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Monday, August 10, 2009


Postcards have been an integral part of the Old Indian Postal Service.

I still remember the days when my grandfather would write letters to my father in those light brownish postcards with the dark brown Lion Capital of Ashoka printed on the back side top right corner. My grandfather with his English knowledge gained by reading "The Hindu" newspaper regularly for more than 6 decades (I am sure it will be more than that) would write his blue Chinese "Hero" pen, making a dark imprint on the post card with little smudging wherever the post card's top layer was not well formed. It carried along with it a smell so specific to the postcards, a mixture of paper and the old print houses where they were printed.

In those days, Inland Cover and the Office cover (I am not sure how to phrase it) were my favorite than the postcards. Inland Cover, with the small font letters telling where to fold first and where to fold second was my all time favorite. The Office cover and the greeting card cover were special because of the postage stamps they carried. Most of the Indian postage stamps that I had collected and which are lying somewhere safe in the newly built shelves at my father's home in Chennai have been sourced by those covers. Most of the foreign stamps were bought by me, when I used to vacation in my Grand Parent's house in Coimbatore and some came from those relatives staying abroad who still remembered to drop a card during the Indian festival season or the English New Year. Some of them still remember, but have switched to those fast and easy ways of communication known popularly as the Internet. Maybe DARPA never thought that the Internet will revolutionize the world to such an extent.

When I started studying French, I came to know about the art of sending post cards.
The French whenever they travelled or visited some new places, they never forgot to buy some postcards of that place. They then sent it to their friends or relatives back home with a very short description of the spot they visited and the weather at that place. If anybody is planning to take a French course, be assured that one question will be based on these post cards. At that point, it made little sense to me about the cards like the light decorated Golden Gate Bridge that we used to receive as a young student.

Why this sudden post about a post card? Has the Indian Postal Service woken up suddenly and started to commemorate the post cards or have they introduced something like the Post Card day. Well, I am not aware of them even if they existed, thanks to the marketing strategy of the Indian Postal Service. I got inspired from a post card image I saw in the Internet which I took and added it to this blog on the top right hand corner, with a small note about me :).


Radha said...

may be i shud agree abt de french thing... the night u were leaving to LA, a french man asked me if i cud post it... it was a typical chennai post card

Harish Krishnan said...

yep... the French are "extra" religious in sending postcards...