As I opened the door , courier boy thrust a small paper through the grill window.
"Sign here", it's a telegram" he said.
"What?!! A Telegram??? Are you sure you have got the right address?" I asked the man across the grill in a very bewildered tone.
I could not believe the word Telegram. who would want to send a telegram in this age? I wondered.
The man , in his mid forties definitely had no time or patience to appreciate my amusement and repeated the words now more sternly “ sign here”.
I signed on the paper he gave me then he handed me a small printed paper in my hand.
I was still trying to make sense of the chit he had given me. “This will be one of the last telegrams you will ever receive. Open it carefully.” he muttered as he walked off. It was a small printed chit stapled in one corner. As I opened the stapled pin , it said
“ TELEGRAMS – SOON TO BE PART OF A BYGONE ERA THANKFULLY SOME
THINGS GO ON FOREVER ORRA PURE BRILLIANCE IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE
WONDERFUL JOURNEY SO FAR THANK YOU”
KAJAL AND VIJAY
Of course some friends had used this last opportunity to send a telegram to wish their friends well.
Honestly, I had never seen a telegram in my life. I did hear of it in my child hood through literature, movies and songs, but never had received one.
This would be my first and the last telegram of my life. I would like to thank my friends for this special experience.
Telegraph service in India has 160 years of history. It was one the important services of communication of modern India and played a significant role during freedom struggle. People received news of birth, death, success failure joy and despair through a telegram. Often news of receiving a telegram was linked to a tragic news. There are many bollywood songs that celebrated the life of postman for bringing that mail or a telegram. I can imagine how important this service might have been for the people during those days. It must have been as indispensable as today's email or sms . With time the technology might have changed but the essence of human communication and emotions remain the same.
On the 15th July 2013, the worlds' last telegram service will stop.
So long for a Telegram...