The Birth of Kagaz (Part 1)
Updated: May 3
Kagaz has been with me for so long that I cannot think of a time when my mind was not thinking about it. We have been in business for over 3 years now, writing books for people in India as well as abroad. We have come a long way, but let me start from the beginning.
How we began is a funny story.
It all started on my grandmother's 65th birthday. We were looking for a perfect gift for Dadi. A gift that involved everyone, something that was meaningful,and something that she would consider priceless.
After a small brainstorming session with my parents, we finalized the idea of gifting her a book of letters - letters from everyone and anyone who is close to her. We called up our family, her old friends, club members, her cousins etc and asked them to write a small letter to her, maybe an anecdote or incident that they remember about her. The contribution from the family came in quickly. Yes, dadi was a people's person.
But there was one new issue - each letter was different sized paper, in hindi and in english, some on ruled sheets, some were even pictures of letter they had written. We had to compile all of this just 2 days before her birthday.
We were short of time to retype them for a book , so we took a shortcut. We scanned those letters, took their printouts on colored sheets of the same size for uniformity and spiraled them in the form of a book. Instead of a book, it looked more like a minutes of the meeting document after a board meeting.
We arranged a small get together of friends and family for the occasion. The book was presented to her in that evening. Each one present in the room read his/her letter from the book. Dadi was overwhelmed. The room was full of love and tears. At the end of the ceremony she said,"I never need another gift in my life. This book is everything that I need." She hugged me and gave me a wet kiss on my cheek.
Her words stayed with me.That night I thought to myself people want to feel loved..respected.. while they are with you. We should use every opportunity to tell them that we love them.
Also each one of us has a different story. Our life decisions and our bonds with other give a mix to our life
Our stories are unique. The common thread is that we all work hard for our families. They deserve to know your struggles. They deserve to know your story.
This small idea led to the birth of Kagaz ke Phool (literal translation - Paper Flowers).
Our mission is to make priceless package of memories for families. Preserve stories, cause in the end, that is who we are, living stories.
Namit Maheshwari , Founder