“Telegram”by DOT …the 163-year-old telegram service closed on June 15, 2013
The Back Bench Assciation was very busy playing passing the paper game. A hilarious comment on a piece of paper passed around and not getting caught by Sir was much more intriguing than the lecture itself.
A batch mate showed up at the door then with a notice from the office. “Jay Varghese you are wanted” called out Sir and Jay went outside the class room. At that moment itself we were startled from the paper passing game by a big thud sound. Did someone switch on the wrong circuit in the electrical lab and caused the transformer to turn into fireworks? This is usual happening in electrical lab few times in a week.
Arrey No! we are in the class room far from the lab on the top floor of Electronics block. In my blurred memory, I remember Sir, Arul and Binod ran out off the class and followed by most of the boys. “It’s our Jay” someone screamed seeing Jay lying on the concrete floor almost unconscious but holding a telegram. Sir read the message
“Mother Expired Start Immediately” Uncle.
How can this be! What a tragedy!
The whole class started to cry. In our EA class, we were very close and good friends from the first year itself. Several pleasure trips even from S1 made our friendship only stronger. So naturally we knew about our friends’ families and we cared too.
Jay’s mother ,very young may be in her forties, had no known health issues. Jay’s family was in Orissa. His uncle in Kerala was his local guardian.The telegram was from this uncle.
While some of us took care of Jay, the boys managed to arrange a taxi to Ernakulam. Soon Jay and few boys started on their way. Mean time, someone booked an express trunk call to Jay’s uncle to get the details. As the class was settling down with unsettled minds, after about 10 minutes they could get connected to his uncle. Lo and behold… the one who died was Uncle’s 90 year old bed ridden mother!!
To laugh or to cry…
Immediately, the Bike service was sent out to get back Jay and boys who accompanied him.
Believe it or not, this event that happened in EA, essentially was the real reason behind BSNL’s decision to close the telegram service 🙂 . In this data centric internet era, there is no character restriction like in the telegram…and no more Dah Dit Dit!!
-Rincy Rose Tom
To refresh our memory : (credits The Hindu, June 12, 2013)