A Thing of the Past – The New Indian Express
Express news service
KOCHI: For many, especially millennials, sending Christmas cards to friends and family was like a ritual. In December, the hunt for colorful New Year’s and Christmas cards begins. Even during the exam rush, offering cards to teachers and friends was a joy for Amala C Satheesh, a freelance writer at Thiruvananthapuram. âIt was one of the sweet moments of childhood. I would save the money received as Vishu kaineettam to buy Christmas cards in December and harass my parents to take me to buy them. apart from my friends, I would also keep special glitter cards for my favorite teachers. We used sketch pens and glitter pens to write to our friends and to do scribbles on the cards, “she recalls.
For the generation born between the 80s and 90s, greeting cards mean taking the time to remember them. According to Divya Nair of Kochi, owning the cards has been an exciting experience. âIt has now become a rarity to see them. Receiving a card with your name on the envelope with someone writing their messages in the card inside was a special feeling. It was a way of telling people that we loved them and that we thought of them. These handwritten letters cannot be replaced with Watsapp messages or video wishes. Also, kids today, including my daughter who is in elementary school, don’t know about greeting cards because what they do is create cards using graphic papers. If I could find them on the market, I would buy them, âadds Divya, who works as a technician.
Krishna Ajith from Maruthankuzhy always cherishes every greeting card he received. âThese are invaluable goods. But it all ended after the school days, because after joining the university, the trend changed for greetings on social media, âsays Krishna.
Kochi-based digital content creator Visakh Nandhu recalls with a wicked smile that it was also a way to profess their feelings. âCards are a better way to express our love than to write letters. I once found a large Christmas card eyed to give to my friend to express my love for her. I did not have enough money to buy it because it cost Rs 500. I was restless and I kept the card so that no one would buy it while waiting for my neighbor who promised help. To my surprise, an elderly woman gave me some money, asked me to buy the card and give it to my lover. It was an unforgettable moment for me, âsays Vishak.
A dying tradition
Now the cards have fewer takers. The stretches near the Central Library and Palayam University College were once a hot spot for Christmas and New Year greeting cards and are now deserted. Rafeeq Ali, a store owner, adds that they are not popular with children now. âBefore, we had Christmas and New Years cards in different sizes and themes. But now it’s rare for someone to buy them. In the past, the front space of the store housed special greeting card stands.
The pandemic has also played a role in the disappearance of sales of road maps, âhe adds. Besides famous brands like Archies, there were cards printed by local presses. Bijumon OJ, a Government Press employee in Mananthala, says: âTwenty years ago, many public and private groups were printing greeting cards in our districts. But now it’s very limited. Only presses under churches print limited greetings for circulation among members of the clergy. “