As a kid, I often wondered how newspapers would magically appear at my doorstep every morning without fail. I woke up earlier than usual one morning. I saw a motorcyclist ride past my house and threw a neatly folded copy of the day’s newspaper onto the porch. That’s when I found out about the newspaper delivery men.
While the rest of us snooze away in the wee hours, these men are up and about, clocking in at a centralised meeting spot by 4.30am. Delivery trucks would offload stacks of the day’s newspapers and the delivery men are tasked with sorting them out.
Kannan A/L Periyasamy, 30, is one of the newspaper delivery men assigned to the residential areas of Puchong. For over five years now, Kannan has kept to the same routie: Each morning, he and his colleagues sort out and count the newspapers they need to deliver. Their meeting area is dim, lit only by street lights, which makes it difficult to see. So the group ‘borrows’ the lights of a nearby 24-hour convenience store.
Once the sorting is complete, Kannan would arrange the bundles of newspapers onto his motorbike – by the side mirrors, at the front and behind his seat – and secure them tightly to make sure they don’t fall off.
By 5.30am, the group is ready to go on their rounds. One by one, they ride off to their respective assigned residential areas and delivers the day’s news to their customers – either by throwing the newspaper onto the front porches or slip them in between the gate railings. On a rainy day, things get challenging; Kannan has to cover the newspapers with a plastic sheet to keep them dry. Sometimes, he is forced to wait out the storm before making his morning rounds. By 6am, Kannan’s work is done and he will go home to rest. “Even after I deliver the papers, people are still in their beds,” Kannanexplains with a chuckle. “Occasionally, I do see a few people up and about, getting ready for school and work”.
Kannan and his fellow newspaper delivery men are the invisible forces who are keeping an integral service alive. Without them, we would not have the convenience of getting our news right at our doorsteps. – BY SARA-JANE HAR AND SAMUEL LEE