Stanley Pinto, MANGALORE (TNN): It was a fitting requiem to the world of ‘Dit Dit Dah’ as India Post bid farewell to a telegram, the hitherto ubiquitous way of conveying Short Message Service. Joining this dirge were a few hard core enthusiasts of this seemingly ancient way of communication in the world that thrives with SMSes and cell phone communication.
Interestingly a few Gen Y also joined to pay tribute to this last piece of paper communication, sending their first and last telegraph message – for keepsake. On the last count, the Central Telegraph office had received 151 telegrams at 8 pm.
Though the closing time was extended, people were still waiting in long queues putting the lone staff in a quandary. Acknowledging the efforts of the founders of both the electromagnetic telegraph and Morse code which enabled people to send instant messages across long distances, Aloysius Sequiera, professor from NIT-K sent his message to his kith and kin: Adieu Morse Code. A tribute Samuel FB Morse Alfred Vail. Sequiera said it was an emotional moment for him who had received many happy as well as a few sad messages in this form of communication. Standing behind him was 23-year-old Apoorv Kapoor, a BDS student.
“It’s my first and my last telegram. Iam sending it to my parents in Delhi, brother, sister and also a few friends,” said the youngster who probably never heard of the word telegram in his life, until this moment. Philatelist and wild life biologist Surya Adoor said: It’s a historic, happy as well as sad moment.
“The last good wishes from Indian Telegraph,” said his message to his family and friends. Physician Dr BS Kakkilaya who was also in the long queue said: I’m preserving the telegram I’m sending to my home in Kerala as a souvenir. He also sent a few to his family, cousins and nephews.
For Rasheed Bolar, commissioner, Bharath Scouts and Guides it was a nostalgic moment. His father Bolar Fakeer Mohammed was a Head Postmaster in the 60’s. He was filling a half a dozen telegram forms to send to his relatives and friends. While there was enthusiasm outside the counter, inside it was not so for the lone staff who till 6 pm has sent about 100 telegrams. Jagadeesh from BSNL billing section who was assisting her said: The in charge never told us that we had to extend working hours beyond 5 pm today. Though we have not had proper lunch, we are working for the sake of customers as it means a lot to them. He said that during season the Central Telegraph Office got business of Rs 45,000. “But on most of other days, we never got even one,” he added.
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