A lot of Bangla Band songs revive age old memories. Today it was Bhalobasha by Porosh Pathor. "Bhalobasha maney Archies Gallery..." indeed!
I can still see the spic and span air-conditioned store with its big glass doors amidst all the dark and dingy stores of Gariahat. Entering Archie's Gallery meant stepping into this whole other world, mainly because it was a HUGE relief from the heat outside. Browsing cards took forever. Each card had to be read and reread in the quest to find one that said EXACLTY what you felt - be it for your best friend, lover or someone you wanted to convey 'we're just friends' or 'no strings attached'. There was a card in there for all kinds of emotions - and lots of emotions we did have back then. We saved our pocket money for such extravagant purchases in a time where expressing your feelings to our friends seemed to be more worthwhile than spending that money on some kind of fast food. The time we put into these cards were not limited to their duration of purchase but in their personalization with even more heartfelt hand written messages (as if those long verses in the card itself was not enough) and embellishments. We did this for all our dear friends, be it their birthday, friendship day, valentines day or no special day at all but just to say 'I'm glad we're friends' or 'you mean a lot to me'.
Today we stay in touch through Facebook and Blogs and often miss each other's birthdays. But I think we know we revisit our own memories of Archie's Gallery every now and then and in our hearts know that we still mean the world to each other.