Monday, July 15, 2013


"SIXTEEN" is not a post raving about the teenage. "SIXTEEN" is the only word that I have sent as message in the 7 - 8 telegrams that I would have sent in my life time of using Indian telegram service.

So this is my adieu post for the Indian Telegraph service. I personally cannot forget the piece of message in my father's diary quoting the exact message of the birth of my sister's birth that got navigated from Chennai to a small village near Kumbakonam on a rainy day in few hours, back in 1981. The shock and effect of a telegram that rattled by Grand ma when she lost her brother. While those remain as my childhood memories of a telegram, there is still half a dozen telegrams that we received on my sister's wedding at the marriage hall for which I happily gave Rs. 200 for the postman and the big lunch of the occasion.

 (Image Courtesy: Amul)

Going back to the title and the first line of the post, the only message that I have sent in all the telegrams I have ever sent across my school/college days was "SIXTEEN". We used to send greeting messages in telegram for weddings that happen out of station and if they are not so close to make a personal appearance. For those who do not know, the telegraph service had short code numbers for various standard messages. My father had a small paper cutting of all the short codes in the first page of his address book (which is actually a bound diary unlike the the icon in our mobile phones). "SIXTEEN" translates to "May Heaven’s Choicest Blessings be showered on the young couple". This helps you save a lot of time for the sender and the employee. The "Grams" section in the wedding invitations are already replaced with mobile numbers and email addresses.

For sure any one from the interiors of India and anyone 40+ will sure be missing "Telegrams" in India.


  1. :) so true. I remember we once got a telegram past midnight and everyone were like - aiyoo thandi vandruku :P

  2. Nice post.. Never sent one though...

  3. RIP India Telegram.

    I had sent a couple of SIXTEEN too.

  4. I remember receiving a telegram once and asked my mom why the English was so bad and butchered. And only then I was explained what a telegram was.