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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    The era of STD calls

    The current growing generation will never understand the pain we took to make STD calls. I was in a hostel and whenever I needed to call my parents, I needed to go to the phone booth and then to place myself at the end of the huge queue of students already there waiting for their turn. After a long wait, when your turn comes, you try the phone number with your finger crossed because many times you might receive a reply saying, "All lines to the route are busy, kindly try after some time". Finally, if it gets connected, you can talk very limited as the booth meter used to run very fast with the speed of per second. This was the biggest pain I had during my hostel days.
    At home, I have seen my father making STD calls to relatives during late-night because those late-night hours were having low call tariffs.
    Now we do no even think before making a call and the video calling has come up as a boon for us. We can call friends, parents, cousins and relatives and can talk face to face at no additional cost. Yesterday night, I thought of calling my mother and was still thinking to make a call or not, and my son said, "kya Mumma aap itna sochate ho! Just make a call na!". In the field of telecommunication, the era has completely changed now.

    This is my entry for ISC 13th Birthday Special- A thread a day challenge
  • #702968
    It is true from the author that making an STD calls was a good time to remember actually we had only a few times to talk and suddenly the meter of booth increases and the call gets disconnected. It was a good medium where do not have mobile phones available at that time. We sit for hours planning to make calls depending on the low tariff at the night time. Usually we tend to speak overnight because of low-income tariffs and it was good to spend more time on the phone at night. Now the situation has changed and the technology has advanced and it has helped us to make video calls very cheaply with a limited broadband plan. Now making calls or doing video calls are easier which we thought of past times. Our children cannot see the past old age time of making calls at night and we can hope that our lives can be good even with these new changes in the telecommunications sector. The changes in the plan have also brought people to choose the different operators depending upon their feasibility and availability.
    "Earning knowledge is by sharing it with ISC and we will rectify our mistakes."

  • #702976
    Yes. I do remember the tough communication days of the past. When there were no landlines, we need to go to the post office for the calls, and spend hours to talk to the called party. The post office used to send a messenger to the address and inform them that there is a call for them. After reaching there, they will try and connect the two parties to converse.

    The provision of landlines as public booths has eased the problem by dropping a coin into the box for local calls.
    STD call facilities made it easy to contact people in distant places. Yet. STD calls were costly. The meter used to run fast. We used to speak looking at the meter reading.

    When my daughter was studying in MAU(Marathwada Agricultural University), I set Saturday 2100 hrs as a meeting day. She would present herself in her local guardian's house 15 minutes before 2100 hrs. I would call her from Ernakulam STD booth and talk to her looking at the meter reading.

    And now. OMG! Thanks to the inventors of Mobiles and video calls. Great is the technology. Technology made communication easy without much expense.

    No life without Sun

  • #702979
    You are talking about an STD call.
    The trouble I have taken to make a local call and then a booked call was much more painful.

    It was in 1969. I was in my ninth class. Near my school, there was a rice mill and those days that mill is having a landline phone of BSNL. My father was in his office. He also had a landline in his office. The owner of the mill was known to my father. Oneday during lunchtime, the owner called to the mill. He told me that he wanted to talk to my father. That is a local call and he struggled for half an hour. But never got connected. I went back to my class.
    Then in 1988, I was staying in a town near Hyderabad. That town was not having an STD facility. To talk to out of the exchange we have to book a call. Our office was in Hyderabad. If we have to talk to the office. we were booking a call and it was taking more than an hour to get the call. Really tough and even the call comes also we were not able to hear the voice. Very low voice.

    Mobile phones are a revolution and now we can call any place any time just by lying down on our bed.

    always confident

  • #702983
    I have never used STD calls in the past even though that facility was there at that time. I have seen it in movies only and some others using it. After BSNL introduced landline my father took for that facility. But at that time also, for important purposes, only my father used that facility to talk with others. We used to be mere spectators to watch that facility. People at that time get feared that talking in the day time will lead to getting a heavy bill and so used to talk at night only and that too in a limited way. Slowly in course of time children also were allowed to talk over the phone.

  • #703063
    I also invite the author to know about a time of 'Trunk Calls. That was before the advent of STD or Subscriber Trunk Dialling.

    The local calling area under an exchange was a small area. Even the next town was not coming under local call. That was under trunk call. For making a trunk call, we have to dial the local exchange (trunk booking number from directory) and after telling our number, give the phone number and the exchange name of the receiver. The local exchange will then book a trunk call. We have to wait .Sometimes it may take hours to get the call connected. Then at last we will receive a call from local exchange, the person will ask and confirm if we have booked a trunk to so and so number-city. On saying yes, he/she would say your number is connected please talk. On the other end a similar act will go and the exchange person will tell the person that here is a trunk call from so and so number so and so exchange. Then both side staff will leave the line to us and we can talk. We can hear the Creech sounds of connecting.

    After taking for some time the exchange person may interfere and ask the time is now 3 minutes do you want to extend. We may say yes. Many times the line will not be clear and we may have to shout. This will make others feel that we can be directly heard at the other end even without phone.

    At times the line will be so unclear that the exchange staff had to intervene and transmit what we say. Our exchange person will tell to the other exchange person and he will tell it to the receiver.

    If we wanted to talk to a particular person on the other side then we have to specifically tell and book a PP-particular person- call.

    It was after many stages of extending the direct connections that the real subscriber trunk dialling came.

    Then the floodgates of opportunity opened up and everywhere STD booths opened and did a roaring business. That was a time when only the Indian Telephone (present BSN) was the telephone provider. We have to book for a telephone and wait for years to get a phone connection. I got my phone by the OYR scheme-Own Your Telephone scheme-wherein I had to pay a lump sum amount many times the amount for ordinary connection. I got it in a fortnight.

  • #703831
    I too have known the pain of making an STD calls. During our school vacation, we would go to our native place which was very remote with very few houses having phones in their house. During that time, my sister would make a call and inform them that she will be calling back after an hour or say 10 AM. They would come to our home which was 100-250meters away. We would reach their house before time and wait for the call. My sister would try to call at the right time but due to various reasons, sometime she would get through after 15 minutes or 30 minutes. We had to patiently wait until the phone rings. The same was for making a call as we had to go some 1 kilometres to the nearest phone booth and wait in a queue to make one call. The call would be crisp and precise with only important thing transferred as most of the time, our eye would be on the meter and keep on checking the money. Many times we had to cut the call in the middle due to money and ask them to call back.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #703833
    Surely the telecommunication has developed leap and bounds and we are now able to contact any person for free thanks to whats app free calling app through which nothing is charged. After reading the post my thoughts went to a Vadivel commedy which is centered on this subject. He and his sister comes to Chennai and want to make a call to his village. The operator asks for the number and he gives the village home land line number and the operator dials the code and the number to which he objects. Anyway he talks for hours together and hands over just two rupees. To that the operator gives him the bill of over six hundred rupees to which Vadivel objects and they beat each other. At that time Arjun actor intervenes and ask Vadivel to pay the bill and leave. In those days STD calls were high and were charged huge.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

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