Public phone
1993 - with thanks to www.2600.com 
Close-up of public phone
India-GregRoberts-Mutukadu_2.jpg (79487 bytes) Coin slot on public phone
In Mutukadu. thanks to Greg Roberts

Public Call Office in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India.  Charles Powne

The telephone culture is different in India than in the United States. Phones are still considered luxury items and are treated as such by owners. There is no way of making a collect call from a private phone, so a guest should go to a phone kiosk or at least ask the host before making a call. The host, however, will probably not deny the guest phone access out of courtesy, nor will h/she accept money for the call, so it is best to go out.

There are not many public payphones on street corners; of those that exist, many are not functional. Booths are not common; instead, there are random payphones stuck on walls. If one finds an operating pay phone, it will require one rupee coins. An easier way of making calls is to go to one of many phone stores that offer the use of phones, faxes, telex and copy machines. Here one can make a call, talk as long as necessary and then pay the rate in cash to the attendant. For long calls, there is a meter attached to the phones that determines the final fee. While a form of directory assistance is available and the operators will usually understand a little English, they often do not have complete or up-to-date information at their disposal.