Bengaluru, March 14: Times have changed drastically, but a few lives remain the same. While we all have switched over to the "fast" way of exchanging letters (nowadays, nobody even uses the term letter, it is mail) as e-mails come in handy, Anjanappa (who only writes his first name), a postman in Bengaluru, Karnataka, like his hundreds of colleagues across the country till strongly believes in the power of postal service. Employed by the department of post, the 57-year-old has been working as a postman in India's IT hub for the last 30 years.
Every day, the postman, who is currently working for the MH Colony post office in Marathahalli, starts his day at around 9 am. First, he collects his share of posts and parcels from his office in a big bag. Then, the man embarks on a day-long journey of the city riding his "favourite" bicycle. He travels at least 25 km a day on his rickety bicycle, no matter whether it is sunny, rainy or simply "pleasant Bengaluru" weather (thanks to pollution and rising temperature, the city has lost its famed weather conditions).
Talking to OneIndia, Anjanappa informs that every day he delivers at least 600 ordinary posts, 70 speed posts, 50 registered posts and a few parcel boxes from companies like Amazon and Flipkart to various houses, apartment complexes and offices in the city. When asked if such a huge number of letters and parcel boxes are a burden on an ageing man, he smiled and said, "It's my job. All my colleagues (postmen) do the same thing. It's nothing unusual. I like doing it. It gives me great satisfaction to deliver posts on time."
Anjanappa, who has studied till class ten before starting work, has spent all his life in Bengaluru. Thus the man knows a lot about the city which over the years has witnessed tremendous changes, a few good and others not so good. Before talking about Bengaluru, the postman stated that "one main thing I would like to say about people is that these days they don't write letters to each other."
"Most of my posts are registered letters from banks, educational institutions and other government offices. These days, nobody writes a letter. It pains me," he told OneIndia. When reminded that e-mails have replaced handwritten letters, Anjanappa said he knew it. "But the beauty of a handwritten letter, placed inside an envelope and posted to a dear one can't be replaced by e-mails. E-mails are definitely faster, they land in our computers within seconds, but it is too technical. Letters have lost the personal touch," he smiled with a sigh.
Despite missing his old days when people used to wait for his visit to get letters, Anjanappa has moved with times. "We have to keep on moving. Life does not stop. Things will change more," Anjanappa said with a prophetic tone. Coming back to Bengaluru and its growth, the postman said that he is not one of the television experts to speak on the matter.
"Based on my own experience, I will say riding a bicycle in Bengaluru's infamous traffic is nothing less than traumatic. There are hardly any bicycles on roads. A few that one sees on roads have to struggle hard with the traffic," he said.
Clad in his khaki uniform and a cap, the bespectacled postman says his bicycle, which he has bought with his own money several years ago, is his lifeline. "I can't afford to buy a motorcycle, my bicycle is my best friend," he added with an assurance of continuing his job with honesty and diligence till he retires.