Wait Mr. PostmanPlease Mr. Postman, attending and seeOh yeahIf there’s a letter in your bag for me….
These lyrics articulate way aback in the ’70s by the Carpenters immortalized the apprehensive postman and his role in a admiring teenager’s life. Closer to home, Rajesh Khanna did appealing abundant the aforementioned in Palkon ki chhaon mein (‘In the Shade of the Eyelids’), as he sang Dakiya dak laya (‘Come, the mailman has brought the mail’). These films and songs reflected a absoluteness abounding middle-aged Indians were accustomed with—the bootless man in khaki, his pants abrupt durably at the basal to accumulate the well-starched t from accepting bedraggled by the anointed aeon chain, pedaling his bike and putting belletrist and postcards into eager. Appear rain or sun, the postman would clump on bottom with his bag abounding of belletrist or awning difficult terrains on his bicycle.
In an Indian apple a postman was abundant added than aloof a letter deliverer. He enjoyed a different cachet unrivalled by his burghal colleagues. His amusing ambit straggled the afterlife of villages he covered in his official errands which could be anywhere amid 4-5 villages depending on the admeasurement of anniversary village. No one could cartel claiming his accreditation about alive so abundant of the realities of rural amusing life. He had admission to alike the best affectionate and clandestine diplomacy of families. In case the absolute domiciliary was unlettered, he was the alone approach of admonition for it with their cousins. He would apprehend aloud the belletrist to them and would additionally abode out replies on their behalf.
He was the affection of the bounded amusing planet who commiserated with bodies and aggregate their accepted concerns. In acknowledgment the bodies additionally admired him and lavished benedictions and eulogies on him. Back he brought acceptable news, the almsman would accolade him with whatever sweets there were in the house. During festivities, he would be an important bedfellow and be advised to aliment that the ancestors had prepared. And, back he delivered the money orders, he would get some budgetary tips. It was not binding but usually the giver gave and the postman did not accept the affection to refuse.
For me the postman was added than aloof a amiable agent who delivered a accession of circadian mail. He was a awful able abutment to the bounded community. I consistently acquainted a aberrant alikeness with him. He adequate us of a cardinal of bulky tasks that were fabricated simple by him on annual of his adeptness of the bounded cartography and the amusing arcana. “Those who accept accepted us, abide to annual us. In fact, bodies assurance us added than the bagman guys.” he would chuckle. “There accept been abounding a time back I accept best up belletrist alone abominably by the courierwallah and delivered them to the appropriate address.”
In his Malgudi Canicule RK Narayan immortalized the tiny column appointment in Malgudi, breadth Thanappa the bounded postman delivers letters, on his bicycle, pedalling beyond the town. Thanappa is not aloof the postman of Malgudi, he is one of the best admired characters who is a articulation for so abounding families.
A apple capitalism is a apple of the civic democracy. The villagers themselves are bizarre heroes and best amazing windows with which to appearance their world. The postman became my lens for gazing the rural horizon. He was an breezy rural sociologist and demographer for all visiting government admiral .We could analyze from him several circuitous issues which alike a lifetime’s annual of Mead, Metcalfe, Shrinivas, Ghurye, Madan, Mandelbaum, Dumont and Lewis and array of their acclaimed ilk of anthropologists could not acquaint us.
The postman at the apple breadth I was stationed was Vithal Batte, a affected man with a adroitness of arresting up friendships with any stranger. With his blah beard and amiable demeanour, he cut a grandfatherly figure, but, as I bound learned, he was a postal agent with a crammer edge. Money was not a aerial antecedence for him. His wife was active as a abettor in a bounded school. The Battes didn’t accept children. For them the absolute apple was their family. Batte had a appropriate calm adeptness for defusing tension; he was a accustomed mediator. He handled every aggregation to the apple with amore and sobriety. On annual of his amiable attributes and his absorbing manners, Vithal was a abundant adored man. He was everybody’s ancestors friend, the addicted uncle for the kids.
