Are greeting cards too going the snail mail and telegram way — extinct?

My cousin’s birthday is coming up. We are pretty much attached at the hip, but she lives in Delhi now. I decided to surprise her by sending a greeting card and a gift. I headed to a shop while getting back from my CA institute. I went over to the bay where one usually finds greeting cards; only to find a blank wall staring at me. I explored the shop a few times before seeking help from an employee who said “We don’t sell greeting cards anymore.” I was shell-shocked!

Determined, I went to a popular gift store across the road. I finally managed to pick one card that resembled the one that I sent her last year and the year before that. The range of cards I could see were all in 50 different shades of pink and glitter, and the ones without looked really old or had inappropriate words on them. I sadly realised that greeting card culture was slowly waning in the city and all over the world.

Back in the 1990s when I was young, I used to count the number of greeting cards I got on my birthday every year and read them over and over again until I got new ones. I often used to scribble my own words on the blank spaces with colourful pens and also add stickers on the envelope and wrote cheesy stuff like “Open with a smile” or “Guess what’s inside” or “Guess who?”

I still have all the birthday cards that I have ever received stashed in my cupboard and always get into trouble when mom cleans my cupboard. I refuse to throw them away.

In this era of Facetime and Skype and e-cards, the greeting-card has lost its niche and the makers of greeting cards like Archies, Hallmark, Smiley world, seem to have stopped innovating and experimenting. Greeting cards are gradually finding place in the long list of items made extinct by gadgets and technology.

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