So this time what is it I am cribbing about, you ask?
Greeting Cards! No, I don’t mean the animated, loud, fancy flash files from 123greetings.com or ecards.com. I am talking about the paper cards from Archies, Hallmarks and the likes – Rings a bell somewhere?
Since I fortunately still remember the life before the Internet boom, I feel nostalgic (did I hear someone sneer and ask what I don’t feel nostalgic about? Well, please make an allowance for this one!) - Whenever I skim through the stock of Birthday, Get well soon, All the best, Farewell, New Year, Diwali and Christmas cards I have received and collected over the years. A huge pile remains treasured at home in Delhi, and I am on my way to a decent pile here in Chennai as well.
Given the convenience, flexibility, options, ease, reachability, surety, eco-friendliness and all the attributes one might attach to the e-cards, I’d still prefer giving and receiving a “real” card any day.
Ofcourse, this does not mean I give and receive only paper cards – As most I am also warped in my asphyxiating labyrinth that is more commonly known as life, remembering birthdays and anniversaries only when the reminder beeps on my cell phone or pops up on my FB/Orkut/Outlook calendar, remembering festivals and occasions only when the stores announce their sale, and remembering special days only when newspapers report pink chaddi campaigns and shiv sena boycotts!
Where is the time to go to a Greetings/Gift shop atleast 15 days before the d day (the joke is that I do not know of a single card shop near my area in Chennai, that’s another matter I don’t know much in Chennai anyways), exert excruciating pains to skim through the wordings of all the ranges and types available and select the most apt one, find a stamp (do they still exist?), write down the address (Oh c’mon, be honest, how many of us know our friends and relatives postal addresses – emails and usernames rule!), locate a post box/post office and finally pray for the post man to reach your card before the due date!
The only saving grace is that, atleast in India, we still do the weeding invites the traditional way!
... And I still get my fair share of the good ol’ cards - My parents, bro and Vish always make it a point to present to me actual paper cards at every occasion without fail! It makes me feel really special as it’s still touch, feel and display for me.
Not to say I do not cherish the sentiments of the e-card senders, which by the way is also getting substituted by cryptic SMSs (HBD 2 U – for Happy Birthday to you!), walls posts on Facebook (or maybe just a comment on somebody else’s wall post) and Orkut scraps.
So what is my PoA (Plan of Action ;p)? Give more to receive more (selfish, but the world has always been that). I am trying to revive my address book with house numbers, street names and PIN/ZIP codes – Hoping you are motivated to do the same and then we can take a break from the e-exchange and get down to some “real” stuff!
(P.S. All pictures here are of cards that I have received in the recent years.)