After every abbreviate ride on his bicycle, he would rock to a stop, lower his abundant satchel, sending a few belletrist aerial into the dust. Diligently he would besom off the dust and acknowledgment them to his stockpile, don his attache afresh and resume his circadian rounds—a action which I watched with amusement through the ample window in my office. A committed postal carrier, he spent best of his day advised bottomward by belletrist as he navigated betraying paths in adjustment to ensure that the mail accomplished the alien villages in a appropriate fashion. He would sit application the allowance to aish bare postage stamps on letters, putting them into his old, beat out, alone canvas bag that arched with belletrist that had bedevilled addresses. It had additionally a seal, ’Returned Letters’.
For me, the postman was added than aloof a amiable agent who delivered a accession of circadian mail. He was an breezy but awful able affiliate of the bounded coffer family. He adequate us of a cardinal of bulky and banal tasks, fabricated simple by his adeptness of the bounded cartography and the amusing arcana. He didn’t apperception the connected hours of appointment he had to put in admitting his meagre salary. I anticipate the greatest allurement for him was that he enjoyed the job and was able to apprehend his self-actualization needs. He consistently cared about the annual he could command. “Those who accept accepted us, abide to annual us. In fact, bodies assurance us added than the bagman guys,” he would chuckle. “There accept been abounding a time back I accept best up belletrist alone abominably by the courierwallah and delivered them to the appropriate address.”
The postman was a key being in the apple as he helped me with avant-garde solutions to awkward problems. One such botheration was the adversity accomplished by the ailing and old barter in visiting the bank. A majority of the villages in our block were cut off by a river which had to be beyond to ability Bina, the beyond apple breadth the coffer annex was located. The paths from added admonition were treacherous, blocked for best of the year. Bodies bare to be alien beyond by canoes in adjustment to transact their business with the bank. A ample cardinal of depositors were benighted and could not assurance their cheques. They had to be escorted by a ancestors affiliate who had to abandon a day’s allowance for the purpose. I acquainted that a band-aid charge be begin to abate the accident of these people. I was additionally accident adored time as I had to accumulate bobbing beyond to villages on a fishing baiter aloof for the annual of accepting simple formalities completed by bordering farmers and agronomical labour.
On the advancement of the postman, I formed out an avant-garde adjustment for acclamation this issue. I absitively to use the postman’s casework for carrying acquittal to those depositors. My agents aggregate a annual of such ailing or aged barter and we absitively to set afar a defined bulk of banknote to be delivered by the postman adjoin cheques active by the depositor. In case of benighted customers, the postman would adjure to the thumbprints. There was no accouterment of cartoon banknote from anxiety account—an annual which is commonly debited in case of emergency costs for the bank; so I absitively to draw from my own account. Once the cheques were accustomed and the accounts debited, my banknote would get replenished. Since the postman was a acknowledged agent of the column department, I had actually no advisedly about agreeable him for this work. However, as a amount of attention and to abstain the accessible complications of labour laws, I absitively to accomplish the acquittal in his wife’s name.
It was Vithal afresh who aggressive me to become a able adherent and after a allegiant best of the abstracts which able that alike a baby accommodation to a woman tends to accept far added benign ripple furnishings for the ancestors compared to one fabricated analogously to a man. Sociologists may agitation endlessly about the affidavit why men tend to absorb the money on themselves while women tend to absorb on their families, abnormally their children, but an appointment in a apple can acknowledge this accuracy in its starkest colours. Vithal’s articulation was not the alone articulation aloft in the apple in the favour of women but his was absolutely the loudest and best persistent, and—cumulatively—the best persuasive. He was such a afire accepter in the approach that he formed through about all the villages with me to authenticate the artistic abeyant of poor rural women in money management
Another breadth area his admonition accepted to be advantageous was in ambidextrous with defaulters of loans. Our accustomed convenance was to book tersely worded accepted belletrist in which we would ample the particulars of the borrowers and mail these belletrist to them. The postman had been celebratory me breeding huge volumes of accord with unimpressive results. The ascent postal costs for auctioning these belletrist were alarming holes in the antithesis area after acquiescent adequate benefit. I happened to altercate my bind and affliction with the postman. He appropriate I accelerate postcards for baby borrowers and telegrams for bigger ones.
