Saturday, May 27, 2006


THE POSTMAN

She stands at the door, her eyes travel to the end of the long dusty road, straining to see the image of the postman on his bicycle. He is no where to be seen and she is sad. She waits untill noon hoping he would come, but he does not, because there is nothing to deliver. Before the days of Western Union, courier services, E mail, and electronic money transfers, there was a very important person the postman .He was the bearer of news Good and Bad , Births and Deaths, Arrivals and Departures, sickness and Health, Failures and Success via the Telegram. He also brought letters from loved ones near and far. Packages of food and clothes and most important was the Money Order. It was the only way people sent money across the country.And this was what she was waiting for, money that her husband would send every month to pay the rent , bills and to buy food and clothes.The money was important but the note at the bottom of the money order was what made her heart pound and her eyes light up.It said P.S. " I love you and I will be home soon."

She looks around and sees the hungry faces on the children, so many mouths to feed. She can get by without paying the rent and the bills on time but the children need food. He works in another state coming home only twice a year.Happiness and joy floods her life when he arrives and all caution is blown away and another child is born. The sun is setting its beginning to get dark and the children are crying, she gives them water to drink, wipes away their tears and rocks the baby to sleep. She walks into the darkness , frequently looking behind her, not wanting the neighbors to see she walks fast. In the stillness of the night only the rustle of her saree can be heard. She arrives at the Pawn Shop, the place she detests because she has been here before giving away the things that were dear to her. All she has left is a set of gold bangles given to her by her father. She trades it in hoping in her heart to buy it back later. She needs money to feed her children.

She stops by the same grocery store that refused to give her credit, they have always been good to her before.She buys bread and milk and walks home hoping no one had seen her. She feeds her children and puts them back to sleep.She lays her weary head down and falls asleep for tomorrow is another day, and the Postman will arrive.

43 comments:

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP 1:51 PM  

Very insightful...The postman was such an intricate person in my life as he got me the sweet news, I think i was pretty young to get sorrow from a postman...I miss waiting for him to come n then rippin gopen the envelope n reading from fresh ink on paper n preserving all those letters...:) Nice post :)

Sarah 1:58 PM  

and the post man never came!!! I waited so many months and years for that 'letter with a draft' inside..it never came..

starry nights 1:58 PM  

Thank you. I think the art of letter writing and recieving letters is slowly being replaced by e mail.even though it is convenient I think it takes something away.

starry nights 1:59 PM  

It is sad but true many people have waited and waited and it never came.

southpaw 8:40 PM  

Very nicely written and glad to see u put across such a serious thing with the simplest example, This is one of ur best as far as i m concerned.

southpaw 8:41 PM  

Very nicely written and glad to see u put across such a serious thing with the simplest example, This is one of ur best as far as i m concerned.

starry nights 8:52 PM  

southpaw..Yes we dont realize what happens to the poor with many children and living from pay check to paycheck.Its sad.

hope and love 10:51 PM  

my eyes are moist..

Anu 11:55 PM  

We talk of the post man with nostalgia....But yes, the post man and the money order, the pawn shop, the credit in the grocery store, hungry children all are reality....and for some, even the postman is a dream....:((((

I love Munich 1:49 AM  

That story really got me to think ...
Eventhough here in Germany the mailman was important - during a time without e-mail and computers that is - I guess we tend to forget how vital he is for the poor who depend on him to bring any good news and money for to survive! You know .. eventhough hooked at using the computer - I really miss handwritten letters! They were something personal, something warmer, something you could hold in your hands! I feel with all our progress we lost a lot of the simple but important things!

starry nights 10:08 AM  

Hope & Love & ANU....Really sad but true.

starry nights 10:11 AM  

I love munich..Because of the electronic age we sometimes fail to realize that for some the postman or as we say over here the mailman is an important person.In some villages in India the postman even reads the mail for the people who do not know how to read. I hope the art of handwriiten letters are not forgotten.

Jackal 11:01 AM  

nice post starry.......indeed th post man was so welcum .....at times more than one person wud ruch out to grab the mail when he called.....but now ..he is seldom there..n when he does its mostly work related mail...u dont wait for him any more

juliana 12:08 PM  

Now the post man only brings bills and junk mail. Long gone are the times when you actually received something that made you happy.

JamesBright 12:36 PM  

Beautiful..!
Look , how the times have changed...!
Very nicely written. Please write more.

Prash 1:47 PM  

This post is very 'touchant' ...

