Kalanikethan Wedding Mall's brochure reads, and I quote: "Wedding is a once-in-lifetime event in one's life. Many ideas, imaginations, memories make it a sweet happening. But the preparations for this unique event are so tedious, that they leave one and all fatigued... Kalanikethan, the new silky sensation, has been providing a wholesome shopping delight... Once you step in Kalanikethan Wedding Mall, a you don't have to go anywhere else. All the bride and the bridegroom have to do is 'to be there'. This unique mall provides all-in-one services and products required for a hassle-free wedding..."
Now that you have, hopefully, stopped guffawing at the atrocious copy, replete with typos et al, you can concentrate on and fully appreciate the fact that Hyderabad's, er, "new silky sensation" (what on God's sweet Earth does THAT mean?) really does "strive hard to makes (its) customer's life easy".
As you browse through this 4-storied, one-stop shop for all things wedding, you know they take their USP very seriously. Like its Hyderabadi competition (Meena Bazaar
among others), Kalanikethan stocks yards and yards of traditional clothing for women (saris, salwar kameezes, dress material) in a plethora of fabrics - buttery crepes, flowy georgette, stiff raw silks, crisp chanderis, heavyweight brocades and what-have-you - either plain or embellished (on the first and second floors).
It also sells blindingly sequined bridal ghagra-cholis (on the second floor) a smaller stock of men's Indian traditional and formal wear - designer kurta-pyjama sets, sherwanis - exquisitely stitched and finished (also on the second floor), and baby and kiddie garb (on the third floor), both casual and ethnic. The in-house tailor also creates garments for women. The men, unfortunately, must suffer discrimination - Kalanikethan only alters men's clothing.
This umbrella mall further sells the other 'usuals' - jewelry (gold, diamond, pearls and artificial), silverware, lingerie, footwear, hand bags, accessories, watches, footwear - phew - and even odds and ends like breath mints and deodorants. For the bridegroom with stale breath and the bride with stinking armpits. The sheer genius.
What truly sets Kalanikethan apart from the Meena Bazaars of this city, and as the unintentionally funny brochure claims, the rest of South-India (apart from its mammoth and obscenely ostentatious chandeliers) are its "Navratnalu", a whole range of wedding-related services offered by the shop through its event manager, Vasu Varala.
Varala, in a nutshell, takes care of the all the aforementioned fatigues associated with weddings; he will book purohits, conceptualise and order invitation cards, hire food caterers, even create a honeymoon package - all for a minimum of Rs. 5 lakh, maximum Rs. 50 lakh. No, you read right.
And while we are on the subject of fat fees, Kalanikethan Wedding Mall's price tags are as hefty as the competition's. That's because money grows on trees. Then we pluck off the ripe greens (and blues, purples et al) and head to the nearest shop to splurge on wedding attire, and event managers. Of course we do.
Anyhow, while Kalanikethan's salesmen claim that they sell saris for as small a sum as Rs. 200, I did not come across a single sari priced Rs. 200, although I did search fervently. The other end of that price range is Rs. 1 lakh, interestingly also the price of seemingly plain but rather rare black pearl necklace on sale. "This necklace is made using South Sea pearls, which are very precious because they are rare," informs the well-informed salesman, quite cultured himself.
To conclude, this agarbatti-fumed mall, like other upmarket stores sharing the same profile, caters somewhat to the middle class, but mostly to the Uber class. Wander in at your own peril.
Vasu Varala, Event Manager, can be contacted on 9948663336.