Thursday 19 January 2012

Let’s hear it for the postal services

The Nagaland post office is in line for a big kudos. Overseas readers report that parcels sent before Christmas reached them safe and sound before New Year’s and just after the New Year. That is very good progress indeed. A far cry from the days when sending a parcel from India was a matter of uncertain and unintended adventure. Misadventure is the more appropriate term because packages went missing and never reached their appointed destinations. Important documents and also packages of a personal nature containing loving gifts would go missing and never be heard of again. Honestly there was a time when sending a parcel was not very different from dropping it into a big black hole. If the postal gods favored you, it would be delivered. If not, ask not where it went or forever hold your peace.

Parcels sent from Nagaland were dispatched to assigned Indian cities such as Calcutta designed to deal with the troublesome north east. I presume there were a team of trained hardcore professionals with looks on their countenances as unrelenting as a registered seal. (You know the sort: their first cousins used to man Immigrations and customs at Calcutta airport). I imagine they sniffed at every parcel from the North east, performing this duty personally instead of assigning the sniffer dogs to it. Perhaps they were sending out anti national elements in all these badly wrapped, marking cloth covered packages from the northeastern states. For whatever reason there be, only one in a million parcels from Nagaland ever found its way to the target.

But now, ladies and gentlemen, glory halleluia, reports are trickling in from the front line of parcels that have made it to the addresses they were posted to! Those brave little parcel-soldiers running past intermittent gunfire and mortar shelling and perhaps guided missiles whilst whizzing their way over Afghanistan or Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan! Cheer them on, come on give them a loud hurrah when you see them coming through! That’s Turkey that they have crossed now. Well done fellows, it’s not long now, not much longer until you are on the safe shores of Mother Europe. Come on, one last heave and we are home!

The applause of the cheering crowds for the parcel soldiers is stupendous. It almost sounds like it would bring down the house. The chairman stands and holds up his hand for silence.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating the postal services for this amazing feat of successful parcel delivery! Hip hip hurrah!”

The curtain comes down slowly even as the applause continues unabated. Fade out.