Lahore - At a far corner within a large book store in Liberty there are still a couple of stalls dedicated to Eid, Birthday, Get-well soon and Anniversary-Engagement cards, though the dust they have been gathering is a clear indication of the neglect they have been receiving both from the customers and the shopkeepers themselves. Once the preferred way of extending greetings to near and dear ones, they are no more in vogue, largely due to a tech-savvy generation that prefers sending SMS and e-cards, which are available free on net and what’s more at the click of a button. The option may be on its way to becoming anachronistic especially with the younger lot and people who are too carried away by the pace of life to head the market.

“Eid cards sale has definitely gone down, though I cannot tell how much. Roughly, it appears now-a-days 33 per cent of the people are using cards while others use electronic means. “While craving for cards has diminished whereas birthday cards are still in vogue,” says manager of the book store at Liberty. He explains that comparatively, birthday cards were sold easily because people tended to paste them on birthday gifts as a sort of a reminder.

At the other end of the spectrum, so far as the officialdom is concerned, the trend of Eid cards has gone down but not completely. This is partly because, government officials and those in the corporate sector consider it as a formal way of exchanging greetings rather than a quick SMS, something that is considered palpably casual especially when boss-subordinate ties are concerned. That is where the Eid cards come in. But here, such cards are tailor-made; they are designed given the person whom the card is intended. When it comes to government and political circles, somber designs such as a crescent and the star in the backdrop of a mosque make for the cards of choice.

At some of the private printing press outlets around town, things are not as dismal as they are the stationery shops.

“We have been receiving orders from different quarters, largely from government officials. Here we have different designs but our customers prefer a certain layout that is not too colorful, yet conveys the warmth of the occasion, says, Saboor Shah, an entrepreneur at a Printing Press at Urdu Bazaar.

He says that not long ago, Urdu Bazaar used to flood with customers upon stalls of Eid cards but gradually as cell phones became a part and parcel of life, the interest waned.

The feelings that are conveyed through a card are far more intense and warm to be compared with a text message but that’s how life has transformed over the years courtesy impact of technology on society. It has transformed all of us and the way we celebrate festivals.