What was so new about this strategy? The column agenda is not a closed cover; its capacity are consistently accessible for accessible reading. In villages, the postman commonly drops the mail at the doorstep of the villager. If the being happens to be away, his neighbour or any aggregation is absolutely acceptable to go through the contents. Analogously the villagers get abashed and analytical back there is a telegram. A buzzer in a apple commonly triggers an burning alarm. The breezy communications arrangement of any apple is so able that alike the bowel movements of every man are accepted to his fellowmen.
Losing face is a adverse affair in a apple context, and the aborigine will commonly do annihilation to abstain it. The annual of the bank’s apprehension catches actual blaze and the borrower becomes the base of the apple account mill. The villagers appear up with admirable theories about the acceptable fate of the poor borrower. This builds amazing amusing burden on the borrower’s family, banishment him to booty actual accomplish to adjust his loan. This action served me able-bodied for about a decade during my able career and would accept connected to do so, had the internet not decimated these channels.
All that has changed. The postal departments accept revamped their images to get a glassy new age look. The postman too has got a makeover. Gone are the canicule back he acclimated to buck account postcards, belletrist to lovers and money orders from newly-employed sons and aliment from adoring grandparents. Gone too is the time he was a window to the world, a aerial articulation with admired ones, and was about a ancestors member. Admonition is now via e-mail or SMS or adaptable phones.
People are gradually apathy the art of letter autograph – in addition decade, there will not be any belletrist on affectation bound by celebrities of today. The postman now visits the houses to bead the official statements of the coffer or the allowance aggregation or the blast or electricity bills or printed pamphlets for advance of products. In these high-tech times, lovers no best abode letters, burning cyberbanking has replaced money orders, grandparents await on bagman companies whose boys zip on glassy mobikes to buck accoutrements of adulation and about cipher has a pen pal back amusing networking sites appointment aloof as able-bodied or alike better, for that matter.
I feel acutely abashed with the way the Indian apple postman has receded into the far horizons of the rural mural .The acceptable postman has been boring boarded to grandma’s folklores and abate tales. But it is an angel that aloof won’t get done abroad by the driftwood of history. The angel will accumulate revisiting us. The postman charcoal a hero for those of my bearing .Everyone knows for abiding that the new agenda appearance kids can’t accommodate the amore and acquaintance that has gone forth with the bulk of the acceptable postman.
A rural postman was not aloof a mail carrier; he was the amusing cement that affirmed disparate communities. I bethink the times back his afterimage would flood my apperception with the action of the achievability of accepting the annual I had been connected awaiting. I bethink how agilely our feudatory listened for his beating –how tremulously she asked for whom the belletrist were directed—and the acutely repressed blow and blurred aspect with which she angry abroad back there was none for her.
The new boys are savvy, attired in avant-garde controlling apparel, zipping on mobikes in a able accomplished manner. They now action abounding new casework – bushing out cartage challans and appointment them and additionally backpack cyberbanking accessories that abduction and address the signatures of the addressees digitally in case of registered belletrist or acceleration posts. In villages, they are abstracts collectors and banal advantage and extend capital healthcare services. But admitting all these add-ons the new boys can’t be a acting for the adventurous postman.
I bethink my academy acquaint breadth we were told of the time back the mail was delivered by runners who agitated a extra with two little accretion absorbed to the shaft a the head. The extra was meant to assure them from robbers and agrarian animals and the accretion aloof kept up their adventuresomeness as they jogged forth boscage trails.
There is an inscription on the James Farley Column Appointment in New York City:
“Neither snow nor rain nor calefaction nor anguish of night stays these couriers from the abrupt achievement of their appointed rounds”
W.H. Auden’s accolade to the postman will abide s to bell for ancestors to come:
“They abide their dreams,And shall deathwatch anon and connected for letters,And none will apprehend the postman’s knockWithout a dispatch of the heart,For who can buck to feel himself forgotten?”
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