DEAR Sir, I have a confession to make. I feel guilty that my bond with you isn't as close as it was before, and it's not your fault.
Memories of the good old days came flooding back after seeing your Pos Malaysia colleague wading through floodwaters with a sack of letters recently. Come rain or shine, hell or high water, you guys still do the job.
I am reminded of the postman who would bring great expectations to my neighbourhood during my boyhood.
You were the bringer of cheer in those days when friendship was measured by what was in the postbox, by the number of letters.
But since the coming of the Internet, folk have all but forgotten about you. Sadly, your coming near their homes just does not excite them any more.
|A Different View of What Been reported ...
Through rain or shine, and even floods, the good postman always delivers. Pic by Zulkepli Osman
It wasn't like this before. As a teenager, I looked forward to hearing the roar of your motorbike, running out of my house in anticipation of a letter from you.
You were so brave. Even when a pack of howling stray dogs were chasing after your motorcycle, you still delivered the letters. You were ever the unfailing and unflinching postman making his rounds in a new village in Perak.
It seemed the dogs could sense the time of the day that you would be turning up in front of my house, and they would gather around for the chase. That's because you, Mr Postman, was always so punctual.
In those days, your presence was so expected by the folk that even the Beatles were singing Please Mister Postman and asking you to wait a minute and not go away (in the hope of getting a letter).
I used to get excited on hearing your bike and would look through my house's window for you. It was so much more thrilling compared to that artificial "You've got mail" voice from Windows 2000 in my current desktop.
Today, hardly anybody hails the mailman. And people fear that you would bring them credit card reminder notices, lawyers' letters, and traffic summonses.
But Mr Postman, I miss your personal touch -- watching you drop a New Year card into my post-box. And the story of that card reaching my home would be quite touching, too. I imagine the sender having to go to the shop to buy the card, write something thoughtful on it, going to the post office and queuing up to buy a stamp.
How many of us will want to go through all that trouble when we can do it with a few clicks at home? In this case, it is not the thought that counts, it is the effort and hassle that counts.
If the postman feels unappreciated by the people, blame it on the Internet, SMS, WhatsApp and whatnot.
By the way, the last time I received a hand-written letter from Mr Postman was sometime last century, circa 1995.
Oh Mr Postman, I miss seeing you on your red motorcycle dropping red envelopes into my red postbox. The festive spirit and atmosphere is just not the same as those of the long gone years.
But I know Malaysians can still count on you to deliver gifts to our loved ones, documents, parcels and other things.
So, Mr Postman, you are still part and parcel of our lives. We are proud of you for being faithful to your job. Thank you.
Chan Wai Kong firstname.lastname@example.org New Straits Times Online Columnist 17/12/2013