Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bhartiya Daak or Indian Post

The last time I visited the post office was to send off some sarkari  ho-hum document. Filled out and sent online, but signed and snail  mailed mandatory. I'm pretty sure I'd taken pillunumberone(henceforth p1) along for a  field trip.

Recently one of my favorite cousins (trying not to write my absolute  fav cousin lest some of the others chance upon this and send me e- rottentomatoes and e-glares not to mention e-sulks) turned 50. Now this bloke didn't want the whole song n dance and gala surprise  parties that accompany such milestone happybuddays. His wife and child  decided to get near and dear ones flood him with snailmail for all of  his birthday month since he is deeply in love with their mailbox and  checks it both the times mail is delivered during the day.
Not sure what exactly the dudes waiting for because most normal humans  now recieve only ads for cheesy stores and massage parlours and the  occasional pocket-denter bill.
Wittily titled, Project Mailstorm was meant to be a surprise and I had  pledged a bunch of things from our family of now four members since  the addition of p2. After much mulling and planning and plotting amidst entertaining  patidevs cousins family who were a-visiting, I finally dragged my lazy  procrastinating as well as rather ambitious optimistic ass to the PO  armed with two goodie-envelopes stuffed with cards, old pictures of  The Cuzz in his bachpan, a hand-scrawled note from moi and forced  artwork by p1 and p2.
Yes I made p2's fourandahalf month fingers grab  a pencil and write his name. He promptly tried to stuff the card in  his mouth. :) I'm sure his mama won't mind a slobbery kiss in the mail.

So there I was inside what looked like a blast into the past.
PO, Branch Koramangala, Bangalore.
Bored dudes and a couple of bored  dudettes behind a high counter. Ancient files tied up with thick  rubber bands. Some with twine and even others with what looked like  fraying strips of cloth. Some bundles of mail wrapped in cheap white-ish cloth and sealed with  molten wax. I hadn't seen that in ages.
Anyhoo I enquired of one of the ancients behind the counter about  postage to the USof A. Rs.45 I was informed. Time it would take? 10 days to 2 weeks. I could  swear way back in 1994 when I was a stick in the US of A, mail showed  up in our hick town in IL from bambai in a week.
So snail mail just got snailier? 2 weeks I didnt have.
Speedpost which would take my offerings in a week was Rs.607( he said six  nought seven, teehee) I left.
Couriering I checked would dent my pockets by about 2000 rupees even  though it would deliver the goods in three days.  But then the cuzzs  wife would have to mail the stuff locally or stuff it in the box herself, since I wanted the mail to  reach the mailbox, which was the entire point of this  excercise. Sounded like un-fun.

SO I decided to take my chances and resort to the mercies of the Indian Post. I discovered and the younger counter dude mildly pimped a service  called WorldNet Express which was a tie up with DHL and would deliver in  three days. Guaranteed. Speedpost delivering in five days as promised  wasn't a pakka guarantee, he said.  This was also online trackable. For the  bargain price of Rs.800 plus tax.

I was asked to please wait madam in mumbles. After about five long minutes of looking at a pot of rather diluted looking  glue with broken pen for applicator I was summoned and presented with  a sticker that looked like this.

(Pardon bad photo. Time for a new phone praps? :) )

And my job was done.
Rs 899 lighter I left. And Thursday night I was informed by the cuzzs wife  that the packet had showed up at the doorstep. Brilliant I say. Sent it out Monday. And they got it Thursday midday. Super. Thanks, Indian Post.
And er the tiny private hand of DHL.
And also really is it that hard to get a real glue brush?

ps Methinks she had to put it in the mailbox for the snail mail effect. Oh well. :)

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