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On the occasion of World Post Day, I recall the happiness we experienced as kids while receiving a letter from the postman!
I had just finished giving my Post Graduation exams and without waiting for results I had written The State Level Eligibility Test(SLET) . On behalf of the University Grants Commission, the National Testing Agency conducts this test for the role of Assistant Professor.
I did the test very well but all the people I know told me that the pass percentage is very less, but I was still hopeful. When the results came, my name or number was not in the list of the candidates who cleared the exam. I was a little disappointed but thought, there is always a next time.
Two days later, Kalidas, our post man turned into our street saw me sitting on the porch called out ” lalli, lalli”. That’s how they call me at home. I went and met him halfway and asked him why he was shouting. He said “There was a letter for you, but since I was on leave for two days, the post man who came in my place did not know it was for you, as the address is not very clear, he brought it back to post office. They were about to put in the unclaimed section, but I thought it might be for you and brought it. Just check it beta, and get me glass of water first”. I ran into the house , brought a glass of water for him and then opened the letter.
The letter was from the college commission and it said “your SLET result is withheld because you did not submit the required documents”. The next morning I went to their office and found out that since I had not submitted my marks memo (because I had not got my results at the time of application) my result was withheld . I submitted my memo and got my results. I had cleared the exam, and I was very happy.
The first thing dad and I did was, bought a box of sweets, went directly to the GPO( post office) and gave it Kalidas.
Back then, the postman was like an extended family. He knew all of us by name. Whenever we were expecting any letter ,we would tell him and he would also look out for it. We may be doing anything in the house, but we would recognise his cycle bell and come running out of the house.
He has been a part of so many celebrations of the good news he carried in the form of letters. I remember my mom and all my aunts waiting for the letters from their maternal house.
I remember my cousin waiting for his competition success and readers’ digest.
He brought all the new year greeting cards and the diwali greeting cards and brought so much happiness.
Sometimes, he would stay for tea if he finished delivering all the letters.
My cousins and I would sing the song ‘Daakiya daak laaya’ song. He would love it.
We would go to the post office too, sometimes to buy stamps, inland covers or postcards,to send a speed post, or to buy some application form which was sold at the post office. We enjoyed those visits and the hustle and bustle of the office.
He would meet us sometime after retirement too, but then we moved on and letters became obsolete as we moved to emails.
I know our kids wait for their Amazon delivery guys with equal eagerness but I don’t think it will ever come any close to the happiness that my generation experienced receiving a letter from the postman.
Most kids don’t even know who is a postman. When I tell my kids about Kalidas, they don’t connect to it, but they do listen with awe.
This blog is an ode to ‘Kalidas’ on the occasion of World Post day which is being celebrated today.
Photo by Nina Mace Photography from Pexels
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