Daakiya

Growing up in nineties was a lot of fun, and back then having parents who are in government jobs made one thing very often, a lot of mails. In this world, where email addresses serve as mailbox outside your house, not a long ago, mails used to be a big deal. So my recollection of the postman Mr. Ratiram, who used to come to our house to deliver mails in his Khaki attire, is very vivid. He used to visit our neighborhood every three days or so, such was the frequency of people talking through mails back then, even in a small city like Jammu.

Eventually with the digitization, emails were the new convenient way and soon they were being used for all the official purposes. It changed the equation that people shared with their Daakiya, now he is rarely seen.

In 2015, I accompanied a friend to his village in Madhubani district of Bihar, his grandfather was working in a post office there, and through him I got a chance to roam around the village with postman of the area.

In an area where twenty-four hours of power supply is still a far-fetched dream, let alone the smartphones and Internet services, postman is an important figure for people there. He knew everybody as a part of his job and everyone knew him and liked him because of his frequent visits to the village.

In India, moving from one city to another one might get an impression that the country has the basic infrastructure required in a developing country, if not anything else but to my surprise, a large percentage of our population is still alien to the systems in cities that we swear to.

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