Hindi Language Blog

Daakiya Daak Laaya Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Hindi Language

December is upon us and another year साल (saal) draws to an end अंत (unth). This month महीना (maheena) usually sees a hubbub of activity हलचल (hul-chul) with people shopping खरीदी (khareedi) for the holidays छुट्टियॉं (chhuttiyaan) or others taking advantage फायदा (faayda) of the year-end discounts छूट (chhoot). At this time of the year, the postal service in the United States shifts into high gear and mail trucks delivering holiday messages and gifts can be seen as late as 9 p.m. at night.

The postal डाक (daak) service in India is known as India Post or भारतीय डाक (Bharatiya Daak). It was established स्थापित (sthaapit) over 150 (१५०) years ago. Today it serves India’s billion-plus population आबादी (aabaadi) through 1, 55,015 post offices, thus making it the most widely distributed postal network in the world. In the same way that the United States uses the zip code, Australia uses the postcode, etc., India uses the pin code system to simplify the sorting and delivery of mail. The pin code is 6 digits long. In addition to delivering mail, the postal agency also offers other services सेवा to the Indian public जनता (juntaa) through a variety of small savings बचत schemes योजना (yojana) as well as life insurance (jeevan beema) plans.
Like anywhere else, the mailman, or postman डाकिया (daakiya) as he is known in India, has a large responsibility ज़िम्मेदारी (zimmedaari) to deliver tidings, both good and bad, as well as gifts, important documents, money orders, and communication between people. They carry out this job diligently and tirelessly, in rain बारिश (baarish) or shine धूप (dhoop), on bicycle सायकिल (saaykil) or foot पैदल (paidal). In villages गाॅंव (gaanv) where a recipient may be illiterate, they often read the letter/message पत्र/समाचार (patra/samaachaar) and pen a return response उत्तर (uttar).
In the 1977 Hindi film पलकों की छाओं में Palkon ke Chaaon Mein (which literally means “in the shade of your eyelids”), superstar Rajesh Khanna plays the role of a village postman whose job is beautifully depicted through this song डाकिया डाक लाया Daakiya daak laaya (the postman has brought mail … ).

Listen to the song Daakiya daak laaya.
The following lines of the chorus effectively capture the nature of a postman’s job. As you watch the video, try using contextual clues to guess the messages he is conveying to various villagers.

डाकिया डाक लाया, डाकिया डाक लाया। डाकिया डाक लाया।
(Daakiya daak laaya, daakiya daak laaya.)
The postman has brought mail.

ख़ुशी का पयाम कहीं, कहीं दर्दनाक लाया।
(Khushi ka payaam kahin, kahin dardnaak laaya.)
Happy messages for some … painful/sad messages for some others.

पयाम payaam message
ख़ुशी khushi happiness
दर्दनाक dardnaak painful/sorrowful
कहीं kahin in some places/somewhere
साल saal year
अंत unth end
महीना maheena month
हलचल hul-chul activity/movement
खरीदी khareedi shopping
छुट्टियॉं chhuttiyaan holidays
फायदा faayda advantage/benefit
छूट chhoot discount (in this context)
डाक daak post
स्थापित sthaapit established
१५० ek sau pachaas 150
आबादी aabaadi population
जनता juntaa the public
बचत bachat savings
योजना yojana scheme/program
जीवन बीमा jeevan beema jeevan = life; beema = insurance
डाकिया daakiya postman/mailman
ज़िम्मेदारी zimmedaari responsibility
बारिश baarish rain
धूप dhoop sunshine
सायकिल saaykil cycle
पैदल paidal on foot
गाॅंव gaanv village
पत्र/समाचार patra/samaachaar letter/message or news
उत्तर uttar answer/reply (noun)
पलकों की छाओं में palkon ki chhaaon mein palkon ki = of eyelids; palkein = eyelids; chhaaon = shade; mein = in
डाक लाया daak laaya has brought mail
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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.


  1. mrinalini watson:

    Thanks for including the link to the ‘daakiya daak laayaa’ song. Loved seeing the young Rajesh Khanna … but more significantly, the content of the song was wonderfully informative of rural life in India. Illiteracy, especially that of women in rural India, continues to be a plague though hopefully to less of an extent than it was when this movie was made.