The termination order of the telegram elicited serpentine queues on the last day to relive the last moments of using the facility. I couldn’t help but wonder about this. We have seen the demise of the cassette player, the typewriter, the gramophone, and many other such devices. Why is there an outpouring of so much emotion for the telegram alone? And what is it about the telegram that brings forth such reactions?
I think it perhaps has to do with letting go. And in this case, letting go of something that is tied to the memories of emotions. We have let go of so many things, but this probably is something that is close to our heart. A small scrap of paper with its own quirky, grim, quick-worded sentences (if you can call it that) was the conveyor and bearer of so much happiness and many good news, the pall-bearer of burden when it comes to bad news, and the only one of its kind that could enable a flurry of changes. So much nostalgia tied to this tiny scrap of paper.
I remember my grandfather carefully filing each and every telegram he’d receive. Like all things he revered in his lifetime, he’d often look through the file. I once asked him, ‘Why do you file something that bought you bad news?’ And he said, ‘It also bought me good news! The good and bad are like two sides of the coin. One must never forget the existence of the other when you are looking at one side. When a bad news comes, I look at my file and think there have been good times. And when good news comes, it’s a reminder to be thankful for the blessings.’
When you let go, it’s with this feeling, I am happy I have known of its existence in my lifetime and it’s been so helpful to me. I have moved on to better things, but it’d never diminish the wonderful memories I hold as invaluable in my heart. Like a lantern, let us let go knowing its served its purpose and we are better because of it.