When I finished my schooling I was very much interested to continue my studies, but as there was no women’s college in our city I had to suppress my desire. I thought that I would learn type writing so that I could get a job. As I had to wait till I completed 18 years to apply for a job, I wanted to learn something useful and so I joined the type writing class near my house. I just attended one month and I found the teacher was more interested in the fees than the progress of the student. He would not be present when I went to the class, but would leave a note what to type. He would tell his wife to ask for the tuition fees on the very first day of the month. As I didn’t like this type of behaviour I had quit the class. Then I joined Hindi class that was conducted by a lady on behalf of Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha and the class was very near to my house. I thought that at least in Hindi I could get the graduation and so my desire to become a graduate would be fulfilled. I wrote the Madhyama examination directly that was the second examination and was equal to school final. I stood first in our center and got the first prize and my teacher Smt. Shanbagam was very much pleased. The following year I wrote the Rashtra Basha examination and that time also I got the first prize in our center. Then I also wrote the Pravesika examination which was equal to Intermediate in the college and came out first in the city. But alas! I couldn't write the Visharad exam which was equal to graduation. Thus my wish to become a graduate was not fulfilled. During this period I applied for two jobs, one for the post of telephone operator, the second one for a clerical job in the railways. My brother in law told me to register my name in the employment exchange, as this was important because for government jobs they would call for interview only those who had registered their names. So I went to Saidapet with my brother in law and got my name registered at the employment exchange. In the mean while, my mother was looking for a match for me and our relatives suggested an alliance. The boy was working in Telephones and the boy’s mother, elder brother and his wife all came to see me. They had even agreed to go ahead for the marriage, but one of my mother’s relative objected saying that a married sister of the boy had eloped with someone and later returned home. In those days these kinds of things damaged the reputation of the family very much. Hence the alliance was dropped. I thought that all that happens was for good only. By this time I was called for interview for the telephone operator’s job. My brother in law took me to the interview. There were two/three persons in the interview board. They asked me whether I had any knowledge about the job. I told them that I presumed it was giving connections through some wires. I told them that if I were selected I would learn the job quickly. They asked for my height and some more questions. Though I was very nervous I answered all the questions. I was happy that I was called for interview for the very first job that I had applied. After two months I received a letter from the Posts and telegraphs department saying that I had been selected for the post of Telephone operator and that I had to undergo training for 2 months from January to March and after successful completion of the training, would be absorbed as Telephone Operator. After seeing the letter my joy knew no bounds. On the appointed day I went to the Telephone House that was my office and joined the training. During training period we had two sessions for the trainees. Alternatively one week we had to attend the morning session and the next week the afternoon session. I had to travel by train from Saint Thomas mount to Fort station for 25 minutes and it was about 20 minutes walk from my house to the station and 10 minutes walk from the station to the office. Daily my father used to accompany me both ways. After successful completion of training I was absorbed as telephone operator and was posted at the same office. In those days training for telephone operators was given at Madras only for all the southern states. So there were trainees from Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra. I was close with one Keralite Gowri Kutty and a Madras girl Bhavani. Gowri Kutti was posted at Kerala and so she went back after the training. Bhavani was posted at Madras and she used to come from Tambaram. Her father was postmaster at Tambaram post office. Later she was entangled in a love affair and was forced to marry the man against the wishes of her family because she had fallen pregnant. The saddest part was that man was already married and had children also. She did not know about it until she got married. Hence married men cheating a woman and marrying another woman is not new. But now married woman cheating many men and marrying them and leaving them has left people shocked. Here I have to mention about the service rendered by the telephone exchange and also about the shift duties. We had 8 hours shift. Morning 6.30, 7.30, 9.30, 11.00 and afternoon 2.00, 5.00 and night 8.00 and 12.30 a.m. There was no transport arrangement and we had to come and go on our own. But rest room facility was available so that we could stay over night after finishing duty and go home early in the morning. For the 8 o’clock I used to go in time, but for the 12 o’clock duty I could go up to 10 p.m. Most of the girls used to come around this time only. But as I didn't want my dad to go home late night after leaving me at the station, I used to come not later than 8 p.m. One day it so happened that one fellow was following me from the station. When I started walking fast he also kept to my pace and came along my side and asked me “Shall we go to the hotel?” I got very much frightened, but put up a brave face and told him “seruppu pinjidum.” From that day onwards I used to come early or wait at the station until any of my colleagues arrived. In the exchange we had several types of jobs. We had to take complaints about faults in the telephones, enquiries regarding new connections, addresses of subscribers, change of numbers and during cricket matches we used to give the score cards and other details. We had to tell even the time for which there was a separate number. We used to get wake up calls during Id festival when Muslims used to book early morning wake up calls. In those days we had manual public call offices. We had to give the connection to the subscriber when he lifted the telephone. At late night we used to get nuisance calls from these PCOs. There was a PBX board through which routed all incoming calls to most of the officials and outgoing calls also. During rainy season we had a hell of a time taking complaints nonstop till our hands and fingers ached. I had the posting at the local exchange. There was trunk exchange from there calls to out station were booked as there was no direct dialing system then. I worked for three and half years and then I had to resign the job after my marriage.