Growing up, my sister and I could never understand why spring-cleaning was called so. As far as we could see, clearing out closets was an exercise our mother undertook with utter disregard to seasons. Every weekend, rain or shine, sweat or chill, entire rooms were overhauled and their contents interrogated on their usefulness, most of them ending sentenced to the recycle bin or a journey forward. Nothing was above reproach, nothing worth saving, except: Wedding Cards.
Colorful, delicate, preciously ornamental, bespoke designed – Indian wedding cards are truly a collectors’ item, and accordingly my mom handled them with care and deposited them safely in cabinets, until Diwali struck, at which time they were utterly vandalized. Because, that was when my sister and I were given the task to convert them to Diwali greeting cards. Nothing proclaimed love louder than hand-made, believed my mom, and in homage to that motto, our family across the globe received our meticulously recrafted [and rather grimy!] creations.
Time went by. I graduated from school, left home, and turned into a youngster who considered internet cards cool. Then, along with the rest of the world, I decided Facebook was the best way to wish anyone for anything. And now, having reached a low of wishing Diwali over whatsapp messages last year, I have come full circle, realising truly: Nothing says love louder than hand-made. [Sigh, Yeeees mom, I know you told me so.]
Luckily for me, my mom never changed her habits even as mine meandered. Though there was no one to use her treasure trove of wedding cards past, she continued to save them, and last year she handed my kids a bunch for scrapbooking and crafts. The pile of gorgeous materials and intricate weaves seemed to me even prettier than in my childhood memories (Delhi after all, gets only gaudier every year!).
So this year I have revived the tradition. My children have happily sent out their scrubby greetings to my family, and with material still to spare, I am enjoying a hobby I had once considered a chore.
If you too have hit rock bottom and are planning to send out mass messages – there’s still 2 weeks to Diwali. Head out to Spotlight or Art Friend today, and remember, all you need is love, and glue, and some scrapbooking paper!