I love greeting cards. I could spend a good thirty minutes browsing card shops to pick out even one single card to buy; birthdays, anniversaries, miss yous, best of lucks, congratulations -- basically just about every non occasion. There was a time I thought I wanted to grow up and be the person who writes the 'wordings' in them (because 'lyrics' -- even back then -- seemed to apply only to songs); and so a somewhat insignificant portion of my childhood was spent dreamily pondering about the possibility of an Archies or a Hallmark paying me big bucks to churn out mushy nonsense from a spacious office with French windows. The length of the mush would of course depend on the size of the card, which in days bygone would vary from Re 8, to 11, and the finest ones could be bought at 16 rupees a card, matching envelope and all.
At age 12 I would envy these two batch mates of mine in boarding school, for every time the soul sisters cum family friends would return from home after the holidays, they would get with them stacks and stacks of the prettiest cards in truly fancy patterns. Home food be damned, I'd wait eagerly to see which girl got what sort of card on her birthday, for it might be a sure sign of how dear the birthday girl was to the card hoarding twosome. And then I'd go mad scratching my scalp red wondering how in Amritsar of all places one could source such gorgeous paper goodies! But that was then. Today it pinches me to buy a card knowing well that the person who is to receive it will spend no more than few sidey seconds looking at it, let alone reading the 'wordings' -- either personally inked or already printed in a Lucida font. And they're not even irresistible anymore. Which is why it now seems sadly practical that the only other options to not buying ordinary and expensive cards involve settling for either the juvenile handmade uglies that are touching nonetheless, or the rather impersonal online ones that end with Play Again.