Gone are the days when receiving an invitation in Goa meant a trip to Mapusa or Panjim to pick out a gift. Folks would head to a few trusted gift stores in the city – the same old places every single time – to pick out a crockery set for those tying the knot, a photo frame for a house-warming party, tiny clothes or a blanket for a new baby, something religious for kids receiving communion and would scratch their head in bewilderment and wonder what on earth to gift someone who was celebrating a 60th, 75th or 80th birthday!
Until a few years ago, a trip to the gift shop meant you’d definitely bump into someone you knew – so scarce were gift stores in Goa. And after the party decorations were taken down, these boring presents would be kept away and “re-gifted” to someone else in shiny new wrapping paper. While the rest of the country moved along with online gift-shopping and gift-cards, I’m a little glad that Goa still buys them the traditional way – the thought and effort counts, doesn’t it?
While gift shops in Goa are still a rare sight, here are some trendy places to buy gifts in Goa, no matter what the occasion:
Fashion Labels The Weird and Wonderful – Located in Arpora, Fashion labels is a darling little boutique that features more than just apparel. For those looking for classy home décor items, furnishings and gorgeous accessories at affordable prices, here’s where you’ll find pretty one-of-a-kind pieces! Visit and have a chat with the owner, Jyoti Saxena, who will offer expert opinions and insight on the latest trends in interior décor and furnishings. You will find aesthetically beautiful items from all parts of the country such as printed fabrics from North East India for table runners and cushions, exclusive leather duffel bags, vintage boxes and more.Definitely something available for every taste, age and occasion.
Mario Miranda Gallery – One of the most famous sons of the soil, Mario Miranda is a legendary cartoonist whose gallery has TONS of items featuring his signature quirky illustrations that depict life in Goa! From lamps to key chains, fridge magnets to handbags, paintings, apparel, ceramic tiles, butter dishes, thali bowls, books, salt and pepper shakers… the options are aplenty. Each item is a beautiful reflection of Goa’s personality and you can bet that no one will want to part with a curio designed by this iconic man. The nostalgia on seeing cats sitting around a fisher woman, men raising their glasses at the local tavern and voluptuous women fighting for space in public transport – all induce a humorous kind of nostalgia!
Drop in to a store in Porvorim, Panjim, Carmona, Margao or Calangute.
While you can visit the Anjuna Flea Market, Tibetan Market and Saturday Night Market, you may or may not find good quality items that are worth the price, especially if your haggling skills aren’t polished. The above two are safe options and are much more presentable for a formal occasion.