Stop with the ghastly computer card

It is that week in the year where people send you these go to some mountain site cards on the computer. Open the thingee and it sings or pops out or sparkles and the sobering point is they sent the same card to 33 other people. Say what!!!

By Bikram Vohra (Between the lines)

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Published: Sat 25 Dec 2010, 11:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 10:18 AM

Life used to be so simple. You got new year cards, for example, in piles and you opened them and they revealed so much about the current status of your relationship with the sender. They were loaded with information.

Some would have the names of the whole family and that meant these were close friends. Others wrote just ‘The Vohras’ which meant they had forgotten either your name or your wife’s name. Another cover up for lapsed memory was “Bikram and fly.” The fly being abbreviated from family and hopefully nothing to do with the annoying little pest that fetches up over every lunch. Otherwise, when distance had created mild confusion the card would say “...and kids.” Clearly the sender had forgotten how many children you had or wasn’t quite certain of their gender. Pretty silly it would look saying ‘and the boys’ if they were actually girls. All too often one name is remembered and then the card went, ‘...and the little one.’ Which probably ticked off the little one like anything because who wants to be anonymous and you may not be that little anymore.

In reverse, you get to know the present status of the sender’s family. If the wife’s name is missing you know that marriage is kaput. If the wife’s name is new then uh oh, he’s gone and done it again. Extra kids means the human reproduction factory is still working and if there are fresh names along with the kids someone is becoming a grandfather soon.

The cards were like little mysteries. Not only did they have that intimate handwritten one line steeped in profundity like: “Hi, guys, do write, think of you often” or “ Tina has got a new job,” that made you feel someone out there had specially thought of you but you spent hours arguing with the wife about the deciphering of the signature at the bottom of those cards all of us get that we can’t figure out who sent them. Looks like a P, no it’s clearly a G and that’s a N followed by two esses or an M and ends with a Y, who do we know called Pomegassny?

Good stuff, hours of enthralling investigation, often left unsolved for eternity. Not to forget the one we could decipher but couldn’t place.

Darling who is BS Gupta and why has he sent us a card? Like who are Nick and Allyson from Maidenhead. Why has this whole ad agency sent us a card, stuff like that.

Then, we used to pin these cards on the curtain or fill up the mantelpiece with them as evidence of how well loved we were. The cards depicted nature in all her glory or were packets bought from UNICEF or depicted little children’s drawings and, after the new year was over, the littlest children would cut them up and make scrapbooks out of the pictures.

This year, little of this has happened. The computer has so totally overtaken this lovely year end exercise.

I have got these Emailed cards. They take ten minutes to download. They are as warm and intimate as a dispensing machine. Attention. You are the recipient of an animated greeting card. You may access your card by filling in the blank spaces. Your password is 97979691534. Your access code in B33445623.

Please click on

This service is FREE. This service will last 60 days.

Accessing your card means you have contracted with Website rules posted at the bottom of your Web.

Have fun.

Have fun, did you say.

I have sixteen cards with a little candle going flicker flicker. Now, the first time it goes flicker flicker you call the family and collectively marvel at the wonders of science but it is difficult to summon up enough enthusiasm for the deluge of flicker flickers which follows. By the time you have downloaded sixteen flicker flickers (all your friends thinking alike) and memorised 32 codes and passwords it gets a bit thin in the enthu field.

You have this sneaky thought at this point that your friends are real tightwads, they are doing this instant free stuff so they won’t have to make the effort of buying, writing and posting real cards, the way they should be.

You want to read the rest of this article your password number is 009714667...........

Say hello to the wife and kids.

Bikram Vohra is Khaleej Times Editorial Advisor. Write to him at

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