When the humble postcard or inland letter
Were used to share or exchange our longer views,
The arrival of a telegram would send hearts racing
And if the postman showed you the ‘X’ or ‘XX’,
The faint hearted would faint before he broke the news!
If you are “Midnight’s Children” plus or minus ten,
You must’ve seen this scene in countless movies then.
Not long after we got hold of electricity,
In 1837, Samuel Morse brought in telegraphy,
Two decades later, wires on poles were strung,
From Calcutta to Alipore; soon after more were flung,
To Bombay and Madras, then Delhi and beyond,
Since then, electric telegraphy has buzzed with activity,
Reaching out to millions for much over a century!
The cruel (or blessed) March of Time, relentless,
Picks up its victims, randomly or with logic refined,
But for this certainty, life could be quite eventless,
Wireless, then Internet kept telegraphy confined,
We used it less and less but remember, nevertheless,
The dread or the joy that telegrams divined,
That they had to go, quietly, is history nonetheless!
When the signal finally went out, 3 dots, 3 dashes,
Dot, dot, dot
There were no takers left,
Communication technology had moved,
A Lot, lot, lot
Nodnat – is a pen name that the writer with deep knowledge of Himalayan flora and fauna and a keen environmentalist has adopted. He hails from Kotgarh, in Shimla Hills and retired as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests from Himachal Pradesh forest department.