To our dearest Postman Ramankutty...


TJ Sreejith

Have you ever noticed a postman in khaki with a hanging shoulder bag by his side in the busy Thrissur round? He is the eldest postman in the Thrissur division and the winner of the best postman award of Kerala. His name is Arangathu Ramankutty, postman of the Thrissur Head Post Office.

The Thrissur city is writing a letter to its best and dearest postman…

Dear postman,

The city has no habit of calling you by your name but postman. Only a few know your name. What else would the people call you, other than a postman. We know, that you love to be called by your designation than your name.

We felt so happy about you after hearing that you bagged the best postman award of the state. Now you have only 11 months left to retire from your job which you started in 1982. The award is a remarkable recognition for your work before you walk out. You also had won the best postman award in the Thrissur division in 2003.

There was a time when Malayalees waited long for a letter. In those times, you were the WhatsApp and e-mail for us. The blue letters in your khaki bag was so exciting. Collecting stamps from the white letters is going to be passe.

When we think about you, what comes first to our mind is your Vetiver cap. You walked in and through Thrissur Round in khaki with your khaki cloth bag. No one has seen you walking so fast. When many postmen upgraded to cycles and motor bikes, you remain unchanged. We remember you saying that you walk 4-5 hours a day.

How many know that even your father K Krishnan was also a postman? When many dreamt to become a lawyer and doctors those years, why did you decide to become a postman?

May be, it was your fate that you had to wear the khaki of your father when he fell ill.

The Thrissur Head Post Office which you joined for work is now the Lamex Arcade. We remember, in the 90s, the office was shifted to a building near Shaktan Thampuran bus stand.

You are a native of Thalore. But, none in the area may know you. Because, you had shifted to postal staff quarters in Poothole many years ago.

You were the postman of the Mission Quarters and Municipal Stand in the initial years of your job. From 1986, you are the postman of the Thrissur round. Since then, no one else has substituted your place.

Was your basic payment those years Rs 210?

Forgot to tell the shifts in uniform colour from khaki to brown and then to blue. The decision to resume khaki colour for uniform was a delighted moment for you. You used to say, no other color has the power of khaki.

How many in the city know that you had acted in a movie titled ‘Oridathoru Puzhayund’ as a postman?

Today, the number of letters has shrunk to half from 600 in the past years. Those years, letters were written by relatives and friends. Now, majority of them are sent by bank, chitti companies and insurance companies to their clients.

We remember you saying, some of the old families you delivered letters every day, are now transformed as commercial complexes and some are no more in the city circle.

Oh… I forgot. Only few hours are left for 11 am to start walking without even having lunch but a coffee.

Hope, your wife Sulochana, daughter Radhika, son-in-law Praveen Kumar and grandchildren Nandana and Niranjan are keeping well.

Lovingly,

Yours,

Thrissur city

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