Vanishing phones, Arindam Thokder


The yellow public phones, omnipresent in most Indian cities -drop a coin and it’s at your service. Like all other Indian Cities, Bangalore of course has many of them. When I moved to Bangalore back in 2005, without a local number to make calls on, I was dependent on these yellow Phones for communication. My wife also used these phones to call me whenever she ran out of mobile prepaid limit. With the mobile phone revolution and its easy affordability, everyone has now at least one and sometimes two mobile phones. This certainly is drawing a curtain over the yellow pay-phone’s future. The shop keepers, who used to make 250-300 Rupees of coins each day, inform me that it’s now even hard to get 20-30 Rupees a day out of these phones. Lately I have noticed them vanishing from many places. I decided to document this swiftly disappearing phenomenon and life around these pay phones, before they vanish from the landscape of urban life completely.

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