Monday, February 20, 2006

Card shop!


Recently, a friend reminded me how (greetings)card crazy I used to be! I am not even sure when did my love affair with the card shop start! I think it was my father who sowed the seeds by getting a bunch of greeting cards every festival season to send friends and relatives. Then, when I became old enough to visit stores myself, these card shops became my favourite haunt. As far as I can remember, I don't have memories of buying myself anything to eat or drink but the little money left after buying the monthly bus pass was saved only for buying greeting cards. Also, these card shops were the only place in Chennai where you can spend hours and come out with just 1-2 items or even empty handed.

In a short period, this card shop industry has become a big hit in India, IMO. Many a times I have found myself staring at a card with just the words that I had been looking for or struggling to come out with on my own! The range of occasions, the creativity, the word magic - the people behind it just amaze me!

I have this bad quality of remembering special days(birthdays, anniversaries) of friends and relatives. So, every month I had some reason to visit the card shops. 'Landmark', 'Best wishes', 'Xanadu', 'Fountain Head'.... wow! Those days! Some months were real tight, with too many birthdays(and if they lived abroad, postage will kill me!!). But then to see( or hear) the surprise in their faces(or voices) was all worth it! On the down side, the people whom I wished without fail every year started getting all guilty about not returning the favour(not that I expected it especially when nearing and after hitting the 'big 3', it's become such a fuss!) that they would wish days or even months before/after my spl. days!

After Internet and E-mail started becoming accessible to common Indians, I switched to E-greetings! Definitely, browsing e-cards online cannot come close to browsing in a card shop, but with time constraints and family commitments, I was happy I did not have to give it up altogether. Moving also made me realise the bitter truth that carrying my precious collection of greeting cards, gifts everywhere I went was not always possible. I guessed it would be the same for people on the receiving end too. After all it is the gesture that matters more! So, go on! Surprise someone with a (E)card! Like in the cute caption (by Hallmark?), "They'll remember you remembered"!!

10 comments:

keerthi said...

when i was a kid, i used to draw on post cards and send. And now, photoshop :)

I've been killing people in the name of creativity since my 7th standard. Someones going to kill me sooner or later..

The Talkative Man said...

I remember the very first greeting card for which I was the "sender" - the intended recipient was my I Std class teacher. My siblings wrote their name correctly, not knowing to hold an inkpen, I smudged it all over and it was never sent! :(

Me too said...

Keerthi, "I've been killing people in the name of creativity since my 7th standard. " - Valentine's day card paathu aadi poyitten! Idhaan reason-a?! ;)

talkative man, I std, eh? Quite a memory you've got!

:: The Protector :: said...

enna than egreetings vanthalluam, naam card u mathri varathu....

Cheers!
:)

Balaji said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Balaji said...

wasn't too big on greeting cards. but loved going to landmark or archies though :)

NaiKutti said...

never got into this greeting card big time but used to help my dad to send those numerous cards to all his friends... that said, the e-greetings attracted me when it first came around 1996(?)... but now its back to just phone calls or e-mails (no cards and stuff :-)... and i feel a bit bad when people give cards and i don't reciprocate :-) in terms of cards

Me too said...

Vishnu, very true!

Balaji, oho! Ogay, ogay!!

Karthik, not surprising! Men who remember to wish itself is a big thing!! ;)

The Talkative Man said...

Was visiting some NGO sites and got reminded of this - my last cards were sent 5 yrs ago while I was in Bombay. I met an NGO person who was selling New Year cards made out of recycled paper by slum/street children. The max price was Rs.4 and I got a bunch of them. I dont think anyone who received those cards were disappointed! It would have looked so different from the dozens of other cards they get and it wont be forgotten easily either.

Unfortunately there is no aggresive push in India for such initiatives. There is tremendous potential in this if these folks target the youth. I would love to see those MNC's leeching on our emotions kicked out by such indigenous initiatives.

Me too said...

ttm, "Unfortunately there is no aggresive push in India for such initiatives" - Sadly true. But today's youth seem more aware, more appreciative and more open. I'm sure in due course, people will recognise and encourage such efforts.