Yesterday’s unimpressive experience with DHL couriers reminded me why I like good ole Bharatiya Dak (India Post) so much. In fact, we are on such close terms that I even have my very own, authentic Bharatiya Dak sack.
I’ve had A LOT of transactions with India Post. Hundreds of them. Since I have a small Ebay store, which sells groovy Indian clothes and art, I’ve sent parcels all around the world. Not one has gone missing. I’ve also had my share of incoming mail from the US (books and jeans from Amazon and Ebay) and home (herbal medicines and other bits and pieces, including the ill fated Goji Berries), all sent via the regular mail service. India Post always delivers… and without any additional fees, charges, or duties. What’s more, they even deliver badly damaged packages that really should be disposed of. Which is how I came to be in proud possession of my India Post sack.
One day, the postman arrived on my doorstep with an Intimation Card from the post office. Package in a breakable state, it had written on it. “Madam, post office leke jao”, he told me gravely. (Take it and go to the post office). A bottle of liquid had smashed inside one of the parcels that my mum had sent me. The package was sodden. Even worse, the smell had infiltrated the whole post office. Nevertheless, a postal worker bundled it up into the hessian sack and handed it to us.
Of course, my relationship with India Post hasn’t always been a happy one. I’ve been driven to the brink of insanity by the service (or lack of) at some regional post offices, where the staff make up their own rules about when they’ll serve customers, and what can be sent and how. And then there is the antiquated requirement (fortunately not in force at my local post office in Mumbai) that needs parcels to be stitched in white cloth and sealed with wax before sending.
But, there’s no doubting, India Post is reliable. I’m an admirer!