Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Experience with India Post


When your parents are in government service, you are raised to respect the government. You are provided justification upon justification on the state of affairs in the country, a matter of endless rants in most other households. Parents in government service come with perks, not limited to waiver of phone bills, vacations in guest houses, and rides in a stately chauffeured Ambassador. Many years later, you will look back at these days with a sigh of nostalgia while standing in line at the passport office or the RTO.

Recently, a popular entrance exam required its applicants to dispatch their applications using either ‘ordinary’ post or registered post. “Better send it a week before the deadline. You know how the postal department is”, a friend warned. How is it, I wondered and went to the post office that weekend. It was a heavily partitioned one-room space bustling with activity, much to my surprise. Hadn't we heard enough times that nobody uses physical mail or stamps these days? Well it appears as if India Post has found other ways to keep its staff employed and occupied. This is commendable when you read about several other legacy government organizations and PSUs deliberating on downsizing and hiring freezes every day.  IP probably learnt a thing or two about calculated hiring after telegraph spiralled downward.

The crowd around me was a mix of people from all walks of life—an elderly gentleman accessing his savings account, a few people buying envelopes, a lady sending multiple speed posts, and—to my delight—a young philatelist asking if there were new stamps released recently. My speed post was bar-coded and a tracking number was generated before one could say the name of a popular courier company. It would reach in two days, said the lady at the counter, to a destination halfway across the country. This with online tracking facility cost me about 60% less than the average private courier service.

A new relationship was forged that day. When I went there this morning to collect the entrance exam’s score card, I left with an inland letter (remember those?), envelopes and stamps to surprise my grandmother who loves receiving letters.

14 comments:

Vikram Ravindra said...

My experience with the Indian Postal Service has been very different.

I wanted to send my applications to Universities in USA and they person in the post office said that it would take at least 2 weeks. He said that if I wanted to ensure that my applications reach on time, I should send the mail through DHL/Fedex...

On another occasion, I was to receive a mail from Germany (through the "normal" post). It reached India (Mumbai) in 2 days time, but took another 12 days to reach me. :-/

Akshatha Hegde said...

See, he was being so considerate. :P

Delays are not unique to India Post. I received a package from Greece recently..12 days late. Even DHL/FedEx mess up. More often than not, the problem lies outside the transit system.

sid@work said...

I sent that accenture agreement to my parents through them last April it is still "in transit " :)

Akshatha Hegde said...

India Post does not believe in bonded labour. B-)

Praveen Hegde said...

True! When I went to Kempapura post office (it exists!)it was a hotbed of 'postal' activities. :P

I had gone there to send something to Secunderabad and the guy manning the office was from Hyderabad. He traded his life story with me while I filled out the address. After that, he tried hard to convince me that the post will indeed reach. Eh. I think he gets "Will it reach?" question a lot.

Also, Indian Postal Service sent back my VTU certificate to Belgaum. Won't forgive them for making me go there.

Akshatha Hegde said...

Hegde, I empathize. You must have written them a strongly-worded letter I guess. That's why they opened a regional office in Bangalore as soon as you returned with your certificate. :P

Ashwini said...

Such a lovely post akku!! :) and I can't agree more. My dad always recommends IP. Their banking system is great too. I am yet to open an RD with them but highly recommended! My parents have been associated with the IP for years now!!

And lovely writing as always! :)

Merin said...

Oh yes, oh yes! Good ol' government service.

My experiences with IP have been pretty similar. And for whatever illogical reason, I feel proud, nostalgic and happy every time I choose IP over any private service. :)

Also, you're receiving parcels from Greece now? *insert oooohs and aaaaaahhhs*

Akshatha Hegde said...

@ Ashwini:

Thanks yo. And I hear IP offers more interest for your mohney!

@ Merin:

Not an illogical reason at all! And those customs fellows had taken out all their anger on my parcel. :( But more on that when we meet. :)

Ashwini said...

It does!! :)

adithi gowda said...

Parcels from Greece?? Parcels frm Greece!! :-P
Your grannie and I have something in common, I loooove receiving letters too! :)
Don't forget to post some from Ahmedabad..
Cheers! :D

Akshatha Hegde said...

Haha yeah I received some trippy stuff. And will keep in mind yo. Hope you like colourful postcards. :)

adithi gowda said...

I do I do!! :-D yaaay! :D

Unknown said...

I'm a friend of Jyothi's- she sent me the link to your blog. I really like this one ( and the Mumbai 101 too - hard to pronounce much?) :) I have great respect for the Indian Postal Service that covers such a huge territory almost flawlessly! Keep up the writing ! Good luck, Chitra.