Never Liked It
This post is a dedication to one such stranger I met during the first winter in the States. It was on a similar day as today, extremely cold in the negative 20 celsius' as I returned for Lunch from my class. This stranger is no other than my neighborhood postman - in his early 50s. fighting the winter delivering messages. A heaven struck friendly conversation and respect for age was all that was needed to bridge the bond of understanding between two strangers.
In a few weeks of interaction, he understood that something was not right with me. He knew my pain, and we eventually ended up talking for some minutes on the doorstep. As I asked about how he does it (his work of delivering mails in the cold winter days?) I learned something from him. He joined the New Orleans postal department when he was 16. He spent the first year of his job delivering emergency telegrams. The telegrams he carried were from the United States Army mourning and respecting the deaths of various soldiers of rank, class, race, and creed.
His job was simple - Travel through the interiors of various small towns in his bicycle, knock on the door, wait for the lady of the house to come and open the door, look into her eyes and pick up the telegram from the bag he carried, show it to the lady who by now understood she just lost her husband or her son or father or brother in war, use the other hand to remove the hat off his head, see the tears, see the widows go broken hearts and faint/sit on the floor/hug in shock, control his emotions, give them a consoling pat on their back, hand them their respective telegrams, go numb on their status, turn back, walk straight back to the bicycle, check the next address, and carry on. These might not be the exact words he used that day, but this is exactly what he addressed to me that day. But there is one thing he said to me that I'll never forget. "On a funny note, I once ended up on the doors of a tall brunette of my age. She cried as she opened up the door. It took me several minutes to assure her that I was there asking for directions to a different address. That's how I met my wife"
I moved out of that apartment the following February. Every year, I encounter a winter so cold, that I always get a glimpse of his face and the way he finished the sensitive conversation. Today was the coldest day of the year so far, and my memories deserted me on his warmth. Call it coincidence, today I watched "We were soldiers" and from it I got reminded of him. The postman in the movie told, "I never liked it ma'am" in a scene. My stranger never told me anything about his feelings outside the delivery step. I wonder if he ever hated for becoming a postman? At times of hardships, there is always strangers and their lives or dedications to put trust on to. Somehow they form the patch of remedies for the wounded little moments in life. To all those strangers who directly and indirectly served humanity as such, I salute. And also the soldiers of different countries who died for a cause, a cause to protect the brother fighting beside him.
On a deviating mood:
1. One of my forgotten childhood mentors calls me up at 3 in the morning and says me this, "Remember cricket? Life is not a gentlemans game. Remember it."
2. A well sought senior, who somehow seems to fit in my list of rolemodels says, "Keep it simple now. Life gets more complicated ahead."
3. And my cousin sister says, "It will change coz you'll be changed by then. That's life"
I wondered a few great minutes on these notes and had to die out of any plausible morbidness of what's bound to happen. I get my creeps when a few thoughts of a quite possible future throws limelight about the state of my then mind. I guess I'll also join the league of those cult believers who say the World is gonna end on the 21st of December 2012 (minus the cult belief in my case). Life seems to run at peace if you think theres no next year (atleast I can achieve the best this year).
Well, anyway signing off thinking of the work I need to finish before the year ends. Chow....