This Mumbai artist has given postcards a new lease of life

To revive the forgotten medium, 29-year-old product designer Tawfik Manham, sends out hand-made postcards for free to anyone who places a request online

This Mumbai artist gives steroid shot to postcards to keep them alive
One of Vikhroli resident Tawfik Manham's works. Pic/Sneha Kharabe

When was the last time you sent out a postcard with no agenda or got one from a stranger? Unless you are in Spain hoping to make a friend jealous of your wanderlust, most just make do with the quick-paced social media chatter. So, what was once a vital mode of communication is now looked at by millenials as a 'quaint' quirk. However, one such millennial — 29-year-old Vikhroli resident Tawfik Manham -- has chosen to keep this 'outdated' medium kicking with his hobby of making and sending out postcards to strangers who request for them online, for free.

Until now, he has sent out over 500 postcards to those who have sent him requests on Instagram, but to take it to the next level, this product-designer-by-day-and-card-designer-by-night is launching a website, and plans to collaborate with other artists.

One postcard a day
Even as Manham balances his work with his project, drawing inspiration from everyday life, moods, emotions and current affairs, he ensures that he only tackles one card a day. “I convert my thoughts into art and refrain from repeating a design to keep it unique. I can't do justice to each if I work on more than one postcard in a day.”

This Mumbai artist gives steroid shot to postcards to keep them alive
Tawfik Manham at work in his Vikhroli home. Pic/Sneha Kharabe 

What's the allure?
Back in the 90s, Manham and his mother would frequently send postcards to his father, who worked. Later, when it came to reconnecting with his friends and relatives in his hometown Calicut, Kerala, he chose this traditional medium over social media platform.

Manham has no plans to monetise his hobby. “There are memories attached with each card and I cannot charge someone for happiness.”

Mumbai-based Rashmi Sridhar says she was thrilled to receive a handmade postcard from him. Ermald Philip, 30, a marketing professional from Mumbai, who had requested for a postcard, calls it an interesting way of connecting with people.

“That someone would take out the time to send you something with their thoughts is so heartwarming,” she says. Urvesh Bharambe resonates Philip's words, adding, “There is a huge difference between a text message and handmade postcards and greetings. The latter contains warmth and makes one feel nostalgic.”

Looking at the response, Manham says he plans to start a website, which should be up by this weekend. “I will be using it to draw back attention to this forgotten medium,” he says.

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