Vanishing Vintage

Rat a tat tat, what is that? It is the internet, with WhatsApp and the Facebook in its bag.

I have been a diehard fan of the postal saving schemes. It gives a nostalgic feeling of financial security when I invest in one.

Things seem to have changed off late. I faced several hurdles when I went to get the passbook updated, the a/c numbers had changed without any intimation to the customers and added to that generally, there is a long queue just to get the passbook updated. As if that was not enough, time and again the printer gets out of order, forcing one to pay a visit to the post office yet another day.

In one of those passbook updating sessions, as I was in the queue, a group of teachers brought little tiny tots for a visit to the post office. “Rat a tat – tat, who is that? It is the postman, with letters in a bag, he brings letters from far and near, from my friends who are very dear.” The teacher very enthusiastically recited the rhyme. Then, she asked the children, “Children how many of you have seen the post man bringing letters to your home?" Only one in the group of 30 raised his hand. “Ok, how many of you have written letters and posted to your dear ones?"  Yet again, only a hand or two up. The teacher somehow tried her best to create interest in the little ones, but the blank faces only made the onlookers like me realise that they really did not get the feel of the importance of the postal system.

When we were young, things were different. We really kept waiting at the door to see if we have a letter for the day, and of course, postman chacha was a dear friend to all in the colony. As kids we used to run behind his cycle till he crossed the colony compound.

The schools still teach children about the dead telegraph and the almost dead postal system as an important means of conveying messages. I guess the little ones would have been quite participative had the teacher taught them e-mail, WhatsApp or Facebook. For the children of today have really no idea of waiting for days and months for news to be delivered to them. For them, everything is instantaneous. The moment they have a celebration at home, their pictures are updated on the internet. How will the little ones know what it means to wait for the news that a post man brings? With internet, WhatApp and Facebook, the postal service is almost redundant. It takes only a few moments to share pictures, movie or happening across the globe, not days, weeks or months as is the case with the post, which is sometimes called as ‘Snail Mail’. Of course the importance of postal system is nothing to be neglected, but may be one should also add the newer aspects of development into the minds of the little ones so that the understanding is more practical.

“Rat a tat – tat, what is that? It is the internet, with WhatsApp and the Facebook in its bag, it brings messages and pictures from far and near, from my friends who are very dear.”

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