Postmen; my favourite kind!


Postman Pat

In the early stages of my life, he was a middle-aged man who came on a bicycle. In my early teens, he transformed into a bearded man on a motorcycle. And now, in my early twenties he is a sweet, middle-aged man who sits in a post office, in an area that reminds me of R K Narayan’s Malgudi.

I have a confession to make; I have loved each one of these postmen like an uncle of my extended family whose existence I did care about. His visits were looked upon with much eagerness and excitement. Initially, I would wait upon him for a letter from my Ammachi or Nana and Nani. It didn’t matter that questions were directed towards me only towards the last page of an inland letter, I waited eagerly for that last bit. I wrote back too. For Ammachi, I made my parents jot down something to her in Malayalam, but for Nana and Nani, I can distinctly remember times when I sat down to write my own responses occasionally. And then, I would wait. Wait, for the postman to come by on his bicycle with those last few lines from my grandparents that were addressed to me.

As I grew up, technology advanced, and I grew increasingly distant from my grandparents as our conversations were restricted to a few borrowed minutes, while my parents talked to their parents over the phone. The postman then was a bearded man with whom I was free to ask about whether the latest edition of the magazines I subscribed had arrived. He was very kind to that 12-year-old kid. He made sure she got her monthly subscriptions and went to the extent of keeping it with him until we got back home from a holiday before he delivered it personally to me. He made me believe in personalised services. He made me look forward to his visits on his motorbike.  He made me wish I had people who still wrote to me.

A couple of years later, I learnt that he had passed away. For the next few days, I felt like I had lost a member of my family, a part of me.

The present-day me has rediscovered the beauty of a handwritten post from a loved one. She loves the patient wait for a post. She gets excited when she sees that mail from Singapore addressed to her. She finds it romantic to have a friend write to her when there are faster and cheaper modes of staying in touch with her. But mostly, she is just in love with that 15 minute walk to the NAD compound where the post-office is located. She loves the fact that the post man would help her out with sending the various parcels and registered posts well after the closing time. She loves that she has found another post man that she can safely add to her general description of her favourite kind of men!

3 Responses to “Postmen; my favourite kind!”
  1. Raunak says:

    I still love visiting post offices. The PO staff is the best among all government employees!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] What I find hard to believe is that people today are content with having no personal relationship with the postmen. I am appalled at my generation for not pining away (like me) for something other than a bill or an advertisement when the postman rings your bell. I do not understand a childhood where people do not wait up for the postman to see if he has delivered something from someone you know. (I had earlier devoted an entire post on my relationship with postmen. Read it here!). […]

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  • September 2012
    M T W T F S S
  • I, Me, Myself…

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