Friday, January 15, 2010

25. The postman always rings twice..

So they say, but my postman didn't ring even once this new year. Let it be clear, mine is a concern and not a complaint. At least twice each year, the postman did more than just deliver letters. On deepawali and on new year eve, it has been an accepted norm to exchange his greetings with a token monetary appreciation - for his tireless daily routine on an ageing carbon-friendly bicycle. Not too far ago, delivery of letters containing a passport, a telephone or cooking gas connection elicited additional appreciation. The postman had become part of an extended family, delivering ecstasy and agony with a touch of sensitivity.

Lyricist Gulzar had captured many facets of a postman in his melodious number dakia dak laya, khushi ka sandesa kahin, kahin dardnaak laya. It was the sheer brilliance of legendary singer Kishore Kumar who could lace the racy number with desired emotions, lending depth, dimension and meaning to each word. For once, the social status of postman was lifted to dizzy heights. Not without reason because the postman often went beyond his brief. Not only would he read out the contents of the letter but would lend his writing skills to others as well. This and much more, the postman had carved out an exclusive niche in the social fabric.

One would doubt if the courier boy is a suitable replacement for a postman. Not only do they keep changing, courier boys lack emotive connectivity too. Though efficient, there is something mechanical to the way they go about their job. While I await my door bell to ring twice, I'm reminded of a touching incident a colleague of mine had narrated many seasons ago. Being son of a postman, he said, deepawali and new year were special occassions for him and his siblings - eachone would get a new dress and new toys.

I wonder if we haven't bargained the finest public servant for speed and efficiency!


Dr.RPS said...

Dr Sharma ji
It is the impact of technology and communication revolution. Post and teligraph is now find out new ways to keep continue in near future. But i can't denie the social capital of postman in rural society.

Kuldeep said...

It is true that postman is probably only respectable govt servant left today. Though, he is slowly being displaced by the courier boys in bigger towns but he is not complaining. The workload is way too much for him to handle it without sharing responsibility with private sector messangers.
First STDs and then mobiles, not to forget emails, have reduced the exchange of personal communication through post, but official correspondence has multiplied as businesses mushroomed. Postman remains a key figure for small town people awaiting some good news from the authorities.

Tannu said...

Your blog has fittingly narrated the job of postman which ran in parallel with his self created social responsibility.

I remember my university days, when I could spot through approaching postman whether he would deliver my monthly draft (parental scholarship) or he will leave my hostel room unknocked. We could still decipher between the glowing face of postman (in rural areas) and the flat face of courierwalas, always in a hurry.

Now the service delivery is coiled Jalebi without syrup.