Thursday, July 19, 2007

Token blog for the Indian postal service

I have always been a great fan of the Indian Postal service. Probably because I never use them for anything important. But it’s not as if a person like me does too many important things anyway. So I doubt some executive in the “Daak Bhawan” is staying up late at night worried why I haven’t mailed any letter in the past few months.
What actually fascinates me is the sheer vastness of this system. And the fact that it actually works. Did you know that the Postal department has come out with postcards called “Meghdooth postcards”? I think postcards were designed for a very special section of the society. You know people deeply in love with one another, who then had nothing really to say to each other. So naturally postcards were ideal for them.

But somewhere along the line, poor people hijacked the system and started sending these postcards to programs like “Surabhi” or any other TV programs in a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme. This raised the price of the humble postcards. Now the postal department has come up with these Meghdooth Postcards. You can basically use only one side of these postcards. The other side actually has advertisements. These are ideal for the “Soul mates series”. You see, if you select the Advert carefully, then you basically have nothing more to say. And whatever emotions that might be required, may be displayed by the slant of the alphabets in the address.
These postcards sell for 25 paisa. Just imagine, you might be sitting on a bench at Beach No 7, Havelock Island, in the Andamans, and yet for a mere 25 paisa, convey something extremely uncomplimentary about somebody’s sister in Doda district of J& K. Spectacular!
Then there was the post that I already did about the holiest post office in the world. Some amazing people working in the postal Dept.
Today I went to the GPO for my infrequent round of collecting whatever stamps might have come out. Miniature sheets are my new found love. Last year they came out with a stunning miniature sheet of the Dandi march on its 75th anniversary.
There is a scheme out there now by which you can open an account in any GPO in India (with a minimum or Rs 200) and these guys will send to your house once a month, all the stamps that come out. You can even decide on which sort of stuff you want like first day covers, miniature sheets, etc.

Today I got a miniature sheet of a flower called the Kurinji. These are flowers that bloom once in twelve years. Apparently this is the lucky year and they actually came out with a miniature sheet for that.
Extremely cool and exciting it was.
Sometime I’m afraid that absolute strangers will approach me on the road and ask me if living life on the edge like this, all the time, doesn’t wear me off.
Dad of course does not share this wild adulation of mine, but rather tempers it with some sage annual advice about the procedural loopholes to our postman. The postman very patiently (and politely I might add) hears him out before reminding dad that he was actually waiting for the Diwali Baksheesh. So then both go on their ways, eagerly, I’m sure, awaiting their next annual date.

No comments: