Friday, January 06, 2012

The first phone

People now a days take for granted the mobile telephony services. It was not like this always. I was born in to a home without a telephone. It was not until I was 8 years old that we got connected. And it was a major event in the household.

The process was long and cumbersome. Apply for a connection. Line man comes home to check feasibility. Comes back another day with adequate tools and material to provide the house with a telephone line. No internal wiring in those days, the line man actually attached wood strips and laid the line on them till the table.

The family discussion was another entertaining activity. Where to place the phone because, once placed it would be difficult to move it around (no cordless phones then). The line man completed his job of laying the line. He then asked the question to my father, “What type of phone would you like?”

“What options do we have?” asked dad

“You can either have the older phone with a rotary dialer or the newer model with push button dial pad”

With this, my father asked the children of the house, including me, “Which one shall we pick?” We were astonished, after some mumble jumble, we knew it was the newer model that we would love to have.

Note: I thought I had lost my first edit of this blog, and wrote up a completely new one. Refer the next post for the conclusion of this post.

The First Telephone

I starkly remember the day our house got connected with a telephone. My father came home and announced that our application for a telephone connection has been approved and we will be getting a telephone shortly.

Our wait started. Within a week the telephone company lineman visited our house. He asked us where we wanted the phone in the room. When we pointed out place he did some inspection and said that he will connect it there. Soon, he got out some wooden planks and went hammering away to lay the line. These wooden planks had metal ties to hold the telephone wire reaching our house.

After he finished the installation he asked us a question.

Will you be wanting a normal telephone or a push button telephone!!

My father looked at us and asked our opinion. WOOO!! Of course, we want a PUSH BUTTON TELEPHONE!! YAYY.. it was such a futuristic concept back then when the connected homes had only the circular dialer phone.

And again the wait started for the arrival of our telephone piece. Once it arrived (in all its maroon and black glory) and got connected, we called whosoever’s number we had and informed them of our new number. The whole of my class also got to know that I now had a telephone.

Now when I look back at those times, they are still fresh in my mind. The time we used to dial 161 to make the telephone ring to adjust the ‘ringtone’ volume or the tone itself. Also used sometimes to wake people up saying they got a phone call. Sometimes used to play the April Fool prank. Don’t think anybody uses a normal landline phone to do such things anymore.