Those telephone ladies


While I was cleaning the house this morning, I had to dust the telephone (Yes we still have one, and it’s hardly ever used). The inadequacy of my feather duster reminded me of the telephone ladies that used to visit our house in Calcutta when we were growing up…Like everyone else we had the black model 500 telephone designed by Henry Dreyfuss. Of course I didn’t know it then.


They were nearly always middle-aged, in sarees, with folding umbrellas, and a huge black bag in which they carried their tools. We would watch curiously as they deftly did their job…And left as inconspicuously as they’d arrived.

2013-02-25-3cThe phone was a bit smelly for a day, though…Anyway I can only sigh…and sigh…for those lost telephone ladies and of a slow, quiet time. (And my inadequate modern duster.)


3 thoughts on “Those telephone ladies

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great read from inktales as usual. Remember, there was a time just little more than a decade back when everybody knew the co-relation between a pencil and an audio-cassette. The later could be found rarely and the way touch devices are taking over our lives, pencils could be a thing of past soon. I am confident that by the time my son goes for his graduation, physical act of writing with a pen/pencil will be a lost art. But for more immediate future, I see us sigh-ing about professions such as travel agents who are perishing at an alarming rate.


  2. lekha says:

    I had no idea telephone ladies existed! +1 for cal. I still have the same model… all dusty, of course.


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