We had received several gifts at the family gathering. All the gifts were wrapped up in glittering and colourful wrappers, and we looked forward to unwrapping them!
As I began unwrapping one of the boxes, the note on top of the wrapper caught my attention. It was the prettiest little label I had seen and wondered why someone would squander money on just a label. As I took it out, I noticed the back of the card.
I examined it closely. There were pencil lines at the back of the note. I looked closer, and there was a little slit on one of the edges. The overlapping paper had an uneven edge.
‘It’s hand-made!’ I screamed with joy.
I do not remember the colour of the wrapping paper, or even the gift inside. But I loved the name tag, and kept it along with all of my other treasures.
It could have easily been something bought from a stationary shop, but it wasn’t. It could have been just another label. But it wasn’t. I loved how someone had taken the pains to make something, and that is why it qualifies as a masterpiece!
Once upon a time, little children made greeting cards using many things – the chief ingredient was, however, called paper. Many children enjoyed it, but some didn’t. So they employed adults to make them, or went to the marketplace.
Then one day, something called the ‘Internet’, entered the kingdom. It didn’t like what it saw, and started its quest to find an alternative. It made friends – lots of friends. It was knowledgeable, and paid regular visits to everyone. It became very popular, and eventually conquered the kingdom of ‘Human Race’.
Under the new rule, greeting cards lost favour with the peasants. Many children, adults, and trees were happy with this, and they all are trying to live happily ever after…
* * *
I was rummaging through a shelf, looking for a piece of cardboard. It was the bottommost shelf – home to a lifetime of scrap paper, greeting cards, fancy and colourful invitations.
Since childhood, paper has fascinated me. That bottom shelf, is my treasure – the different colours, and textures, some glossy and many handmade. While most were addressed to us, there were a few which were given to me because I loved collecting them.
As children, we made our own cards, and gladly received those made by our friends. By the time we left school, the concept of anything hand-made, was all but dead. Even though I would have loved to make a card, I feared, that it would be misconstrued as a miserly act. So we occasionally bought cards.
With the advent of the internet, and increasing emphasis on saving trees, cards have become electronic. And why not – it saves trees, and a lot of space in our cupboard!
After finding what I was looking for, I began shoving everything back inside, when a few cards caught my eye. A beautiful batik card, which was mailed to us by relatives, and a hand-made card. Both beautiful in their own ways.
I unfolded the hand made one. In a world ruled by everything electronic, my friend had taken out the time to make something for me. It was the last hand-made card I received, and perhaps the one I will treasure the most…