Millennium Post

Post Day: Kerala postman says he is facing 'existential crisis'

Thiruvananthapuram: He was one of the most "awaited" persons in several homes, until a decade ago.
Stuffing letters, greeting cards and other parcels in his tiny sack bag, he used to pedal his bicycle for kilometres braving rain and scorching heat to distribute them.
In remote villages, he was the only link to get connected to the outside world.
But, when handwritten letters and greeting cards gave way to e-mail and e-cards and mobile phones and faxes became the major tools of communication, Ferdinand Perera has become one among hundreds of postmen in Kerala who have started facing an 'existential crisis'.
As the country observes National Post Day today, Perera, who works with a post office in the state capital, said the perception of the society towards postman has changed a lot in the last decade and he has become just a "carrier" of some printed bundles now.
The 55-year-old postman said the arrival of modern communication tools has taken the sheen out of a postman's life who was once considered as an integral part of the society.
"Like in the past, I and my colleagues are delivering mail at the doorstep of people now also...But, the job has lost its soul and old charm. A kind of existential crisis haunts me," Pereira rued.
"We can say technically that the number of postal mail has increased these days...But, unlike letters, cards and telegrams in the past, bank documents, telephone bills and magazines comprise the major chunk being sent via post now," he said.
Recalling the good old days of his 34 years of career in the department, a proud Perera said there were times when he was finding it too difficult to accommodate the letters and greetings cards in his handbag.
The overflow of greetings cards even forced him to skip his meals during many Christmas seasons years ago.
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