How the humble PCO booth saved many a job and heartbreak

PCO, ISD, STD, Phone booth, Phone call, Communication, TRAI, Telephone, the federal, english news website
Despite the smartphone boom, phone booths are still relevant. Image: Prathap Ravishankar

When Chennai-based banker Aparna Bera was growing up in her hometown Kolkata, there were many small booths painted in bright yellow that randomly dotted the lane leading to her house. She had often seen people cramming the booths as they waited for their turn. There also used to be one ‘lucky’ caller inside a tiny cabin, almost always lost in a deep conversation, with just a glass door separating his world from the rest.

By the time Aparna was a grown woman, the booths were no longer crowded, the glass-fronted cabin mostly vacant. Rather,......