These phone booths were much in demand in the pre-mobile phone era. In India, these were mostly at railway stations. At other places there were regular phones to make public phone calls. The advantage of this phone was, we could hear the person on the other side of the phone, but could speak to him only after dropping the coin. And with the Indian mentality of jugaad, it was abused in various ways to save the coin. Here’s my take for this week.
Raj pocketed the one rupee coin left on the table by his mother. That’s 3 minutes of talk time with Ramya, he thought gleefully. Next, he nicked the loose change dad left near the keys. 9 minutes more. Raj searched at the altar. He gingerly picked up two oily one rupee coins from the lamp. Eighteen minutes. He practically flew to the phone booth and dialed Ramya. The phone rang distantly. A man answered. Ramya’s Dad! Raj quickly put the phone back. Disheartened he left. Tomorrow he will try again but he will not put the coin first.