You’ve watched all the new movies, visited the new stores and dined at fancy restaurants. If you’re starting to feel like every weekend is a replica of the previous one, here’s a fix: a bunch of new city services now let you to rent otherwise-expensive but cool games, gadgets and adventure gear, for an action-packed weekend.
So you can hop on a hover board or Segway and discover unearthed destinations around the city; form a musical band at home with interesting instruments such as the dilruba or the ukulele; or get closer to nature by camping on the lake, with a full set of equipment.
“Purchasing comes with the hassle of maintenance, storage and an obligation to use the expensive product over and over,” says Shyamax Presswalla, owner of eight-month-old rental portal Rentertainment.com, which offers a range of rental options from party games to high-end gadgets. “People can’t use innovative or high-tech devices mainly because they are unaffordable. By renting, you can access upgraded technology and complex equipment. We send across a technician to guide you with it too.”
“This trend has picked up over the past year, as more services have sprung up in the city,” says Gaurav Babel, co-founder of nine-month-old company Rentone.in.
On the websites, you can find games such as air hockey, corn hole, poker sets and Settlers of Catan — not easily available in India; drinking games such as beer pong, battleshots, drinko, poker set; and entertainment such as karaoke machines. A karaoke machine typically costs Rs 30,000 ; on rent, it’s available for as little as Rs 1,200 for a weekend.
“Many party games occupy a lot of space. People don’t end up using them often, so renting them over a weekend makes financial sense,” says Presswala. “For instance, life-size beer pong can be played outdoors, and the whole venue becomes a playboard — a football is used instead of a ping-pong ball, and instead of small red cups, giant buckets are used.”
Want to try the Kindle but think you might miss real books? Or test the Fitbit to see if it really improves your fitness? Instead of shelling out large chunks of your salary, try out the gadget for a week and then decide to buy it.
Pearl Mistry, 20, a student from Dadar, says a GoPro is convenient to rent while travelling. “You use a camera over and over, but a GoPro is specific to travelling — it makes more sense to rent,” she says.
Kshitij Hunari, 27, a wedding photographer, regularly rents photography equipment. “I have an eye for photography, but not the resources to purchase expensive equipment. I have rented a camera DSLR kit with three lenses four times this year, for Rs 5,000 per day. This is nothing compared to the cost to purchase, which can run into several lakhs.”
Where: Rentsetgo; Rentertainment.com
Cost: Prices start at Rs 900 for a Fitbit; Rs 800 for a Kindle Paperwhite
Catch the thrill
Pump the adrenaline this weekend by Segway-ing through the city or renting camping equipment for the wild outdoors.
“The hoverboard is fun once you get the hang of it. It’s difficult to find your balance at first, but once you do, the feeling is wonderful,” says Mistry. “I often rent it to take to Lonavla over long weekends.”
“Most people think of cycling as the only way to have an adventurous trip. Few people have experienced being on a Segway or hover board, because these are very costly,” says Presswalla.
The Segways and hoverboards are available at Rs 6000 per weekend, against the purchase cost that goes into lakhs. “Moreover, no one ever rents just one Segway or hover board. You typically do this in a group, and can’t always afford to buy multiple wheels,” he says.
Where: Rentertainment; Eazyleazy
Cost: Prices start at Rs 8,000 for Segway; Rs 1,900 for a hoverboard; Rs 1,000 to rent a tent for five days
Host a jam session
Most people have been there — wanted to play the guitar or drums, but unsure of whether the hobby would last. You can not only rent these instruments to try out, but also find rare Indian instruments such as the israj, khanjari, dilruba, khamak, rabab and Ran Singha. The list also includes bagpipes and the ukulele.
For instance, aspiring music producer Himonshu Parikh, 26, wanted to add a touch of innovation to his music. “I decided to use a Shehnai in the track, but didn’t want to buy one. By renting it, I could experiment in my own space and return it without having it lying around as a liability,” he says.
“By renting instruments, you can have unobstructed jam sessions without thinking about monetary implications. Many people just want to try out different kinds of instruments before making a purchase,” says Dhani from RentSetGo.
Where: RentSetGo.in; Rentone.in
Cost: Prices start at Rs 300 for a day
Throw a party
Parul Kakad, 33, an event planner from Chembur, organised a Women’s Day event last year with a life-sized Jenga set and a beer pong table. “No one had experienced such games before. Renting made it possible for us to enjoy the games in our own personal space, rather than at over-crowded gaming stations,” she says. Kakad, who rented the games through Rentertainment, also leased out a GoPro camera from them, a gadget she eventually purchased.
The karaoke machine is a popular party item available for rent.
“Usually, if you want to sing along with a Karaoke machine, you have to find a bar around me that’s hosting a Karaoke night,” says Mehryar Tata, co-founder of nine-month-old rental company Eazyleazy.com. “At a price of two movie tickets, you can rent a karaoke set-up for a whole weekend,” he says.
Where: Rentertainment, Eazyleazy.com
Cost: A pack of four board games including starts at Rs 850; Giant beer pong: Rs 1,200 for a karaoke set