Even as authorities are preparing to bring down the shutters on India’s 163-year-old telegram service from July 14, as faster, more modern communication methods take over from ‘Slow Joe’, there are some who are understandably upset about the impending demise.
Suddenly this not-a-minute-to-spare city, which certainly does not move at telegram pace, seems awash in nostalgia for what is commonly known as a ‘taar’. The press corps has moved in full steam to bring readers stories about the telegram. Bollywood film actor Kunal Kapoor bid goodbye to telegram by using his final telegram to help animals in laboratories used for cosmetics testing.
What is important though is that this country retains a slice of history even after the service closes down. India is notorious for not keeping records or data of historical importance. So many of our heritage monuments are in shambles, museums struggle monetarily and much is lost because of red tape, bureaucracy and bickering.
We hope telegrams are preserved; telegraph machines are kept in museums as historical treasures. They are symbols of a more laidback, different era. The new generation can learn from it, for there is a lot to absorb and ponder when looking through the prism of the past. Days bygone are not worthless memories but often act as a moral compass for the present and a springboard for the future. Let us not see them vanish and vanquished from our minds and hearts forever. The taar is a vital chapter in the book of Indian history. Let’s treat it with Tender Loving Care.