Dear telegram, you will be missed!

On July 15, the telegram retired from public life becoming no more than a memory, the preserve of museums and collectors’ collections. But even as the telegram becomes a thing of the past, so are several other forms of communication that were routine, once upon a time.

Before emails, instant messages, and SMSs, there were letters. Although the former are a lot more convenient and economical, the feeling of receiving a handwritten letter is priceless. However, it’s been very long since I received one. When my father got an outstation transfer several years back, my friend and I made a pact that we would stay in touch through letters, but time and tide got the better of our promises and I have just three letters from that five-year stint — the last letters I ever received.

The landline too was a luxury, at one point of time. In fact, I remember my first birthday cake was a telephone because I was delighted by the sheer magic of an inanimate machine waking to your life with a happy ring. However, landlines may just become the next memoir of a bygone era.

When Samuel Morse sent the first telegram, his message could not have been more prophetic — “What hath God wrought?” (What has God created?) From a luxury to a necessity to redundancy, technology remains trapped in this circle, as the world marches on in search of newer and better ways to remain connected without the constraints of space and time. But for lovers of the telegram, the Twitteratti will ensure that abbreviated messages remain in vogue, at least for the time being!

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