the childs picture,making it an exhilarating experience for the little ones. With requests pouring in from all over the world,we provide a demo of our work on http://www.iandmystory. com. A book costs around Rs 349, says Owner Rajeev Agarwal.
Another website http://www.mypersonalizedmall.com offers more than just books. They make animated films on Spiderman,in which the child stars as the webbed superhero. The children love seeing themselves doing stunts and saving lives, says owner Manoj Dalal. He hit upon this idea in the US,where personalized films are popular. Each of his films is 40-minutes-long and costs Rs 1,600. Dalals firm also customizes items like ties with pictures of individuals. Once,we received a whacky offer from somebody who wanted a tie with pictures of all his ex-girlfriends, he says.
A firm called Any Surprise,Any Place run by a 24-year-old NIFT graduate,Ruchi Chopra,offers gifts like personalised football,coasters and even an album of a babys ultrasound for a to-be mother. Operating via the website http://www.asap.co.in,they also promise to deliver merchandise to soldiers in remote areas. They also plan to launch personalised board games like Monopoly and Ludo.
Artist Sanjay Bhatacharya is well-known for his realistic portrayals of people,as well as for a portrait of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that will be displayed at the latters samadhi Veer Bhoomi. Bhatacharya is also known to wield his brush for the common man,for a hefty price,of course. I have done several portraits of non-famous people, says the artist who is now settled in the Capital. Though Bhatacharya has worked from photographs,he prefers to have sitters in his studio. The pricing depends on the size of the work; the smallest that I am willing to paint begins at 22×18 inches,which costs Rs six lakh. A life-sized portrait of 5×8 ft will cost Rs 35 lakh. If there are more elements in a composition,it takes a longer. The portrait of Arjan Singh,Marshall of the Air Force,took 25 days since I portrayed him with his medals, grins the painter,adding that he recently did a painting of a Mumbai couple.