BANGALORE: Nirmala Kamat, a housewife and a resident of Madhavanagar, was bemused when she saw their regular postman on Saturday morning when he knocked on their door to deliver mail.
Clad in a crisp dothi and the uniform of yore, complete with a turban, staff and kerosene lantern, the postman A S Chandrashekar, attached to the General Post office, Bangalore, was on his regular rounds delivering mail. His Saturday outing in the old-fashioned attire was part of the National Postal Week being observed by the Karnataka circle of India Post from October 9 to 15.
“When the door bell rang, I thought some stranger was at my door. Only later I realised he is our regular postman. It was nice to see the good old tradition,” Nirmala said.
At Nirmala’s home, the now almost forgotten form of communication -- writing letters -- is still practiced. “We are from Kundapura and we do get letters from relatives,” she said. He father-in-law, 70-year-old C N Kamat said, “When I was young, our relatives used to send letters to wish us during our birthdays. Those wishes are unmatchable,” he said.
Chandrashekar, who hails from Anedoddi of Maddur taluk in Mandya district, said, “I was appointed as Grameen Dakh Sevak in 2000 and, in 2007, I became a postman. I feel satisfied with my job.”
Explaining about his attire, Chandrashekar said, “In 1854, postmen were called runners. They used to run from one place to another through hills and forests. They would not eat food and yet, letters used to reach the people on time. But the present generation would not know about this. I was asked to dress like the postmen of yore and work.”
“I carried a lantern and staff with jingle bells tied to it. We do not walk or run like the old days. Most postmen have bicycles and some even have bikes,” he added.
Deputy Chief Post Master Dinesh Kare, who was the brain behind this idea, said the Department of Posts has changed over the years. “We have changed to the expectations of the people by adopting new technology. We wanted people to know about the history and that is why we did this,” he said.