Monday, July 29, 2013

TELEGRAM:No Morse !!!

 When I sent the last Telegram? ,it was from the Kidderpore (Calcutta)Post Office..a twin Telegram,one to Andamans and the other to Sikkim ,saying "I embarked the ship will reach soon" another "Embarked the Ship"to Sikkim.After my arrival at home,three days later I myself received the telegram in Andamans. Then came the Land Line,and after mobile phones..the end of Telegrams.English teacher taught us in school ,how to send Telegrams.Now no need to teach the screenagers about sending SMSs.
I even paid Yearly licence fee for our Radio at home in the Post Office.The PostMaster use to cancel the Akashvaani stamp with the Date seal.My father was very Punctual to ask me to take it to Rangat PostOffice for renewal in January.When it ended,i don't remember.

Morse Code was part of my course at Kochi. The beeps ...dashes—-.we decoded it.One of our tutor, a retired Marine radio Officer with hearing problems taught us International Telecommunication Rules and regulations..Now ships have satellite communication equipment the Captain himself can communicate.Earlier the ships cannot sail without a Radio Officer.Indian COP2 certificate issued by the Ministry of Telecommunication was valid Internationally.Shipping Corp.of India paid more than 25000 for a radio officer,whereas the pass percentage in the test was only 2%,the candidates opted for overseas jobs which paid them 80000.This was in the year 1991.
Still I listen to BBC in my radio.Murphy,Philips,National Panasonic,Sony are the brands which i used.The FM band was useless in those days,only giving a hissing sound,but one day Thai or Burmese station cameup with some music.Singapore radio(Now MediaCorp)was the highly receptive station with tamil songs ,News and Traffic Announcements.Malaysia Station was Popular with the Jettyside Idliwallahs who wake up early at 3.Radio Veritas from Philipines-a Christian Missionary station with M.A.Swamy reading the 5minute news was very popular.Radio Netherlands with its documentaries on Afro_Asian issues and of course BBC in its English,Bengali ,Hindi and Tamil were my favourite.
The 6.40 AIR Gangtok news followed by Karseong News took my evenings and slowly I use to get drowsy with BBC Bengali followed by Hindi at 7.30 PM.When the dinner is ready call comes the news is over at Central Pendam.The life was so simple,humble and lazy.

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