Indian immigrants sent money regularly to relatives in India. In the document reproduced below, dated 1895, Pethuyee Themalarajinpattanam has considerable difficulty in tracking down the money order sent by his son Cooppan. There are many similar documents that provide useful information of conditions in India.Source: I.I/1/79, 985/95, Natal Archives.
Your photo is engraved in my heart and your image is always in my sight and it is not apart from me even in my sleep.
I pen you these few lines with much pleasure. Your two sisters and bothers, also Davasagayam and his family and all other relatives and friends are doing well. Hoping to hear the same from self and your other friends there.
I send my prayers to that Providence night and morning for your long life and prosperity. I wish you not to stay in the Colony for a lengthen [sic] period. Your wife is not staying with me at present. She is at her father's place. After the perusal of the contents of your letter to me I come to understand that you have sent a money-order for £5. I have also found the receipt you have enclosed. I went to the Post Office with the receipt demand of money. The Post Office people told me that I should wait for fifteen days more. After the elapse of time fixed, I appeared again at the Post Office; then they said that the order has not come to the Post Office, but it might have gone to Negapatam and if you go to inquire there you might know about it. Accordingly I went to Negapatam Post Office where I have received the same answer as the previous one. So I was obliged to go to Tanjore Post Office. There the Post Office authorities said 'it is true' the money order has come; but we will not pay it to you till you prove by two witnesses that the money order is for you. I told them that I know nobody in Tanjore, but if they would kindly transfer it to Negapatam Post Office, I will procure witnesses and get the money there. For which they said they would do. So I brought the receipt back to our place and gave it to your sister to take care of it.
Unfortunately she slipped it into a gooseberry-pickle pot and pickled it up and took it to the Post Office. When I asked for the money, they saw the receipt and said that the remitter does not sign it and so they could not pay it to me. I asked them what steps I should take in order to get the money. They replied 'Get the receipt signed by the sender' and also a letter to me to the fact that the money order is to be paid to me. I herein enclose the receipt for your signature. I was put to the greatest inconvenience for the expenses of going to and from Negapatam and Tanjore. So I requested to lend me fifteen rupees, which he kindly did at the time I promise to return the money no sooner than I get from you. I have shown him the receipt enclosed to you.
Reply me soon without further delay.