Ek akela isi shaher main…maybe gali main

Ek akela isi shaher main…maybe gali main

This article is not about about a song that was sung by Bhupinder Singh for the film Gharonda, but about a red post box that I noticed this morning near Ahobila Mutt. I walk on that road almost everyday and still fail to notice it due to cars parked in front of it.

But this morning, it was standing there, as it has stood there for many years, all of red, a beautiful post box that was once a big part of all of us.

This was the time before email was invented. We used to love writing and receiving the blue inland letters, yellow postcards, birthday greeting cards from our friends and families. This was the time even before mobile phones were invented. Not everyone had the landline or telephones where we had to book an outstation call to talk to our relatives. Writing letters was the fastest way to communicate and our post office services were as efficient then as they are today.

There was a time, when the post box was filled to the brim with hand written letters and postcards, carrying within them news and stories of the near and dear ones, waiting to reach their destination.  

But it was so much more than just a post box. There is something nostalgic about the red painted postbox. It brings back memories of the era of ink pens and paper and the excitement of mailman ringing the door bell to deliver a letter or a greeting card or a postcard. It was a time when people would write personal messages on a postcard and not worry about anyone reading it. We would waited for our parent’s permission to peel off the stamps from the envelopes for our personal stamp collection. 

It was a journey from home to the post box and the experience of dropping the letter through its hole and feeling  with fingers the other letters and postcards.

Sadly, with the invention of email, slowly the letters and postcards started to reduce and eventually stop. Now the post box stands in its place as a reminder of time when it was nice to write and receive letters and cards. We all depended on it for news of our loved ones living far away. It reminds us of a time when the post man was happy with his duty of collecting mail from the post box in his brown cotton sack.

If you walk down towards Ahobila Mutt, or even towards the Sandu Garden post office, or if you are in Govandi near post office, you will be able to spot the old but glossy red postbox. Maybe it would be nice to once again post a letter or a greeting card instead of sending a message on mobile or writing an email.


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