Friday, November 16, 2012

The case of the disappearing postcards

Passing by a rack of postcards in a souvenir shop, I cannot help feel saddened that just like so many others, these ‘postcards from paradise’, as a friend recently titled them, have also taken a hit by the rapid advancements of technology. Today, visual experiences are shared much more easily via e-mail, Facebook, Picasa, Google+, the latest to hit the market Instagram and the like. It’s definitely a no-brainer considering that cards cost money, as do stamps, add to it the effort to buy and post them and of course, the time they take to travel from source to destination. Even as many consider it plain inconvenient, there are enthusiastic travel buffs who still very much enjoy the practice. In trying to keep up with the pace of technology, I too have moved on to the electronic versions, but I must admit I miss the scribbling on the back, the personal messages which would accompany them. When souvenir shop owners also attest to dwindling sales, I cannot help but cogitate that someday, just like the floppy disks, these might phase out too.

Remember the last picture postcard you ever received? I honestly don’t. The first few I collected were sent by a maternal aunt of mine and I remember boxing them together with other knick-knacks like autograph books, photographs, color pens and key chains in my priceless collection. However, what I do remember from all those cards is being enchanted by and drawn to the glamorous sights and stunning spectacles from places beyond the world I lived in.

The one image that always comes to my mind is that of myriad hues of burning scarlets, bright oranges and vivid yellows on a picturesque fall season postcard which had me believing that it wasn't a place in actuality, just a figment of an over-imaginative artist’s imagination, of brush strokes running amok on his canvass until I witnessed such a paradise for real. So here’s a question for you. Is there one that you found particularly spectacular and awe-inspiring? What’s your image?
Note: A big Thank You to Abhijit S for the beautiful phrase 'Postcards from Paradise'. I couldn't resist incorporating it!

I would love to hear your views!

17 comments:

  1. Hmm...not recollecting one right away. But I do miss postcards. I remember buying a long chart of post cards in school and giving them out to the entire class. I used to buy mainly flowers and had the same feeling, does these flowers really exist until some of those furious red roses grew in my own garden. Nostalgic post. :)

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    1. :) I do too! Wow, that was a nice gesture! Was it for a special occasion? Or because of holidays? Thank you FIF!

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    2. What else could be a special occasion in those good olden days, except for a New Year's eve? Back then, no valentines days, no mother's days or any other days for that matter :) Except a birthday and New year or Christmas where greeting cards were meant to be exchanged :P

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  2. I still have Inland letters from my family stashed carefully,although the ding-dong of life gives little time to open that bundle.Still they are cozy reminders of views exchanged,blessings received news given.

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    1. I know my grandfather still has the ones we sent :) But I don't think I have any inland letters! But talking about them gives me such a warm feeling! Fond memories!

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  3. I can't remember any since a very long time. Even a handwritten letter is a luxury these days. I guess I am as much a culprit :(.

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    1. Yeah, for most of us I guess, that would be the case! A couple generations down, kids might laugh when/if we talk about inland letters and writing by hand!

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  4. I dont remember Deepa. When my Dad visited some foreign countries, he brought back a few postcards which we would tumble upon every time we went on a cleaning-spree of the house. I do remember that quite a lot of them where scarlet pictures of sunset....

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    1. LOL. I can completely relate to that! Looks like scarlets sold a lot didn't they! Not just postcards, even paintings, photographs - I always remember the sunset pictures :)

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  5. If you want to revive the joy join in at http://www.postcrossing.com/

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    1. Postcards to and from strangers! Now thats intriguing!!! :)

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  6. Postcards, Inland letters, hand-written mail - all of the bygone era! Now, at least, we write emails where there is some personal touch. Comes the day of the pro-forma email/tweet (Like those congratulatory telegrams:) ) and that will be the last of personal communication :)

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    1. What I find funnier is when people simply add wedding events or share their wedding invitations on Facebook. Do we honestly think we want to invite all 400+ people on a friend list - a whole bunch of which would simply be acquaintances - what does it say about the personal touches or the genuine invitations which really good friends ought to get?

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  7. I don't remember any because it has been such a long time. How all this has become luxury now...

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    1. :( Somedays I do miss the pre-FB stuff as Medha put it!

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  8. well we are going to lose the art of letter writing and all .. I still send postcards to friends when i go out and about somewhere..

    Bikram's

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    1. That's a nice gesture Bikram! In the age of computers its so easy to give up on personal touches!

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