Yesterday, I went to the post-office.

While not an earth-shattering event in itself, something did happen there which shook me to my core.

The postman who had my parcel and who does the rounds of the particular wilds of Parel where I stay, casually came up and said “Madam ap toh sirf Saturday hi milte ho na?”

This, a man I had never seen, much less interacted with, knew my routine with a scary familiarity. While on my way to work, I did a quick count in my head of how many people would likely be privy to information like this.

The two guys who work at the bakery downstairs – “Madam aapka parcel aaya tha, ap nahi the”

The doodh-wale bhaiya I call for milk every morning  – “Madam, aapke saath waali madam ghar par nahi hain?’

The delivery man for the cat-food – ‘Madam aapka toh parcel 9 baje baad hi na?’

The neighbour’s son – ‘You can take the keys when you come back, around 8 no?’

My bai, that irreplaceable support system who knows everything.


And so many other pairs of eyes and ears, all knowing, all judging, all keeping a silent track.


Pause and see how much absolute strangers know about you and your routine. And this is real life. Absolute strangers are privy to so much more information, online.

As single, working girls staying alone, we put a lot into the hands of fate.

It is a good thing the human race is more good than evil.  

Otherwise, we make it really easy for serial killers.



  1. Bhumika · July 30, 2013

    We also do it with caution, dont we ? And these people who supposedly know the routine, mostly are the one’s who are serving us post we asked around for such help. Yes, we do leave a lot out there to be miss-used, but wouldn’t it be same with the family where man go out and wife is alone all day ?

  2. paritoshzero · July 30, 2013

    This is on the money. Social commentary is all about observation, anecdote, interpretation. We are generally the protagonists of anecdotes we cite but with time and sustained effort, our span widens to enfold others in its ambit. Look at this essay. While it grows out of a personal experience, it eventually segues into a generalisable statement about a whole category of people.

    More power to you.

    • redchappals · July 31, 2013

      Thank you so much. You’re the only one who takes time to criticize (it hurts sometimes, but mostly it’s awesome!).

  3. askmaverick · August 5, 2013

    That is a paranoid but scaringly true blog post … I also think sometimes how many people know my routine, when I drop my kids to school, what time I leave for office, etc. The only way I figure is to stop this is to commit what is called a social suicide … sadly then we wouldn’t have a life. Like you rightly said there are more good guys than the bad ones 🙂

  4. Soumil Nigam (@notsoumil) · August 8, 2013

    I wish I had written that. There are about 4, 5 maybe, rickshaws that stand outside my colony gate. One of them, is always at my door at the time I used to leave for office. The entire building I live in, knows that I don’t come home before 11, so they take all my couriers and mails. And so on. But then, I never took it otherwise. More good than bad, indeed.

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