September 30th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Life   Comments Off on SAHIB….. TELEGRAM
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If I look down memory lane, I come across a faded memory of the postman who used to knock our gate and simulatneously ring his bycycle bell to announce his arrival. I or anyone else in the house used to run towards the gate to find out what the postman had brought for us. ‘Telegram hai sahib’, he used to say. And the word telegram sent a chill down the spine and horrible thoughts came to the mind in a flash of a second. Who? What? Why? When?  Where? Oh  Rama – bless me!!!  It was a…..

greetings telegram sent  to me by my sister from Delhi on my birthday. I heaved a sigh of relief. Where are those days? With the technological advancement in the field of communications – the telegram and the postal letter seem to have no place in our lives now. Neither does the postman come home anymore, except for asking bakshish on Dewali – eh!

Yes, the postman does come sometimes, to deliver important documents from the bank or the Post Office savings section or to deliver the UTI dividend cheques. The banks, however, have opted to use the courier services to deliver ATM Cards and their related pin number letters.

My neice got married and went to Chicago in Nov. 1981. My sister used to send her a  letter which probably reached her in 20 days and it took another 25 days to receive the reply. When we got the letter we all were very happy ‘chitti aayee hai’. In those days, I was more concerned about the stamp on the envelope.

With the advent of the internet, things became very easy. We could send mail to any part of the world and it would reach there in a second or two. And if the person is awake, depending upon the time zone, I could get the reply in as much time. It was followed by the messenger – now you could chaat with your loved ones. This was followed by the web-cam wherein you could see them also while chatting. And the computer itself was replaced by the laptop – lol!

Now you have no need  to buy and post greeting cards anymore. They can be sent online also. And making friends on the international stage has also become very easy. Now it’s a very small world. You can chaat with a thousand people at a time  on  ”Twitter’.

It was in 1960 when I heard the voice coming out of a small instrument. It was called a transistor – the pocket edition radio. I asked a friend – where does the man sit inside this small package? He said ‘dont worry, one day you will see the man also who is talking inside the box’.

And what  he said came to be true. In 1980, while I was posted at Delhi, we bought our first black and white TV. Yes, we could see the man who is talking. After seven years we upgraded to a 21″ colour and just last year we got a 29′ TV.

A man is a bundle of weaknesses, and my first weakness was ‘music’. I had a 78 rpm record player, the one with a handle key and needles. With the passage of time it was replaced by  a small cassette player and folowed it up by a cassette deck – a stereo system. Then by His grace we bought a CD player which didn’t last even for six months because the technology had improved and had to be replaced by a DVD player which I got from States, where my daughter stays with her family. United States is now one second away from India – via the internet of course.

A year ago, my son bought a small hard disc which can store upto 150 movies and 3000 songs. It gives an excellent reproduction of quality picture as well as sound.

The rest of the entire equipment visible in the showcase is now called ‘clutter’. God only knows what will come next. Whatever comes, I am not worried as I have hung my boots and have handed over this charge to my son who  now wants the 52″ LCD TV and I told him that it’s his job now to spend and enjoy.


Ravi Matah.

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