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Govind Singh, the gateman carries around a registered postal envelope asking everyone what's inside, but recoiling at the suggestion of opening it to find out. No wonder everyone, including himself entertains doubts about his sanity. The background of his strange behavior takes us the time when Govind Singh, fiercely proud of his khaki uniform, and his short stick, stood to attention, and gave a military salute to the chief every morning. After his retirement he tries to express his gratitude by presenting the chief with one of the clay - models he makes so well. What happens next highlights the plight of simple, uneducated folk that inhabit our towns and villages. R.K. Narayan at his empathetic