Next to car showroom, Chennai

One keeps reading of how the Indian postal system successfully delivers mail addressed to “Ram Lal, near peepul tree, some-godforsaken-village”. Meanwhile, urban Indians keep complaining about how mail goes missing.

I’ve never had missing mail, but I have been miffed for a while that our weekly issue of Tehelka (to which we subscribed a few weeks ago) generally arrives a few days late. Today, too, we received a similarly delayed issue. But I took a closer look at the envelope.

The address was something like
Rahul Siddharthan
(Door number),
Next to Kun Hyundai,

That was it. No street name, no “part of town” — just a door number, landmark and pincode. (Chennai-41 covers Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelangarai, and more, most of it — including my house — outside city limits). And my issue has been getting delivered without fail — late, but not missing.

I’m impressed.

I’m pretty sure I included a proper address when subscribing, but have mailed them requesting an address correction. I should also mail my thanks to the postal department.

Leave a comment


  1. You planning to send it to “Postal Department, New Delhi-45?”//the system works beautifully. Major mystery is how the system “incentivizes” (ugh) workers with such low incomes to deliver things on time. TR: you got a case study on this?

  2. km:nope, all yours.

  3. km – true, the low-level workers are much more conscientious than the better-paid babus. There is no performance-related incentive in either case that I know of (other than diwali bakshish, which is not very performance-related). May be just a matter of work ethic..


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