Handful bid adieu to telegram by sending a 'taar' | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Handful bid adieu to telegram by sending a 'taar'

Telegram that remained an effective medium to communicate feelings varying from joy, sorrow, salutations, applause, reprimand to celebrations for 163 years will be a thing of the past by the time readers will go through this report. The Indian government has discontinued the service from July 15.

punjab Updated: Jul 14, 2013 21:40 IST
Anshu Seth

Telegram that remained an effective medium to communicate feelings varying from joy, sorrow, salutations, applause, reprimand to celebrations for 163 years will be a thing of the past by the time readers will go through this report. The Indian government has discontinued the service from July 15.

A handful of people were at the 70-year-old telegraph office of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) near Bhadaur House, Ludhiana, on Sunday to make use of the service for the last time. Ranbir Singh, 41, dealing in agricultural commodities and a member of Ludhiana Philately Club, who sent four telegrams to his friends, shared,“It is good that information technology has given us a fast and simple mode of communication but the Indian government should have kept alive this conventional system of communication at least in one of the offices in the country.”

“Congratulations for being the recipient of the telegram on the last day,” Ranbir telegrammed to his friends.

Availing the chance to spill his emotions on a piece of paper, Akshay Jain , a father to be, sent a telegram to his expecting wife who is with her parents in Samana that read , “Missing you Sanjana. Take care.”

Davjeet Singh and Advit Kant were among those who availed the service on its last day. Dharam Pal, an octogenarian, referred to a two-decade-old interesting episode, wherein he and his wife had a discord over an issue and she left him to live with her parents. But unable to bear the separation, he volunteered to send a telegram confessing his unending love for her to which she responded. The couple communicated through 20 telegrams to "reunite".

It was a poignant moment for Gyan Singh, the chief telegram officer, who served in the telegraph office for 39years as he sent the last telegram at 5.05 PM on Sunday. Telegrams hit the highest point in 1980s when the telegraph office near Bhadaur House was receiving and sending 4,500-5,000 telegrams in a day. Having worked on the Morse Code Machines (the first system to send telegrams) for 20 years, it took some time for Singh to become comfortable with tele-printer, the new system.

“Then we graduated to store power message (SPM ) and then electronic tele-printer (ETP) which was replaced with web-based telegram messaging system (WBTMS), the revolution in the field of communication,” shared Singh.