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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Post delayed is post denied

Propaganda has it that we have straightened the system, and cleaned it to the extent that it will meet your expectations; professionalism, you know. Last week, on Friday,  7th of November’14, I sent certain things to my daughter, who is studying in a boarding school at Dehradun, via speed post. These were articles she needed for her practical examinations. We were assured by the head post office here, at Srinagar, by the gentleman sitting behind the speed post counter, that this packet will be for sure delivered on the 10th, Monday. She has been preparing for this examination for a long time now to file her papers, and the last step was the practical display. Having spoken to her over the phone the following Wednesday, 12th Nov, we realized that she had received nothing till date. Thursday, we started perusing with the authorities about the status of the packet. No news, but they assured again it will be delivered soon. Again following it up with the local post office, now at Humhama. They said the packet is still in Delhi and the advise was that we call up the Dehradun post office to find out tomorrow.  On asking them to gives us the required telephone numbers, the person refused; saying he had no such numbers. And when we asked to give us the telephone number of the post master, Srinagar,  he very politely refused. They had given us the receipt, but problem was to find the status, and there is no website or telephone numbers. Upon  visiting  the Humhama post office the following day, 13th of November, the  person there checked on his computer. Not giving us any details, he simply said that the package is likely to  reach Dehradun today. Again in the afternoon I sent someone to check the status. The news was that package is in Dehradun, but the delivery is still not made.

My daughter was crying on phone while  speaking to her mother, saying that our carelessness has ruined her future. Her question was that why could we not find a courier service instead, and trusted the Indian postal service. We were heartbroken, as she could not stop crying the whole time she was on phone.  Her house mistress took the phone from her, and spoke to my wife, saying that she has to now arrange everything anew, and that that too in a single day, just tomorrow, something very hard. Believe it or not, I had a sleepless night seeking a miracle for this delivery – as I knew she had prepared her project for so long and just because of our inability we made a mess of things, jeopardizing the future of this little girl.

I never pray, but that day morning I woke to seek the delivery from the Divine. Friday morning we arranged a person in Dehradun to visit the local post office to find out why this packet was not delivered. Despite having all details with him, to his surprise, he was told by the local official that they cannot handover the packet to him. He insisted that it is the question of a little child’s future. The guy there replied, “I do not want to risk my job, you can meet my boss in this regard.' For two long hours he was made to wait as the boss was in a meeting, and guess what he said; the same thing. He was finally told that the packet will be delivered on Saturday, or Monday. But  by then it would have been useless. We were completely helpless. 

We spoke to them from Kashmir, begging them to deliver it.  They said, 'send the child with a valid I-card, otherwise we do it at our will'. Imagine we had to first request  the school,  have her miss the class, take her warden along, arrange a car, and send her to the post office before they say we are now closed for the day. My prayers were granted when she, at 4 pm on 14th November, Friday, finally received her packet. This time again in tears, but tears of joy that her hard work of months will bear fruit. Next time I have anything to send anywhere, never will it be this postal service. The pain and agony we had to bear was unbearable and we found ourselves helpless at every moment we approached them. I appeal everyone to play their cards safe – I do not want anyone to go through what we went through.

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