There are those in the younger generation who don’t know what a telegram meant, or the kind of foreboding it brought.
But some of us (and there are lots of some of us) are sad to see it go.
Here’s what a senior colleague has written on the demise of the telegram.
I reproduce it here verbatim. Thanks Ashutosh Misra.
So finally the ‘taar’ (telegram) is dead (or will die on July 15, 2013)…
(HT link below)
Rest in peace, my dear friend – you served with glory and passion. You brought news and thereby people together in birth and death, in happiness and distress, in festivities, in celebrations, and so many other times of life. All kinds of technology, alerts, warning signals, etc. did not have the same effect on their arrival as you did – stopped people in their motions no matter what we were doing – cooking, eating, reading, chatting, or simply being alone. Cant say if I would miss you, because I did not see you for a long time now. But was always assured that you were there somewhere and we will bump into each other. Now that wait is futile, you are going away. But go with a smile and a relief – you worked hard, you delivered (so what if you were late at times), and now is the time to stretch those legs and lie down.
I have a very vivid memory of one my most intimate encounters with you. I had finished my schooling and taken my final examination for ISC-11 (that the was last batch of 11 year schooling in ICSE board) from a English medium boarding school. Since we all went away to our homes after final exams, our board results were always communicated through you. And you came to my home. I wasn’t in when you came, my grandmother (who did not understand English) received you, was petrified, asked the postman to read, but he was in a hurry. She hid you safely lest someone else saw you and panicked. When I got home, she did not mention your arrival. But I had been worrying for my results which were due any day now (yes, we did not have TV, newspapers and the internet publishing results then) . I asked my grandmother if you had come, and she said “yes”. I screamed and asked her why she did not tell me. She maintained her calm “see that is why, people panic when they hear of telegram, besides it is in English, how would you understand? So I have hidden it for your grandfather to read”. Of course, I had my way , pulled you out from under her mattress, and leaped and jumped around the house. I had cleared schooling and my best friend had conveyed me the good news.
Good bye, Sir – May God take good care of you!
A guest post by Ashutosh Misra