Crucial Craziness

Dear Telegram


15th July 2013

Dear Telegram,

Having served for 163 years, as harbinger of messages of importance – be it the birth or a death of a life, or be it a wedding wish, or a message from or to the army, you have touched the lives of people and lived all your life with them.

Hearing the news of your retirement, my parents became nostalgic about the telegrams their families had sent and received when they were young. They recollected the times when the main post office at Parry’s corner was bustling with noise, the staff typing the telegram and a number of people standing in a long queue to send them. It seems before technology improved to send characters of a language, you were conveyed in dots and dashes. People listened to the sound via a phone, deciphered it and wrote it down to construct the message. I was truly amazed to know.

They recalled that if it was a grand news, it was a time to gift the delivery man. And, they also remembered that you were delivered with a black mark if you had a sad news, and with a red mark if it was a happy one. They said, the call from the delivery man, ‘ Thandhi vandhurukku!’[“There’s a telegram for you”] always made them skip a beat, like what the movies showed. I imagined the era in R.K.Narayan’s novels.

It seems that only India has been having you until now. So, this means today is your last ever day of service in world. Well, true that India doesn’t forget old nice things that easily. It shows how much you were respected, how you were an integral part of people’s lives.

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        My first and last telegram I sent to myself on its last day of service                                                  (reserve=preserve/ chish=cherish,Diviha=Dhivhya)

It’s true that you had been forgotten due to the advent of technology of emails, cell phones and SMS which help faster communication. I think you’ll only be glad as the change is for good and be proud of your posterity doing the job you did in a much efficient way.

As old people leave way to the newer generations, I see you retiring,  gracefully, leaving way to your descendants to continue the service to you had done to humanity. But, I don’t think they’ll touch on lives as you did.

On the last day of your service, I sent one to myself. Honestly, it gave me immense delight to receive you, who is of historic importance. I will keep you safe, to show it to the generation to come. When I tell them that this was sent on the last day of the telegraph service in the entire world, I’m sure they’ll be excited.

So, it’s been a long time. More than one and a half centuries of service and it’s wise for you to take rest. When I hear people saying the telegraph is dying and writing ‘RIP, I feel ridiculous. Forget them all. You are only retiring.

Thank you for all what you have done. Wish you a happy retired life!    

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