On reading the article “Oh, for the postman dear!” (Open Page, March 6), I too was reminded of R.K. Narayan's The Missing Mail, as it was part of our English syllabus in class 10. A postman was definitely an integral part of our lives till about a decade ago. My father tells me that when he was a student, he waited eagerly for letters from home. Today, as a student, I get to speak to my parents on the phone, through e-mail and internet chat. The one letter box on our campus, once bright red, is now rusty. I have never seen a postman collect letters from it. I sometimes wish I too could go back to those times.
I was transported back to the 1960s to Sholavandan, my native village, and reminded of Raman, our dear postman. There were two postal deliveries in those days — at 8.30 am and 11.30 am. The first delivery was a much awaited one. Most of the office goers to Madurai would meet Raman on their way to the railway station, seated on the verandah of the house of one Ramakrishna Iyer, segregating the tapals. Every household awaited his arrival eagerly.
The article paid a compliment that was long overdue to the likes of Kevalam Subbu. Although many people today feel running a post office is an act of profligacy, the fact is there is still a marginal group that understands the value of handwritten letters. My sister, who writes to me from Kerala, belongs to the group.
R. Sreejith Varma,
Postmen and street hawkers are among those who are fast diminishing. Gone are the days when people used to wait eagerly for the postman to hear from their dear ones, to receive an appointment letter or call letter for examinations. The present generation does not get even a glimpse of the khaki-clad postman. The internet is undoubtedly a quick mode of communication but the pleasure of writing long letters and waiting anxiously for the postman is no longer there.
The postman knew everyone in our village personally. As soon as he entered our village, the news would spread and people would wait at their doorstep for him. The postman became a very important part of my life when I went to the hostel for higher studies.
Till about the 1980s when the telephone was the preserve of the well-to-do, it was the humble post that connected people.
I distinctly remember my days as a teenager when my family eagerly waited for letters from my father in distant Ahmedabad. Even though the post took a leisurely four to five days to arrive, nobody protested as it was well worth the wait.
N.J. Ravi Chander,
The postman was a link in the social circle. I remember how a postman used to ask my sister, whose house I frequented during my college days, about my welfare much after I left the place. He was more than a messenger. He was a friend and well wisher. He used to share our happiness and console us in bad times.
Today, emails have taken the place of letters. Letters were a complete package of feelings, emotions. Most important, our hearts were filled with hope on sighting a postman.
Hari Vansh Shardul,
While technology has given us virtually “everything,” it has silently taken away “something.” The postman uncle, who was once the first to share our happiness and sorrow, is now hard to find.
The new generation hardly knows about the charm of a handwritten letter and the excitement of receiving the same from loved ones. Can we not restart the practice of writing letters?