This one NPR story that aired yesterday, stirred up some old memories, on different fronts. One part mentioned that in times past, postmen would find iced tea left for them in the mail box. I immediately thought....oh how so impersonal. Well....I come from the world of Malgudi days and R K Narayan, and I immediately remembered the small short story ("Missing Mail") that was in our school curriculum in grade 3 or 4. I also related to a personal story pretty much along the sames lines as the one in the R K Narayan's story. Our postman was very much like the protagonist Thanappa in the story, who always had the nice work for everyone and who went the extra step to help out people even if it was in the smallest way possible and would be offered a glass of buttermilk with all its seasonings when he makes his afternoon mail service in the midst of the sweltering Indian summer.
I remember this one time when i was waiting for my admit card to take my Chartered Accountancy exams and they never showed up. My uncle in Delhi went personally to the examinations department and figured out they had lost the check for the exam fees when they were processing the application. As with almost all professional bodies at that day and age, nobody remembers the student who is going to loose out because they can't take the exams. With just days to spare, I eagerly awaited it everyday. The day our postman spots it in the morning, he headed to our place to hand over the card to me before going his usual route. Not that it is of a lot of significance to most, but it did to an eager 17 year old who was all anxious and ready to take on the first professional examination.