This 'twilight-zone' incident happened in the first week of Feb. I had ordered a gift from pardes (not very far, actually). The postwallahs out there were very efficient, and tracked my poor parcel (no privacy, you see) every step of the way till it safely boarded the plane. I sat on my hands, marveling at this for a full four days, before my curiousity got the better of me. I tried tracing it through the India speed post website, and pfff, the parcel had vanished! Unable to take it any longer (the b'day was periliously close), I sent off a minion (friend, actually. Sorry!) to the GPO to enquire (inquire?), and expectedly: "We cannot trace it from here. Go to your local Post Office." I trudged down to the nearest one (well after closing time, on a Saturday. The temerity of I. Sigh.). The postman only asked:"What's your Pincode?", and gladly pointed me further down the road. Surprisingly, it wasn't shut!
Various postmen guided me through the miniscule maze to a place (ok,desk) which 'handles' my post (My post. Only. See, now that's a status symbol.). The elderly post-man sitting there looks me up and down (I keep on wishing he doesn't remember Diwali 2008. Raat gayi, baat gayi. Right? Right?) and motions to follow. Another miniscule maze later, he tip-taps on a computer and shakes sadly, his head. "Abhi nahi aaya. Kal aa jaayiye."
My eyes pop out: "Kal Sunday hai!!!"
Me, sourly: "Monday ko office hai. Possible nahi hai. Phir saturday aana padega."
Suddenly, the room brightens, the post-man smiles: "Yeh lo. (Paper and pen.). Aapka full name, address likho. Phone number bhi. Aa jayega to call karenge. Registered hai na, time lagta hai."
I do the needful. Leave, deciding he did that just to get rid of me. (Yes, i'm a cynic. So?)
Paranoid thought: will he sell my info??
Three days later (b'day's come and gone.), I get a call from a mobile number: "Main aapka postman bol raha hoon. Aapka parcel aa gaya hai. Aaap ghar par rahenge to bata do, nahi to aa kar collect kar lo." In my mind, I am jumping through the roof of the moving train, and running back to the Post Office. (First class. Can't jump with joy. Damn.).
Amazing! Astounding! Incredible! Mind-blowing! Bharat Ratna!
Fortunately, I develop a stomach-ache the next morning, which gets cured by the time the post-office opens (No, I am not bunking school! I am not even in school! It was quite painful. Honest!). I float to the post-office, and am shocked to see a young fellow sitting at the desk. I tentatively start to mumble, when the parcel is gently shoved into my hands. The guy explains that since he was on leave on saturday, someone else was filling in. And he actually passed on the message!!!! Unreal!!! I have died and gone to Postal heaven!!!
I thank him profusely, in bilingual, and bounce out of the Postoffice with the precious cargo. I wondered if there was any other way to thank him which would not belittle his effort or worse, look like a bribe.
I checked out the India Post website. They have a complaint register, but no place for any positive feedback. Idiots! Hence the post.
PS: The friend loved the gift, and didn't mind the delay. :)
PPS: With apologies, in part, to KM's style of writing film reviews. Not that I miss them.
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