Once, the mention of my name brought a lot of despair in most households, especially if heard during late nights and early mornings. However, the mood turned joyous if I was asked to convey a birth in the household. By now you would have guessed, Yes, I am the telegram and have made my exit today. I have become outdated thanks to email, SMS, Whatsapp and god knows what and all. Earlier I did wade of a stiff challenge from the Page but now I have lost the war. Nobody uses me any longer and I am being terminated because I have become uneconomical to maintain. My glorious journey of 160 plus years has come to an end.
How times change? Until the start of this millennium, I had a special place of pride. Every Government office and reputed company had a grams id. I was the fastest means of communication available in the good old days, when even a landline connection at home, was a rarity. I was used to communicate deaths, births, arrival, departure, job interviews, etc. Government offices also used me to communicate unauthorized absence to their erring employees. I was even admitted as a proof in the court of law. Those were the days, when a special wire connection called the telegram cable used to run across length and breadth of the country. Unlike the cheap SMSes or the free for all messenger services of these days, I was pricey. Each time somebody used my service, they had to pay. I had a minimum charge for a certain number of words and beyond that each word was charged. Many a prospective secretaries’ English knowledge was tested by asking them to frame a telegram with the use of least words but conveying the entire message.
I was an honest servant. I never conveyed anything other than what was written. I am of course not responsible for typos like when somebody wrote `Seth Ajmer gaya’ and the Tamilian clerk typed it as `Seth Aaj Mar gaya’
I am proof of national integration in this country. Sample this, once David sent a telegram to his Brother in Law Abdul, that Saraswati, his wife, gave birth to a baby boy.
Thank you!!! Mr. Morse and Au revoir citizens! I am going but remember the words of the Terminator “I will be back”. If life is a wheel, I will be back and who knows you maybe desperate to have me back