I have never seen the postman who brings (only) the bills...

At office, i've seen him, he comes to collect the letters...he is very nice and says hi to me when i see him in the lift. He even gave me a gift for this new year - Table Calendar for 2006 from the famous LA POSTE of the great FRANCE -

This post made me think one of those movies of Satyajit Ray...or RK Narayan's story.

You are a wonderful story-teller.

This story reminded me couple of people i met in the remote villages in Kerala. I was little boy, and I remember asking many questions to mom regarding why they don't have a proper house and why they are poor etc...

chandni 3:31 PM  

amazing.

Touching, not just because it is beautifully written..but also as it reminds of a life not lived anymore...

starry nights 7:26 PM  

Thats true Jackal..we dont wait for the mailman the same reasons anymore.

starry nights 7:27 PM  

Juliana..welcome to my blog and I do hope you come again.thank you for visiting.

starry nights 7:28 PM  

Dreamslittle..Thank you.and Times have changed.

starry nights 7:30 PM  

Prash..I remember waiting for letters from my husband when he was in India.it took so long and the anticipation would kill you, but it was a time worth waiting.

geetha 7:56 PM  

I know how meaningful the postman can be to many people. Nicely written..

starry nights 8:15 PM  

Chandni..Yes to many people the postman brought more than letters it was food on the table.


Geetha..thank you

Rai 3:39 AM  

A post man is an emissary of mundane news. He brings all kind of excitement into your life. But now internet and mobile phones have surmounted all the distance between me and my friends/relatives. Whether for good or bad, he doesn't come to my house that frequent.

It's great that you brought up this topic! I suddenly remember a short story that I read long ago..."The Post-Office" ..though the context is a bit different.

Sumitha 4:47 AM  

This is specially true for most families back in India.Men go to a far away country to feed those back at home,it is really sad that all of us have to leave our country and loved ones and stay in another country just to secure our future.I dont know whether this will ever change!

Bittu's Mamma 8:23 AM  

I too waited for postman so eagerly but for another reason not money. I was the 21 year old girl who waited for her husbnad's letetrs who just left her after 45 days of marriage and it was so sweet all those waitings. But this one makes my eyes moist :(

jac 8:46 AM  

Beautiful !!

starry nights 9:18 AM  

Rai..Thats true the internet and mobile phones have bridged the gap.and made it easier to communicate. It was sad for people long ago.

starry nights 9:20 AM  

Sumitha..thats true sometimes in order to provide a better life for our families we have to leave them.and work in faraway places.

starry nights 10:25 AM  

Bittu's Mamma..I waited eagerly also for my husbands letters after we first got married. I was in the US and he was in INdia.

starry nights 10:26 AM  

Jac thank you.

Shankari 3:41 PM  

loved the story!
My mom used to wait for letters from her mom, sisters and later us and then came the phones, email & webcam.
My mom has written letters to me and it is more beautiful then the emais we receive

starry nights 7:30 PM  

Shankari..I miss getting letters also.most people would rather call than write a letter.

Ajay 12:03 AM  

oh its been a decade since i wrote a decent letter.
Letters mm i bet they will be in vogue soon :)

@ina 8:24 AM  

Beautifully narated! :) Thank you.

starry nights 8:28 AM  

Thank you Ajay and @ina.

Prash 2:04 PM  

Do you really the old 'post' system ? which is hijacked by the internet now ...

Do you miss that anxiety of waiting ?

Nabeel 6:08 PM  

ahhh the coloful turban .. simple awesome .. a treat of a picture .. great !!

Srijith Unni 10:33 PM  

An Excellent post. Very insightful. I believe this is how lots of women, wait even now.

Hail the Postman.

You write exceedingly well.

Regards,
Srijith.

Dotm 9:31 AM  

very sad, but often true.
We still have the mailman who drops mail into our mailbox in front of our homes.
Yes, the internet has replaced most letters and I miss the letters. Years ago my grandmother wrote to a cousin in another state. When my grandmother died, my mother wrote to tell grandmothers cousin and that cousin kept writting to my mother. When my mother died, I wrote to let this cousin know and her and I continued writing each other. Then the cousin Died and her daughter wrote to let me know. Now the daughter of my grandmother and I stay in contact. This might never have happened if not for those wonderful mailmen delivering those letters. But grandmothers cousins daughter and I stay in contact with e-mails. Times sure have changed. I miss those letters.
Great post, even if a bit sad.

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