The Postman

The hand goes down and up. In and out. Under and over.

The postman walks towards the house, following the address spelt out on the cover of the envelope. Looks foreign, he muses. He smells it. It’s a clean and earthy smell, which reminds him of the freshly ploughed fields he worked in during his youth. He smiles, recalling those days, and he continues walking.

The deed is done. What was meant to be sent, has been sent. Whether it has been received, is a question with no concrete answers. Nobody knows.

Thud, scrape. Thud, scrape. Thud, scrape. Thus, the postman walks. One leg has never been the same since the train accident. He doesn’t mind, he’s reached the twilight of his years now. All he yearns for is a painless death and a few kind words to accompany him on his way to the grave. Alas, he cannot be sure of either.

The house looms closer. A modest two-story affair with a kid’s cycle in front. Bougainvillea blooms everywhere. Nobody’s home, he realises. The car shed’s empty. A huge padlock claims the attention of everyone who happens to glance at the front door. Its cousin on the balcony door is not so promiscuous, he observes. I should move on, he tells himself. Two more streets left.

He approaches the gate. A slot for the mailbox opens in front. A rustle and a whisper. His hand goes in and out, one quick movement. The mailbox possesses the letter now, and whatever it had to say he’ll never know.


The day was just like any other Thursday. Everything seemed normal. The sun rose and shone like the usual, the birds began their song without delay and the world did wake up to it. Yet, the mind was not comforted.

He looks at the mailbox with reproach. I should have kept the letter with me until they came back, he surmises. A foreign letter is usually opened immediately. Then I could have waited to see their reaction when they read it, and known its contents. Oh well. There’s nothing I can do about it now, he concludes. Better get going.

He resumes his shuffling. The house moves further and further away. It’s a straight lane, a busy one. Nobody looks back. He turns to catch glimpses of the house as he moves on. Now it is a truck, now a tent, now a box, now a speck, now he can’t see it anymore.


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