The Perfect Beat

Zameer Saab has been working with India Post for the last 23 years and provides an inconspicuous service that is cherished by many in Bangalore.

Saturday morning. On the 27th of June we visited the Bangalore GPO for an opportunity to know and understand a little more about India Post. The Deputy Chief Post Master, Mr. Dinesh Khare, was very kind to take us to the mail sorting section and patiently explain the entire process. The busiest hours are in the morning. Postmen start sorting the mail at 8 and are set to leave for their respective beats by 10:30. A Beat is the route assigned to postmen for delivering their mail.

This is where we met Zameer Saab, meticulously arranging all the letters in his messenger bag in the order of the route that he was to follow. He was happy to let us accompany him on his beat.

“Having seen four decades of the department in all its shades, I still strongly believe, Post means Post.”
Mr. Hanjura, Chief Post Master at the Bangalore GPO, was referring to the small percentage of private mail (actual letters, as they used to be written) which goes out to people these days. All that remains today is official correspondence, letters from banks and insurance companies.

As we set off for Infantry Road in Central Bangalore, it was an extremely pleasant surprise to find one elderly gentleman call out from across the street as he spotted his postman coming. To his joy (and to ours too) Zameer Saab found in his assortment of mail exactly what the elderly man was looking for. He confessed later that it was indeed a private letter that the gentleman had been waiting for, and which brought a spring in his step as he walked away from us. “Madam, we are the face of India Post. It is our duty to have a good relationship with the residents.”

We followed him door to door, and he greeted each passing known face appropriately with a Salaam-walekum, or Vanakkam, or Namaskara, or Good morning.

We must be at peace of mind while delivering the mail, or may end up delivering to the wrong address! Jis din ghar pe problem hoti hai, phir kaam nahi ho pata”, he added.
“The Postal Department is one department that touches everybody’s lives. Every place inhabited by a person has an address, and every address is touched by a Post Office,” Mr. Hanjura pointed out. And in all of this, the one person who gets to interact with each of those addresses is the Postman.

Zameer Saab also introduced us to some of the people he was delivering mail to, and we found many of them shared our views on the need to encourage hand written communication and value the short exchanges of words with the postman when receiving their mail. These are small, yet immensely valuable things that a lot of us miss out on in the rush of life today.