To most people at that time, the telephone was purely a necessity. Nobody understood how the device worked or bothered to unravel the technology behind the so called 'miracle' of instant distant communication.
'Let anything change, I just need the red and green button, thats all'
- It was sort of difficult to feel connected over the telephone. One had to literally scream over the line, especially for trunk calls.
- As a child I was not even aware of the word 'hello', never knew it was an english word which meant something. Hearing it being used to start a conversation on the telephone, I assumed one could not start a conversation without a hello, almost as if the person on the other side would not respond without a hello.
- Most of the conversation around the telephone then involved the instrument: its quality, durability and color. There was an obsession behind owning a telephone of the color one preferred, probably people thought it represented themselves, something more personal.
- People used to book for colors in advance and wait for it. Ironically after all the effort involved in procuring a phone of their preferred color, they would cover the telephone with a piece of cloth, in comparison to today where features are given more importance and nobody bothers covering the landline at home.
- Unlike today there was close watch on time back then. He remembers his father starting a timer the moment the pulse started.
- The wires used to be all around and over the house as nobody bothered concealing them. Sometimes the wire was a lot longer than required so that it could be moved around the house.
- He says the older phone call experience is like the family sitting together watching television .
- Father gained respect amongst the tenants as he allowed them to use the device purely out of goodwill. It also helped him connect a outer circle of people(those who contacted his tenants), helped build relations with relatives of tenants.
- Another interesting thing he mentioned was how people in the house, especially children learnt about different languages (basics of response) just through receiving phone calls for neighbors.
- The first device he bought when he went to the states was a telephone. Something that was planned even before departure.
- His first mobile phone was forced upon him by his management in spite of him not wanting one. Hates being traceable all the time. Feels there is an increase in expectancy, in terms of having to be answerable all the time.There is an expectation to stay in touch, leading to many assumptions which further leads to misunderstanding.
- Only during high school was i ever allowed to receive personal phone calls. The only one then being one from my friend Sowmya inviting me to her residence for group study.
- While doing my engineering, i used to stay in a hostel which only had one telephone.
- Parents would need to inform the attender that need to speak to their daughter. The attender would scream out your room number and name from the verandah. Phone calls were very short and purely need based.
- My father, being from the ITI would usually somehow figure a way out fix the minor problems related to the telephone by himself.
- He would make us answer phone calls he did not wish to answer or was not sure of. (Lack of caller id). He would also ask us to search from a number in the directory.
- Call engaged numbers continuously till answered. We were even taught to identity the nature of the call from the ring.
- As children we used to make prank calls in his absence to the police station and other relatives. The police once even threatened to come home and take action.
Mr.Vasanth Subramaniam, Age 40
- Seldom uses the telephone for personal conversations. Prefers face to face interaction.
- Collecting the directory was a major task every year, it was must and had to be done immediately.
- People had issues with the placement of the telephone pole. Nobody wanted it in front of their houses.
- Nobody emphasizes on durability of the devices anymore. The device need not last so long when the features change so rapidly.
- we were once at the mercy of the government ot provide us the service. Today, the customer is the king.