THEY say the world turns and we must turn with it. Yet there are some parts of the past that it is difficult not to be nostalgic about — even when new realities are more convenient.
Few in the country, for example, would be able to contemplate without fond emotion the Radio Pakistan of old, the songs of Noor Jehan or Mehdi Hasan weaving their way scratchily through the evening air in towns and villages that had yet to be overtaken by traffic.
Take a look: Training for Pakistan Post staff
A similar case can be made for Pakistan Post; the wait for the dak was once the standard duty given to small children in every household, rural or urban.
As the postman heaved into view, there would be trepidation: might he perhaps bring a loving missive from a faraway brother or husband? The anxiously awaited money order from the son in the city? Perhaps the book or magazine that had been ordered many weeks ago?
Sadly, most of this belongs to a lost world now, the red and yellow postboxes — once ubiquitous in cities and villages — now vandalised where they exist at all.
It is not that Pakistan Post did not put up a fight: services were improved, and in the cities GPOs and post offices were spruced up.
Still, perhaps the combined challenges posed by new technologies and private courier companies with deep pockets were always going to be too much.
Nevertheless, a Pakistan Post official told the media on Thursday that a new, comprehensive plan to revitalise the department had been chalked out, including staff training, electronic money transfer and tracking facilities etc.
The aim is to bring the entity up to international standards of customer satisfaction. This is welcome news indeed, and it can only be hoped that the postal authorities deliver on their promises.
Urbanisation or digitalisation notwithstanding, there is plenty of scope for the department to make itself relevant again, especially where the remote and rural communities in the country are concerned. It must be wished godspeed.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2015