Now, gift someone a chance to play detective or shoot a gun

Did you know that it’s possible to gift someone a rifle shooting experience or a chance to investigate a mock crime scene right here in Mumbai ? Here’s how

When you want to be different, flowers, cakes, dinner sets, candle light dinners and chocolates are passé. The new-age fix is to gift an experience that becomes a memory someone can cherish. Launched about a year and a half ago, Experience Boxes specialises in handpicking and co-ordinating experiences in and around Mumbai.

“People are always looking out for new stuff to do on weekends instead of the usual dinners and movies. We keep ourselves updated as to what’s happening around town so that our website always has new stuff,” says Jayantika Jatia, who started the website in May 2014, and since then has been adding new experiences to it.

Playing detective
Playing detective

“I studied in Manchester. Gifting experiences is a popular concept there. That’s where I got the idea. I was handling e-commerce for my family business, which is exporting tea. I decided to merge that skill with the idea of gifting experiences, and started the website. I decided to stick to experiences in Mumbai because I’m based here,” says the 29-year-old entrepreneur.

You can choose from experiences like pistol shooting, sailing, pottery making, vineyard tours, a jetovator ride or an experience where you play detective and investigate a crime scene.

“We have had clients from 25 to 60 years. While the younger lot picks treks and helicopter rides, older folks pick the royal shave or a personalised spa service at their doorstep or a personal shopper experience for two. Not many opt for the personalised dinner service since that is held at a plush sobo five star and gets expensive. The pistol shooting, however, has been our most popular and hot-selling product. We were surprised at how many older people too signed up for this,” says Jatia. Here are some of their cool picks.

Night bicycle ride
Night bicycle ride

Shoot it right
“As of now, the pistol shooting service is available only with us. We approached a national-level shooter to hold training sessions for our guests,” says Jatia. One of the lesser-pursued sports in India, pistol shooting is a calm yet competitive sport, involving tests of proficiency such as accuracy and speed. The Olympic sport is performed indoors in an air-conditioned shooting range with world-class imported equipment.

Jetovator ride
Jetovator ride

The Olympic level air pistols ensure that participants learn the skill of sharp shooting. Along with the adrenaline rush, shooting de-stresses the shooter. It also enhances your strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination and motor skills. In the hour-long session, the participants will be introduced to the sport and briefed about the correct handling of the equipment by the instructors. This will be followed by the theory and a demo of aiming and shooting. Once participants are ready, they will be given the chance to shoot and test their skills. All necessary equipments (pistol, pellets, targets) will be provided to participants. The sessions costing R1,499 are usually held in Malad or Worli.

A royal shave
A royal shave

Playing Sherlock
The crime scene experience is designed to offer a glimpse into world of forensic science. “We have tied up with a forensic expert, who sets up the experience in your home and guides you through it. You can also find these packs online but they are difficult to set up on your own. There are different set-ups for children and adults,” says Jatia. The instructor will set up the crime scene in a closed room at your home and invite you in. You’ll be given lab coats, gloves and other gear before you enter the crime scene. One can begin by making notes and collecting evidence.

The instructor will familiarise you with the basics of Forensic Science, like how to prevent contamination of the evidence and the crime scene, lift fingerprints from objects and send them for analysis. Bag anything you find suspicious and submit it for testing. With the help of slides, you will also be introduced to different types of tests and analysis you can run and the equipment required.

Pistol shooting
Pistol shooting

While we wait for the lab results, you can pore through the list of suspects, their financial forensics, telephone records and statements. After you get the reports, you can continue your investigation. This will help you in narrowing down your suspects. You will then present your final report to the instructor who will reveal the perpetrator. A minimum booking of four people is required for the two-hour long experience that costs Rs 850.

Take a Jetovator ride
Flying from the water pressure of a jet ski is an experience quite different from anything you’ve tried. A professional instructor at Lakeshore Watersports, Lavasa, will teach you to fly step by step. Post a 10-minute theory session, you can experience 20 minutes of flying. Participants have to be above 18 years and must know how to swim. The experience will cost you Rs 4,000.

What’s next
“We are looking at adding a few art related experiences including therapy as well as more personalised dining experiences,” shares Jatia.

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