Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Friendly Neighbourhood PostMaster

I guess every village has its own colourful personalities. One such in my village has to be the PostMaster. I hail from a sleepy village in North Kerala which has its fair share of claimants to the Mr DontPissMeOff title, but the PostMaster springs to the mind because of an incident during the recent Christmas leave.

I was expecting a registered post and needed to give an authorisation letter. So whats the big deal, ask the more flippant of the readers. Just sign a letter and have it shown to the postman when he arrives with the concerned article, and he leaves the registered item and God is in his heaven and all is right with the world.And this is where you would be sadly mistaken, for you have not heard the tales the village people sing about our valiant post master.

For you see, our Post Master has a history of refusing registered letters to any one other than the person its addressed to. All your wailings , your entreaties fall on deaf ears. If you cannot find the time to enter the august presence of His Majesty when you are called to , you can kiss goodbye to the the registered letter. Before you can say , "But but ,I have signed an authorisation letter", the registered article will be winging its way back to the sender.

I left my nimble mind to work its magic and sure enough , seconds later , it presented me with two scenarios.

Scenario A : I go to the post office with an authorisation letter signed , and present it to the Post Master. He of course crumples and throws it into the dustbin. A heated exchange ( 2 minutes long , shall we say ) later , I shout Saddam ki jai and slap him on the face, hearing which the village people who are present will recognise him for the Bush charan he undoubtedly is and give him his just desserts while I quietly make good my escape ( after of course, retrieving the crumpled letter from the waste paper bin , like I have been taught by all the detective novels I have read )

Scenario B : I work myself up into quite a steam thinking about the exchange that will take place, barge into the Post office , and when the Post master asks "What do you want?" , shrilly cry out "Nee authorised person nu registered letter kodukilla alle?" (Editors note : which may be transalated into "You wont give the registered letter to the authorised person?") and slap him a juicy one right on the face. and before the flabbergasted guy can recover and say , "Nayinte mone" ( Editor's note : "Son of God er Dog") , storm out of the Post Office.

Now either of these scenarios was pure brilliance , and would have ideally served my purpose ( except , of course for the small detail that I would still be without the registered article , but then which plan is perfect? ) . So which scenario did you choose , you ask breathlessly. Now its been said of me before ( by better men than me, I might add ) , that I remind them of the little boy in the joke who is reputed to have said, "My teacher told me procrastination is the root of all my troubles.I dont know what that big word means. I will look it up tomorrow".

So I thought, and thought. And thought. And did precisely nothing. And may God be praised, when the article in question did arrive, it was not registered but Speed post, which of course anyone can sign for. Which just goes to prove my point that Good things happen to Good people.

p.s : There are other nasty things I have heard about this Postmaster ( like steaming open and reading others' letters, and even gasp, stealing sweets from little children) but all of this is just hearsay and cannot find a place on any reputed person's (ahem , ahem ) blog . I just brought this up in case any of you gentle people are worrying about me betraying my keen desire to bring the palm of my right hand into contact with the honourable person's grizzly cheek.

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