Hold on, please
With Assembly elections just days away, the BJP headquarters, nestled in the colourful chaos of Khanpur in Central Ahmedabad, is a pulsating sea of visitors, BJP workers and mediapersons. Amid all this, Pandya sits calmly in a small corner, surrounded by taped sheets of phone numbers and names, and mouths ‘haanjis’ into the phone. The North Indian greeting is perhaps an influence of too many visitors from Delhi. “From my first day here back in ’98, I have been manning the telephones. Despite all the smartphones, Internet and iPads, a landline telephone is crucial at the headquarters of any political party,” he says.
At the office or karyalaya, Pandya’s phenomenal memory for numbers is the stuff of stories. He remembers more than 5,000 numbers. “Once I read a number, it gets imprinted in my mind and I am confident that I won’t forget it for the next 10 years,” he says.
Pandya, one of the three phone operators at the karyalaya who work in shifts, came to Ahmedabad in 1995 from a village in Sabarkantha. “Being a telephone operator is a 365-day job. We take 700 to
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