A couple of months ago, my father’s friend landed in Chennai. This friend, let us call him M, does not live in India and was visiting Chennai after twenty years. M had lost touch with most of his friends from this city and on landing here, set about locating them. The bulky yet handy Chennai Telephones directory was his first reference. He remembered most people’s names, though he was doubtful of the initials. After narrowing down each contact to a few probables from the directory, he called BSNL’s 197 service and managed to zero in on most of his friends in this city. That is how he located my father too.
In an earlier post of mine, when reader Thad.E.Ginathom referred to the BSNL Fraudband service, indicating how awful the Broadband connection as well as customer service were, I agreed with him. In fact, my parents are very unhappy with their broadband service. But my father insists that holding on to the BSNL phone connection has its uses. And being able to be located by long-lost friends is one such big plus.
Most of my friends either do not have a landline connection or if they have one, it is usually not a BSNL connection. While the service is much better than BSNL, none of these private phone companies have a comprehensive directory service. What happens when one of our lost friends wants to locate us, I wonder. Of course we have our email ids but they are not listed. Oh, what about orkut say some, which with all its ‘can we be frens’ is still a big help in connecting with ex-classmates, ex-colleagues and the like.
From a time when your number was listed unless you specifically asked to be unlisted, we have now moved to the exact opposite in phonedom. But on the Internet, in the Web 2.0 realm, unless you looked carefully, the default settings are broadcasting your story to the world. Still, I wonder, if Chennaivasi who is not a big Internet user, has a phone line with a private service provider, is to be located by his old contacts, how are they going to be able to do it?