Thursday, October 10, 2013

Payphone or telephone booth

PayphoneWe live in Smartphone era, but there was some period, peoples depend on phone were only on telephone booth and payphones fixed at some particular place or office or junction. For many people in India and abroad these payphones still helps at communication in absence of mobiles or emergency contact. Before telephones arrive at our homes, we used to visit the telephone booth or PCO (public call office) to make phone calls; and in my childhood days I have accompanied many a time my aunt to the red telephone booth or payphone in our area (Adyar) to make calls to her friends. I really enjoyed accompanying her not only because it was fun dropping the coin into the photo box and then dialing the rotary dial, she also get me chocolate or ice-cream while back home. 

Apart telephone booths, sometime we also visit our neighbor’s house (one or two houses that have telephone connection then) to make emergency call and also give their number to our relatives and friends to call in case of anything important. The same thing happens when we bought telephone, some of our neighbors get calls from their relatives and we have go and call them at their home… which only then we realized how difficult we gave to others. Lol

There were also few shops in our area then had telephones, which they also make it as a public phone and collect money for talking. We were also asked to press a red button (an additional device attached to the phone to calculated our talk time) when beeps rise at the end of each minute of the call, like how we drop one rupee coin in the payphone boxes at the end of each minute to continue our talk. 

Those days, I guess, we can’t make STD (subscriber trunk dialing) calls or talk out of our city or town from the telephone booth or payphones but only visiting the specify shops that has STD or ISD facilities. Making an STD also means paying more money, so people don’t make much calls unless important and also put their calls short and sweet thinking of the high rate. These days we can’t find any of those pretty red telephone booths, but only the yellow payphones fix to the walls or poles in public places or in front of the shops and the minimum rate of call to make allover India is Rs.1 per minute. These payphones are provided by public telephone sector ‘BSNL’ and the amount received through these boxes are collected by neither shop owners nor BSNL employees, for which they are paid commission.

Footnote:

The picture above is a coin operated payphone… kept at a shop in a village called Kuppanur, on the foothills of Yercaud, Salem district of Tamil Nadu. The yellow phone was catching my attention for photo and it was the inspiration to write on phones here.

15 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

We hardly ever see telephone booths over here anymore. They used to be prevalent but these days I hardly ever see them! I kind of miss them.

TexWisGirl said...

pay phones are almost impossible to find, now...

George said...

Pay phones are becoming increasingly rare in our area. I really can't remember when I saw the last one.

ladyfi said...

Love that bright yellow phone. Such a shame to see phone booths disappearing.

Pooja Mittal said...

I have not seen these phones in ages.. They are antique now.. :)
Keep in touch,
www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Jeevan, I seldom see payphones anywhere these days. We used to see a phone booth on every other corner --in the olden days.

Since most people have cellphones now, that means that the regular phone service (which we call land lines) has taken a huge hit. Eventually, there may be nothing BUT cellphones.

Hugs,
Betsy

Fiza Dawn said...

Actually your post brought the two era together :) nice one Jeevan :)

Keep writing

Cheers
Dawn

deeps said...

This is lovely work yaar…and how apt… obviously phone booths are one of the things that we get to see very less these days…

Twilight Man said...

They bring me fond memories too. I guess I am much older than you.

Destination Infinity said...

I don't remember using the PCO. We used STD sometimes. There was always some house nearby which had a phone connection that we could use (for local calls).

I loved the rotary interface of the earlyday phones. It seems there is some android app that gives us the rotary screen to make calls from cell phones! If I buy android, I will definitely install it :)

Destination Infinity

Renu said...

must have been really long back that I visited A PCO..

This phone is quite colorful..

Rajesh said...

I liked those days. There are nice memories.

ajay said...

I also bought a new telephone at my office and it is perfect in its features.

Rahul Kataria said...

wow nice telephone having good quality.According to me it is a best product.

Rahul Kataria said...

wow nice telephone having good quality.According to me it is a best product.