The red box of India post continues to remain the common sought after point for posting the written matter and parcels despite technological advancement. A good scene has been picturised on Dilip Kumar and Munnawar Sultana (what a poise this young lady had) in the film Babul pertaining to a damaged parcel. It depicts the life of a post master with his assistant, his daughter ( Nargis) and the comedian. A good comradery is seen between the parties involved.
Postmen have always enjoyed a special rapport with the residents. They have been friends, philosophers and guides especially to the illiterate village folk. If a telegram arrives in one hamlet in the village the news spreads like fire in the entire village. There used to be conjoined post cards for the purpose of ensuring a reply. Please do drop a post card, always used to be a parting sentence between two people. These post cards used to be written with G nib pen and competition used to be prevalent about whose handwriting is the best. The issue of hand writing has long been forgotten and I will be among a few fools who still use the fountain pen with Quink or Camel ink. Can we forget the expression “ post haste”, do drop a line in reply. “Khat likhte rehna”.
The post offices in UK are very useful. You can buy many things for daily use besides even changing money by producing your Passport. Indian post offices are also very user friendly pertaining to dealing with instruments like NSC and KVP etc. Yesterday my wife was thrilled to get a return railway reservation from Sion post office due to minimal crowd at the window.
In Australia, once I met a doctor as crew members had given me some letters for posting. I committed a mistake by posting the medical report with the letters. I approached a shopkeeper nearby who called the post office. Later, an official man arrived to open the letter box and handed over the medical report to me.
How useful are the inland letters which are cheaper and you can write too much. The parcel service is very useful and efficient. We were the first ship to berth alongside Karwar jetty and there was no gate. Many of us forwarded the items purchased by us to our families through parcels. We used to hire an auto for visiting Goa border. After drinking cheap beer we returned to Karwar for having food. In the film Babul, a good scene has been picturised where a post master buys jewellery for the marriage of his assistant’s daughter. Being human, isn’t it? In another scene Dilip Saheb teaches Nargis, “Chod babul ka ghar, mohe peeke nagar aaj jana pada….”. Reverting back to our good old post office, yes, they can handle cash. They have performed a good job in handling small saving schemes which needs to be appreciated.