As I crossed my burgeoning township’s centrally located post office last evening, I couldn’t help but wonder where all the postmen had gone. It’s been really long since I saw one of these men dressed in drab brown clothes shuffling their feet down the road and sometimes riding a bicycle ,carrying on their shoulders khakhi coloured cloth bags overflowing with mail. We have moved to faster, cheaper and more advanced means of communicating but its not that we have completely stopped getting snail mail. We no longer have family and friends writing to us on postcards and inland letters, but we do get some unbelievably boring correspondence from banks, magazines, advertisers etc. and the occasional wedding/ diwali card. So if we are still receiving mail, where are the postmen? Why don’t we spot that as often as we used to?
Come to think of it,till some years back snail mail was the only mailing option available to us. In fact the term ‘snail mail’ didn’t exist. Mail was mail and the Indian Postal Service was the surest (and sometimes the slowest) way to get your letter across to far off places. I notice more courier boys scurrying around the city, hurriedly trying to meet their target for the day and delivering post at lightening speed than postmen nowadays. As opposed to our good old post men, courier boy are in a perpetual hurry. They ring your door bell at inconvenient times and forever attempt rushing you through the process of signing and accepting the mail. Seems to me that the slow ease of the postman is a thing of the past.
In spite of the benefits of technology, you have to agree, these means are just no the same as regular paper post. Hand written mails have a human touch. They are more personal and warm. And they can be preserved, to go over again and again. They most certainly bring more joy that the frequent forward that friends send to keep in touch!
When you talk of postmen, you can’t help but think of the popular Carpenter’s song- Please Mr.Postman. I don’t have an mp3 version of the song, else I would have put it up on the blog. If you haven’t head it, I recommend that you do. Simple words and lovely music- something that today’s songs seem to be losing.