Travellers and Magicians

The cherry blossom is beautiful...because it's temporary!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Perils of a Post Office - Part I

I had to send my registration card to my college in Pilani by speed post. On being informed that I could do so from a post office near the collectorate (here in Allahabad), I set out on a journey I will long remember.

Our institute's bus service took me to the heart of the city, where I approached one among the teeming crowd of rickshawpullers.
"Daak ghar jana hai", I declare.
"Kya?" comes the nonchalant reply. I could have as well abused him in Japanese.
"Post office paas mein kahaan hai?", I ask.
The puzzled man looks me up and down and says "Maaloom nahin."
A little remorseful at having tested the poor fellow's awareness, I condescend to ask, "Collectorate ke paas mein shaayad ek post office hai. Vahaan le chaliye."
The lure of prospective business, if at all, makes him say "Samjha nahin".
I pause to scan my Hindi vocabulary and come up with, "Jiladhikari ke daftar ke pass jo daak ghar hai, vahaan jana hai".
While I stop to congratulate myself on such a fantastic gobbledygook, the rickshawpuller, having definitely lost all interest, resumes his siesta.
An enterprising colleague of his, comes up and offers to take me to the post office. But, he demands an astronomical fee of Rs. 20/-(in Allahabad, people consider it a crime to lose more than ten bucks for a ride in these rickety rickshaws). He informs me that the El Dorado I seek is far far away. For such immense distances, he assures me that Rs 20 is a paltry fee.
A little tired by now, I give in, only to realize that he really is taking me across the city. He has brought me to the head post office of Allahabad. I am glad for the Head Post will surely have the speed post facility.
I walk in to realize that it has a speed post counter alright, but Pilani isn't important enough to be on the allowed destinations list. I would have to settle for registered post.


At 10:47 PM , Blogger Amrish Shyam said...

Hey ganesh! HRU dude? this is Amrish, any bell ringing??? Good old DAV days...


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