I was a child, I do not know how and why, I developed a fancy for a uniform and, people in uniform fascinated me. I wished that any profession in which a uniform is mandatory should come my way when I grow up.
God did hear my prayers and fulfilled my desire of belonging to a force of workers in uniform but, what I got was not quite exactly what I had desired for.
I was always quite good in studies, and my parents had pinned their hopes on me getting into a good career, and so did I expect to do well. When at the age of twenty one I graduated, I also harboured several hopes of a brilliant future.
My father who was a lower division clerk in the Government had put in all efforts and money to educate me but, with all that had been put in, the result was not befitting the effort. After my graduation in the first division I went from pillar to post in search of a good job and after the long and tiring search, the job I found was that of a postman.
God did hear my prayer and grant me a job in which I would have to wear a uniform but, this is not what I had expected or worked for. I wondered whether I had studied for this, whether my parents had spent all that they did for this. However what came my way was the only offer so I had no option but to accept it.
The work I do is well known to all and sundry. It is a very tiring job as I am on the move for almost the whole day.
The redeeming feature of my life is that, people of all castes, all classes, all ages look forward to my arrival in their colonies. As soon as I enter any one lane of any colony, beaming faces with hopes written on their faces welcome me everywhere. This makes me forget my tiredness but alas, when I do not bring a letter expected for long, I am cursed also.
I do not at all understand why. Friends, how can I bring a letter for you when your friends and relatives do not write to you at all? Where am I at fault? Anyway this is one of the constraints of my job. It is a pleasure and a good study to see different expressions on the faces of different people when I get Registered letters for them – as, they are mostly important letters for the addressees.
At time they are interview calls they may be appointment letters or call for marriage proposals. With such letters the faces of the recipients just beam with excitement when they sign for the letter. In turn I also get a feeling of achievement at the very thought that I have brought some good news for them.
When such good tidings are received, some people even give me tips and even gifts as; I have been the messenger of the good news. Their face full of happiness is the only source of inspiration for me in this otherwise mundane job. Oh! Yes, let me tell you of one lady who gives me great happiness at least once every month.
She is a widow who lives alone in a big house, and she gets a money order from her son every month, from somewhere in America. She lives all alone and this money is her only succour, and a few letters that comes to her from this same son of hers gives her great satisfaction. In turn this also gives me a big remuneration.
Every time she gets the money order she gives me a reward from that same money and every time I get her son’s letters for her, she gives me in kind by way of blessings. The uncountable blessings she showers on me and my family gives me such a feeling of satisfaction that, at least for that moment I forget my tiring job and the disappointment it has meant for me.
However, the other side of the picture is rather bleak and makes me even miss meals at times. Sometimes I also bring bad and unhappy news to families, whether they are of the demise of a dear one, or loss of property, or loss in a case etc. This news I give to people with a weary heart and they also almost curse me for bringing such news for them.
I of course cannot help it all as, I am only doing my duty for which I have been employed and am being paid. The feelings of my fellowmen good and bad are felt by me also.
I just cannot express them for, who will believe me when I say that, my heart churns within to breaking point when I come to know that I have brought bad news and my excitement knows no bounds when good news is conveyed. Though my work is only to pass or convey messages but the messages are given with my feelings, happy or otherwise.
The life of a postman I’d say is not very rewarding nor is it well paid, as I find it difficult to make two ends meet and make the family stay in good humour. Yet I understand that, “what cannot be cured has got to be endured.” This lesson of a lifetime keeps me going in the face of all Hassels of the job.