Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Girl Child - Hooray!

Hi all. I have great news. I am now a father! We were blessed with a baby girl in the middle of this month. It is a most amazing feeling and a bit scary as we are first time parents.

Because of these, my philatelic persuits have been put on hold for the near future. But I will ofcourse be checking up on what you guys keep putting out there.

Hope you all have a wonderful year ahead and wish great health to you and your families.


Monday, May 4, 2009

The Indian Coast Guard

I had gone to the main post office (GPO) after a long time and found that two people were smashing down entire walls inside the Philatelic section. It seems that renovations were going on. Its always good that the postal department is sprucing up the Philatelic section, but the poor lady who sits at the desk has now been shifter to a small cubbyhole that has to be accessed by a window! A very uncomfortable perch for the poor lady, so I didn't bother her too much and came away with a few miniatures.

This is the miniature on the Indian Coast Guard. Working in the Merchant Navy and having traded on the Indian Coast for more than ten years, I must commend the Coast Guard for doing an amazing job when faced with such a mamoth task with so few resources.

The miniature is neat, but I like miniatures which have the stamps as a part of a bigger picture, which are not present here. The units on display in this sheet are the Dornier Aircraft, Chetak helicopter, Samar Class patrol craft and the Air Cushion Vessel.

To the coastguard I am personally obligated because of an incident which happened on one of my ships after I had signed off from it. One of the chaps fell in the water while rigging the pilot ladder. Unfortunately this fellow was so overweight that the rest of the complement couldn't pick him up. They had a situation where this fellow was happily floating in the water with life buoys and secured nicely with two heaving lines , but try as that might, they couldn't pick up this fellow weighing about 200 Kgs. Finally they launched the lifeboat, which they couldn't pick up due to the waves picking up. So now they had eight men who needed rescuing. I knew most of the men involved and we had a good laugh over it later. But I'm sure it must have been a sticky issue for the Captain to put in his report at that time.

Please have a look at the excellent resources below

Resources :

India Coast Guard Website
Coast Guard on Wikipedia
Coast Guard on Bharat Rakshak

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Giripeth Post office - Nagpur

As I have put up in the title bar, I have a weakness of taking my pictures with post offices or post boxes. I got an opportunity to do it yesterday and I wasn't going to pass up on it. The Giripeth post office in Nagpur has a very rustic look to it, like it might have existed in this state for more then 50 years. And it really might have had. My wife is form the locality and she claims to have seen the post office in the same state since memory serves her. That would put the age of the post office anywhere from five years to twentyfive - depending on who is telling my wifes age!

The Post box outside actually looks like it had fallen in one of the stronger monsoon winds and is now firmly propped up in place with a cement base. But nothing much seems to be holding up the building, with its beautiful tiled roof and wooden latticed front. It is really hot in Nagpur, with temperatures reaching up to 47 Deg C yesterday. But because of the construction of these older houses, it was rather pleasant inside the structure.

The well and the Post office in the background

Another neat part about the post office is that it has an serviceable well of its own! Most houses built in this region had a well if their own dug because there was no piped water, but today, you either have bore well dug or even if you dig it at a side or behind your house. This post office was evidently built during a time and place, where the well was a focal point of the house and was considered important enough to accord a place right in front.

Sadly there were no records or information available in the post office about when it was established. The post master, a helpful man in his forties did chat with me for a bit. This post office doee not really handle the home delivery of the letters for the locality. That is taken care of by the post office at Shankar nagar - A heartless three storied buliding, and the area North of the road is taken care of by the GPO.

The General Post office is an nice building from the British era and you can find it towards the north east of map down below, also I had posted about it a long time back here.

If you have been following my regular blog, you'll know that I am working on Geotagging these days and the map below is from another result of a new application called "Here I am".

I was also able to glean the information that the land is not governments and is leased from the "society" and now it seems that they want it back. Since its the government, we can at least be assured that they will take another five to ten years to vacate the building, but it will be a real tragedy to lose such a quaint post office in the middle of the city.

View Larger Map

The map with the Post office location (GPO on top right)