When We Received A Telegram

Day 15 of "2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge" : When We Received A Telegram

India bid goodbye to the telegram service yesterday, after more than 160 years. On this historical occasion, I'm reminded of the one lone memory I have of the Indian telegram service. Must share it here.

No, that image is not of an Indian telegram. You can see the British crown in the header. I decided to use this image for my post, only because that's how our telegrams looked like back in those days when this incident happened.

I'm not sure of the exact year, but it was definitely in the mid 80s. We lived in Kanpur back then. One fine morning, the doorbell rang, and Dad opened it to find his younger brother (who stayed in Patna) standing outside. Dad was obviously surprised at the sudden visit. We all were. Looking at our faces, my uncle seemed even more surprised! "I did send you a telegram that I was reaching today."

Yupp. You guessed it. We never got the telegram. Nevertheless, we were happy to have him visit us. There were a lot of family talks, and yes, food too. And chocolates for my sister and me.

And then the doorbell rang again. My uncle got it for us this time. It was the postman. With the telegram that my uncle had sent. "Reach Knp XYZ date PQR train"! (It was a super-abbreviated message like this... though I don't remember the exact words now.)

Bottom-line of the story: My uncle received the telegram that he had sent! :D

No wonder they finally decided to shut the service down. In fact, I'm surprised they took so long to do this! Anyway, Google images showed me that this is how an Indian telegram looked like recently...

Guess I'll save this image in the archives here too. Maybe one day my grand children will care to read my blog and stumble across this post... you never know, right! :P

This is my 15th post for 2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Link to the previous post: "Sunday Slumbers And Thunders"

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Anonymous said...

Funny incident, but I kind of figured out what it was going to be. I am told there were instances when postcards within city would reach the destination before actual person traveling the same day.

Smita said...

The only memory I have of Telegram is that of framing one for english classes :D

Bhavya said...

He got a telegram he sent! Ha ha ha.. :D
Its always so much fun when you have guests coming over... so much talk, and so many dishes :D

Shilpa Garg said...

LOL :D That's so funny!
I remember sending telegrams when I was a kid. The only difference that I can remember between the then and now form is the paper quality, it looks more white now as compared to the pale yellow then. I guess the format is still the same, with a box for each word!

the little princess said...

ya right! i haven't had my brush with telegram too! the best one I read about in TOI was sent on the last day...to whom??? HH queen elizabeth.... and what did it say??? return kohinoor! :)

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

What a gorgeous little story, Kaddoo Kanpuriya of School Jaipuriya.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@the-first-book - My experience with postcards is even less than telegrams! :P I have sent a lot of those blue inland letters though, and then of course, the writings got lengthier and the inland letters seemed to become smaller! :D
Thanks for dropping by. :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Smita - Oh! A school assignment! Do you still have it? What was the message in that telegram?

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Yes, Bhavya! And it was absolutely hilarious! :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Shilpa - I've never seen a telegram form. Never sent one. Back in those days, it usually meant bad news... at least in my circles. Or it was used to announce sudden visitations like the above incident. So never needed to send one.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@the little princess - Hahaha! Yeah I saw that one too! Someone had posted it on Facebook! :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

OB, now how did Jaipuriya come into this? :D

Abhiroop Banerjee said...


SuKupedia ™ :) :) said...

Chicky.. I just added you to my bloglovin.. i was thinking you post your every post on your facebook page and I follow you there... but today after your comments on my blog I saw all the blog links there :( :(

hahahahha.. you know so many incidents like this I have heard about our postal service..but reading it here was fun :D :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

OB - At this rate, you'll soon end up in a mental asylum! :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

SuKu - I do post them all on the FB page for miss_teerious, but that usually happens quite late at night. So they probably get pushed down by newer posts by the time you check your FB timeline. :(

Yeah bloglovin' is good. Have added a button for the Google Follower thingie too. Personally, I prefer a feed reader. Now that Google Reader is gone, I've settled down with feedly at the moment. Have made a folder there for all the UBC participants. So that makes it easy for me.

And Indian Postal service is just too good! We can never mention enough about it! ;-)

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