Handmade cards are a gift in itself and the snail mail makes it an even more endearing option.

Paper Thoughts handmade cards by Shivam Somani make me nostalgic about my boarding school days when I seriously tried to be different by using my craft skills at every occasion with cards and more. But he at the same age seems more farsighted and has mastered this art to earn his pocket money…..interesting!!! I guess we are moving with times. And so I highly recommend these exquisitely crafted artworks on paper, as an excellent personalised gift option.

The old-fashioned mass-market of greeting card industry died a slow death as the social media ate up its share with online gift programs for the busybodies. Forming a connect is not just about conveying a message, the downside of technology also leaves us feeling empty at many occasions in life. But the other side to this coin is the small high-end boutique card-makers making merry without a real need for a spotlight……… just like the elves.

I agree ‘handcrafted’ is a luxury which only creative minds and the real spenders can afford, but am keeping my fingers crossed that we never loose it to tech. Its ardent fans are consciously making an effort to revive arts and crafts for the love of its tactile form. This process of handmade cards is a very tedious one but gratifying when supported with wordings more personal and quirky than their earlier printed versions found at Archies or Hallmark stores.

Being incredibly talented at a tender of age of 11 yrs., Shivam took to this when parents refused to give into his wish, of buying expensive Lego Mindstorm kits which contain software and hardware to create customizable, programmable robots, instead told him to earn for it. From there on, the boy spent more time in making cards than drawing his super hero characters and that’s how Paper Thoughts came into existence. His first exhibition was at a small gathering of affluent women in Chennai, last year. And now he is invited for a similar affair at Kolkatta- like a pro, is busy catering to the connoisseur of arts.

Jigsaw puzzles, video games, mythological fiction authors like Richard Russell “Rick” Riordan and Michael Scott  and history museum visits are his pastimes and real inspirations which get replicated with the figment of his imagination through paper projects like a secret chamber made out of a shoe box and a robot cut out, at home. His elder sister pointed out his passion for machines and his aspiration of having an enviable collection of die cast model cars, one day. Adding to his endless list of talents she also spoke of his cooking skills and favourite T.V. show, Masterchef Australia. It’s the sense of gratitude in this boy, who happily gives away a part of his earnings or whatever he bakes to two chosen orphanages, which is very charming about him. 

Kudos to this quiet, sensitive, caring child who would rather have spent his entire life dreaming, but has been able to kickstart Paper Thoughts when his peers are concentrating on other playthings. He’s a creative bomb who can explode anytime with an entire gamut of gifting accessories…….. and I’m so looking forward to that !!!

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