Things We Love: ‘Until Next Time’

UntilNextTimeINSIDEMumbai-based artist and graphic designer Pranita Kocharekar’s ‘Until Next Time’ is a little black book of a different kind. It’s a set of 33 perforated, palm-sized illustrated cards that you’re meant to tear off and use to show your gratitude to people you don’t always get around to thanking. “Everybody needs a reminder [of how much they’re appreciated]”, said 23-year-old Kocharekar, who studied applied arts at Rachana Sansad college. “The best way you can do it is to go old-school and give someone a card.”

Among the things the cards say are “My tastebuds crave for your food” – which she made keeping in mind homesick students longing for their mum’s cooking – and “Thank you for your service” or “Aap ki seva ke liye dhanyavad”, which she said you could give to waitstaff or even a bus or cab driver. The most popular one, she’s learned, is “You are much more than an ATM machine”, a nod to a common expression used by fathers who often complain that their kids treat them like cash dispensers. “A lady who bought it came back to get another and said, ‘That was for my dad but I want another one for my husband!’,” said Kocharekar.

Some, which have phrases like “Big hug” or “You make me feel strong” are notably cheesy. Kocharekar said she’s aware of this but countered that the idea is for the cards to express “things you wouldn’t say out of the blue to someone [and help you] just go out and tell people how you feel.” “Big hug” for instance could be given in lieu of a “free hug” to a random stranger who needs cheering up but may not be comfortable with that level of physical contact.

Kocharekar knew that for many people, receiving a card from someone they’ve never met before might seem strange, so before she printed the book in bulk, she conducted a pilot project on Carter Road in Bandra where she handed them out to folks walking on the promenade. “At first they were like ‘What the hell is happening?’ but once I explained the concept to them they smiled and said ‘How sweet’.”

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of her customers are teenagers and college kids who swap cards with messages such as “I love your stupid face” and “I love star gazing with you”. However Kocharekar believes that unlike generic greeting cards “with a teddy bear”, the design and typographical elements of the ones in ‘Until Next Time’, to some extent at least, personalise the emotions expressed. For instance, the card she herself has used the most just says “Sorry” but in very small text “because I feel so little and tiny [when I’ve hurt someone].”

‘Until Next Time’, Rs500, is available on Amazon.in and at Filter. 43 V. B. Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, behind Rhythm House, Tel: 022 2288 7070. Open Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 7pm; Sunday, closed. Get directions here.

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