Me, the telephone user, has seen so much happening in my life that I often get confused if the past was true or the future is a dream!!!
The fact, however, is that this is just a part of evolution! or shall I say revolution!!!
I used to be in school when we got our first telephone! There used to be only one kind of a telephone at that time... the one that you connect using wires, which stretched all the way to the poles at the corner of your street... and a cut or a nook here or there would mean a screeching disturbance in your connection, or a dead telephone! which would mean that you have to go all the way to the nearest telephone exchange to file a complaint and someone would come and fix it! The telephones of the techies used to be very charming then... they were one single instrument with both the dial and the mike along with the headset! they would just connect the wires to a phone and voila! it works!
Life was simple then!
- A blank call meant no one would ever know that it was me who called... I remember dialling random numbers when mom dad were out of home, and just keeping the phone down when someone picked it up.. had even dialled 100 once, without realising that the police-walas need to cut the line for it to be disconnected... the bugger policeman waiting for 15 minutes before he hung up, while my heartbeat was increasing according to a quadratic equation with every second! Thankfully he disconnected before ma-papa came home!
- I would never know if someone called while no one was at home! (mind it! I am not talking about the riches who had answering machines even then)
- The numbers were just 4 digits long! before a 4 was appended in the beginning, and then another 4, and then a 2, and then a 5 and what not increasing the number of digits in my phone number, an indicator of the increase in number of phone subscribers!
- I did not really know how to keep the dialer silent if I wanted to make a call while parents were around! it would make all that sound because of the spring! duh!!!
Then we got another telephone! and now I could hear on the second instrument if we wanted a three way call between the relatives! A huge drawback being, that if I was talking to a friend, and someone else picked up, they would hear everything! Teenagers hate that, irrespective of what they are talking about!
Anyway, we graduated to having two telephone numbers in an year! one business telephone and another one a home phone! Made life a lot easier!
Now the huge irritant with these dialler phones was the fact that any number having digits like 8, or 9 or 0 were a big task to dial, and if it ends being a wrong number or a busy phone at the other end.. you would have do the entire excercise all over again! bummer!!! So you had be very careful while dialling a number, and keep praying that the person you are trying to talk to is home, and is not talking to anyone else! When mobile phones arrived, my faith in God suddenly increased because I used to pray very hard before I dial a mobile number! numbers starting with 9, numbers which were 10 digits long! oh God!!!!
It took us a while before we got a tone dial phone at my home! They were not free, and pa was never keen on making an investment in an instrument which could not be replaced free of cost by the telecommunications department!
A little later, everything changed!
- you could not make a blank call without the other person knowing who called!
- dialing a phone number sounded like beep beep bopp bopp beep bopp!
- phones stopped sounding like tringgggggggg tringggggggg.. but more like treeeeeeeppppp treeeeeeeeep!
- ringtones, mobile number, caller tune, friends and family, handphone, were the new in-words!
And today, while I spend over 9 hours of my day sitting in the Corporate IT department of a new Telco Company, I evaluate new offerings that can go to Voice and Data Customers! Its a long way from where it all started!
Incidently! my favorite ringtone still happens to be the old phone sound! and it does not look like something I will change given a choice!