Tring, tring, telephone #Friday Reflections

What is a telephone?

We were looking through the picture book when we saw a picture of a phone

“What is that ? ” the little one said,

” A telephone,” replied I, patting his head.

“And what is that?” he asked again

“To help you talk to someone else.”

“But what about the screen? ” he said

“And how do you punch the numbers?

“And why do you have this wire and a tire with holes in the middle?”

I wondered about what he said and thought it

Strange that in just a generation, what we considered magical is now out dated.

No cross connections, or telephone operators

No phone directories and no broken wires.

No plugged in phones, one per family

Sitting proudly perched in common space

For all to hear your conversations.

There was a time these phones were rare,

(I grew up in a phone-less home)

And there was a phone call etiquette

We were told to
” Call only between 8 and 8, in day light hours,

And not too late at night.”

Weekend calls were frowned upon

As were long, conversations of meaningless chatter.

image for telephone
An old fashioned rotary telephone


These phones are long gone and  replaced

By beauties that are sleek and smart.

More than just a simple phone.

They are small and cute hand held ones that go with you,

Like a shadow, stuck with glue.

These messengers who  receive mails, take photographs

and send them too!

They sing to you , and talk to you

Keep appointments and shop for you

Allow entry into concert halls , let you board international aeroplanes too!


No wonder then you look for it ,

From time to time and feel it like a touchstone

Reassured, that at any time

You are just a phone call away.

[ctt title=”Who knows? One day my great grandchildren will look at smart phones and wonder what they are.” tweet=”Who knows, one day my great grandchildren will look at smart phones and wonder what they are.” coverup=”spa9m”]

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This photo prompt on #Friday Reflections reminded me of an earlier time when telephones were quite rare. Feel free to join this weekly blog hop  and share your thoughts with other bloggers.

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


    1. Thanks . I only know my great grandchildren will not b holding imaginary telephones to their ears????

  1. Lovely writing!

    I feel nostalgic reading this. I grew up in an era of such phones. I remember our phone placed on a side table in the living room on top of a telephone directory. Next to it was a pen stand (with pens that actually were dry pens that ran out of ink) and a little diary to note/store phone numbers. Every time we had to call someone we had to look up their numbers in this diary.
    Cross connections were funny:-). Then there were trunk calls or std for long distance calls and not sure whether it was needed or not we used to clear our throats and scream on top of our voice to be heard on these calls 🙂 :-).
    Come rainy season these phones were either ‘ dead’ or if functional were full of disturbance.
    8 am – 8pm! Haha yes! Tring Tring outside these hours were assumed bad news or some serious news unless ofcourse someone was expecting a baby and this Tring Tring meant ‘ the baby has arrived!’.

    Thank you so much for this lovely post. I feel so happy reading this post and taking a trip down the memory lane!

    Happy Friday!

    Truly Happy

    1. Thanks for sharing these lovely memories that I can totally relate to. I wonder how many people will be able to . What I really miss is finding out people you know from telephone directories. They were a great data base to track down addresses of long lost friends

  2. That brought back a host of memories! One being the day we first got a phone in the house and being taught the etiquette of answering. I also grew up with the red telephone boxes, and remember putting a tuppence in the phone to call home for just a minute after a great adventure in London. I can even remember the musty call box smell. Thank you!!
    safar recently posted…Motorcycle Diaries: Making shapesMy Profile

    1. Glad to have brought back happy memories that you shared with me . I wonder if one day we will remember our smart phones with such fondness .

  3. I really enjoyed this…I did a similar piece on my writing blog but it was more creative nonfiction than poetry. Times certainly have changed, haven’t they? I’m sure kids these days would wonder what the hell that is! 🙂
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…HelloMy Profile

  4. I’ve only seen that telephone in pictures and movies! It is now hard to imagine how people connected through the wired phone and conversed openly in everyone’s presence! Who knows what comes in the post smart phone era! Nicely written 😀
    Dashy recently posted…The Phone CallMy Profile

    1. Thanks ! Wow ! I never thought this phone would be so obsolete . Even my girls have used this phone ( and they re in their early thirties ) …… Yes I wonder what my great grandchildren will

  5. Lovely, Sunita. What about booking trunk calls and waiting for them to come through. Our calls went through the military exchange and when I was 3 I’d pick up the phone and say “Can I speak to my Daddy.” The exchange operator knew my voice and would put the call through to my Dad’s office!
    The operators became our friends when my father was at war – they’d try so hard to get a call through so that we could speak to him once in a blue moon.
    Call me sentimental but everything was so much more personal then before the days of texting!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Lessons From The Day #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    1. I completely agree with you Corinne. I also familiar with those Military exchanges worse because we had to use someone else’s phones . If we had to send messages it was via Daddy’s office phone and could only be used when VERY Urgent . All this helped in making us more careful in planning things to the T like if we were meeting someone at some place at some time we MADE sure we did it because there was no Mobile phone!

  6. That tweet-able thought is really cool! I often wonder what the next means of communication will be, after smart phones. What if we resort to the same old pigeon-method of delivering messages? What if we develop some enhanced form of telepathy? Who knows? 🙂
    Lovely poem dear! 🙂
    Mithila Menezes @Fabulus1710 recently posted…When Death Comes Calling..My Profile

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