A hor­ror story..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

TWO teenaged chil­dren who had just fin­ished send­ing mes sages on their com­puter came and sat in their fa­ther’s study, “Tell us a story dad,” said the el­der one while her brother nod­ded ea­gerly. “Once upon a time,” said the fa­ther, “we had post­men!” “Post­men?” ex­claimed the girl, “some­thing like post­mortem?”

“Or post­hu­mous?” gig­gled her brother. “Post­men,” con­tin­ued the fa­ther grin­ning, “de­liv­ered mail!” “Like email?” “Snail mail was more like it,” said the fa­ther, “post­men picked up mail from post of­fices, got onto cy­cles and went from home to home de­liv­er­ing let­ters!” “Like the courier man!” shouted the boy and his fa­ther beamed at him.

“How­ever, un­like the courier boy, the post­man never came to pick up a let­ter, you had to walk down a road till you came to a red box..” “Like a dust bin?” “And into that red box you threw in your let­ter!” “And the garbage man came and cleared the bin?” “Post­man my son, the post­man cleared the let­ters, took them to the post of­fice, then sorted all of them out and sent them to rail­way sta­tions where mail trains took those let­ters to places where other post men picked them up and de­liv­ered them home!”

“How long did all this take dad?” asked the breath­less as­ton­ished daugh­ter. “It was sup­posed to take a day, but most of­ten took a week, some­times a month, and in a few in­stances a let­ter was de­liv­ered decades later!” “Didn’t peo­ple ob­ject to such de­lays?”

“They had no choice chil­dren, the gov­ern­ment owned the post of­fice.” “Sup­pose you threw the let­ter into the red box and the post man didn’t pick it up?” “Well that hap­pened many times, so the post of­fice in­tro­duced cer­tifi­cates say­ing you had posted the let­ter! Whether it reached was a dif­fer­ent is­sue, but you had a pa­per say­ing you had ac­tu­ally posted it!” “And the post­men fa­ther? Where they good men?”

“Es­pe­cially on fes­ti­vals son! That was one day more post­men were seen at your doorstep than let­ters re­ceived the whole year. They came with open grins and empty wal­lets which had to be filled.” “Why dad?” “Well my girl, no money, no let­ter! Then there was the money or­der; by which peo­ple sent money through the post­men. Af­ter the post­man gave you the money he waited!” “For a cup of tea?” “No for a per­cent­age of the money you had re­ceived!” “Dad!” cried both the chil­dren, “thank god we live in an­other age of couri­ers and e mail!”

The fa­ther looked at the teenagers and sighed, “They’re back my chil­dren! Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to stop courier peo­ple from han­dling your let­ters, the post­men are com­ing back!” “Not fair!” shouted both the chil­dren, “you didn’t tell us it was a hor­ror story..!” — Email:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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