Soma – For Exclusive Ethnic Stuff

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What you see – After descending the Begumpet flyover, enter the first lane on your right. Nestled at the end of this small lane, Soma is the only store among a bunch of houses here. In fact, this place was also someone's lodging till about three years back (2003), when it got replaced with this store.

As we entered the gate, a watchman sprung from his seat to show us the way inside. And once indoors, the hundreds of wares, in this neatly done up air-conditioned store left us quite impressed. There is a Jaipuri aura, if you will, that the products here exude – be it in the traditional jootis or the massive range of quilts. It therefore, did not come as a surprise when the store manager told us that they source the products from Jaipur (they have their head office there too).

What you get – This is an all-ethnic store and hand block prints are its specialty. Many of the motifs here seem to have been inspired by nature – flowers, leaves, birds, seashells and the like. As for their product range, it includes home furnishings, crafts, clothing as well as accessories.

It's the accessory section you first encounter here and believe us, their collection of attractive hand bags in brocade (Rs. 800-1,100) could sway you to purchase them. They even have exclusive jewelry pouches (Rs. 248) with separate sections to store your chains, earrings, rings and the like. Then there are luxury hand paper books (Rs. 400), authentic leather jootis as well as slip-ons.

The clothing neatly arranged in the white racks includes kaftans, kimonos and bathrobes. Then there are jackets, scarves, stoles and sarees in cotton, chiffon (2,200) and Maheshwari silk (which is a combo of cotton and silk). You can also get crushed long skirts, cholis (blouses) that can be paired with sarees / skirts and lots of nice kurtas with mix and match options.

The kurtas over here come in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large sizes. Prints may differ for varied sizes though. So if you like a certain kurta but it is not in your size you may have to get it altered elsewhere. Soma does not take up alteration services. An interesting product here is the Soma Rider which is a combination of trousers and churidaar . These look quite trendy and are priced at Rs. 354. Kids from new-borns to six-year-olds also have some good cotton clothes to choose from here. Apart from that, do check out the charming hats (200-250) and the puny bags that they have for the tiny tots.

Furnishings are another specialty of Soma. They stock up on the entire range of bedroom, living room, dining and kitchen furnishings. Some of the interesting things here include valance for curtains, tea cozies and table cloths (that can even fit 14-seater ones). They also have deck chairs (Rs. 2,500).

Our verdict – Soma has an impressive collection with a lot of variety to choose from; whether it is with respect to the kurtas , the Soma Rider or the home furnishings. The customer support staff enterprises three people who have sufficient product knowledge. Parking is not a problem here.