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Greetings from the past

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART The traditional way.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART The traditional way.

While e-cards are quicker, there are some who prefer the good old fashioned way of posting greeting cards to their loved ones

Greeting cards have a human touch. They make you feel loved Hephzibah When 37-year old Hephzibah, opens the old tin box, the one that has been her 'Treasure Chest', she finds around 100 greeting cards in it - those she received right from her youth. As she flips through them, it is like walking down memory lane. It takes her back to her childhood friends, of the good times and all the fun they had together. This brings a tear to her eyes and a broad smile, as well, as she thinks of those carefree days.

The special feeling

"It is the conventional greeting cards that make a person feel special. It says that you are remembered. Though e-cards and mobile phones have come up, I choose to snail mail greeting cards for occasions and festivals. E-mails and short messages are deleted very soon. Phone calls fade away from memory. What makes greeting cards unique is that they can be treasured and cherished. The very thought that our loved one has taken the effort to buy a greeting card to send to us at the right time is overwhelming," says Hephzibah.

Strengthening bonds

For Lakshmi it is the contents of the card that appeal. "I admire the words in greeting cards. The message is so lovely; it strengthens bonds of friendship. Also, we can choose those that are best suited to us or the occasion," she says. On our return from a long vacation, as we sort through our mail, it is the greeting cards that we open first. Official letters and post cards are relegated to second place. That is because greeting cards have a human touch. They make you feel loved. We are overjoyed to 'see' something from our loved ones. Another thing that draws us to greeting cards is that they are visually appealing. The beautiful pictures on the greeting cards express the love and the visuals delight us.

Brings back memories

Every time we do a spring-cleaning of our homes, we come across old greeting cards we have received over the years. As our gaze rests on the cards, our mind races back to the relationships, the great times we had and the special occasions. We don't have the heart to throw away those cards. A picture post card of Piccadilly Circus was in Rama Devi's letterbox the other day. Eagerly, this English teacher opened it up. It was from one of her ex-students. She fondly recollects the class in which she had told her students about Piccadilly Circus that had featured in one of A.G. Gardiner's books. "I was thrilled at the way he had expressed his gratitude", she says.

E-cards all the way

"E-cards are a real pain. It takes a lot of time to download and sometimes it displays a message saying that the required software is not available in the system. Moreover, one can't revisit e-cards as easily and as often as the old fashioned ones", observes Aparna, a writer. But there are those who prefer the modern way of e-mailing cards. Old-fashioned greeting cards are a 'waste of time', they say. So they have switched over to e-cards.

Waste of time

"I no longer use greeting cards. I send e-cards to all my friends and relatives. It is a waste of time to go to shops, pick out cards and send them. One can't be sure if the card has reached its destination on time or if the person we have sent it to has seen the card. But if we send e-cards, we can assign the date on which it has to be sent and we can also ascertain that the recipient has read it", says Agnes.E-cards are enhanced in the sense that they can include animation, sound effects, pictures, message, etc. Just like postal cards, e-cards are also available for different occasions. They are more attractive than postal cards, which cannot include animation. Also, e-cards can be stored in the computer, without occupying much space. They save a lot of time - an e-card can be sent in a matter of a few mouse-clicks.

A personal touch

There are those who have renounced the habit of sending greetings, electronic or otherwise. They feel it doesn't make any difference. " There were times when we exchanged cards with friends before exams etc. Now, people don't even think of sending cards to their husbands," says Matangi. However, nothing can replace the pleasure of eagerly tearing open an envelope to find a greeting card from the one closest to your heart. Traditional cards alone can bring this personal touch and warmth. Send a greeting card to your dear ones, for no reason at all and make them feel loved - just as you would feel on receiving one.SHARON PREETI

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