The Friendly Post, Kodaikanal
Image courtesy Zareen Babu

Remembering The Friendly Post

The Friendly Post, a community newsletter that came into being in 2004 as a two-page, black-and-white magazine, ended its existence as a 12-page publication, printed partially in colour, by December 2011. Eight years of reaching out to people: for the people and by the people was our motto. It would be hard to list the efforts of the community that made it happen.

I had some professional advisors, a printer, and an editorial staff of one (me). There were columns on subjects ranging from gardening tips to Kodai flora and fauna; short stories by locals and real-life happenings organised by NGOs, schools and the municipality; snapshots of Kodai’s history full of ancient pictures, and reports on development and new additions to modern-day Kodai.

The issues, 96 in all, are available at the Kodaikanal International School (KIS) archives and the KMU library. Ask me for a copy, and I can try to help.

When I was asked to write about the magazine I had run for eight years, I put it off till the deadline drew close. I pulled out my magazines to see what I could share, and I was overwhelmed with tears. What a journey it had been.

Here are some extracts from editorials of the magazine:

‘We have upgraded this newsletter, and now it is a Kodaikanal newsletter and not the Ladies Club newsletter as was earlier known. We thank SPCL for getting it started, and their news will always be part of 'The Friendly Post'. However, we are renovating and hope that you will enjoy what we have to offer...’

‘The pleasure lies in making the effort, not in its fulfillment.' - Mahatma Gandhi

‘Man is changing with the world as the world is becoming smaller with [the] Internet and mobiles. Man is getting more lost in his electronic world and becoming oblivious to reality. I too have been drawn into this virtual reality for want of reaching out to those far away. Why spend money on postage when you can let your fingers send a message...’

Today, The Kodai Chronicle has come into being and my joy has no bounds. The town is coming together to support it, and veteran Kodai residents are joining hands with fresh young blood. I hope this new community newspaper will fill the gap of ten years that has passed since I ceased to publish The Friendly Post.  

Zarreen Babu

Zarreen Babu is the founder and publisher of The Friendly Post magazine, (2003-2011). She has been working with schools such as Zion, KPS, Bhavans and St. Thomas, on various subjects and training teachers on a freelance basis. Zarreen has served as the Club Representative of INTACH in working with schools, as the Secretary of PHCC and the Program Action Officer of Soroptimist International of Kodaikanal. She is currently a member of Soroptimist International of Bangalore. Zarreen has been a resident of Kodai since 1996.

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