In Anwar Accawi’s story “The Telephone” had a deep explanation of the importance of community. This essay reignited my feelings about the community I had back in Bangladesh. I used to live in a setting similar to Magdaluna’s. It was a neighborhood where everybody would know everybody else. If anybody would get sick, other people would come to see and wish him/her quick recovery. People tend to ignore sick people nowadays but there was a time when people would go visit their neighbors and extend their helping hand. The sick would feel a lot better thinking somebody is there for them whenever they are in need.
And, that helping hand would do a lot of good to a sick patient than a small pill can do. That was the strength of a community and the relationship between people. He remembers, for example, how events were dated by their proximity to other events. When Accawi asked his grandmother how old a certain woman is, she did not give him a date; instead, she said that she was born the same year that a big snow caused the mayor’s roof to cave in, which was the same year that an earthquake damaged their kitchen. Though born decades after those events, Accawi immediately understood how old she was.
This style of history, as it were, speaks to the closeness of the community, for it was only possible because everyone shared the same experiences. Accawi states in his short story that the telephone was bad. I agree with him to an extent. The telephone had a bad impact on the village, in that they were torn apart from each other, and changed a way of living that was truly unique. A way of living in which time did not matter and where there were hardly any worries. Before the telephone the places where everyone socialized and relaxed were always bustling with people.
Now that there was a telephone, everyone would sit around it, waiting for his or her turn or opportunity of a lifetime. Im Kaleem, for example, was a woman who pleased the men of the town. She was the “town whore. ” Her house was somewhere that all the men could go and just play cards, drink, have a good time and be relieved of all the stress from the day. Her house was always full of men just having a good time and fulfilling their sexual desires with Im. Now that the telephone was around, people stopped going to Kaleem’s house. They spent all their time sitting by the phone. This was harmful for the town and its community.
It tore people away from each other. Also, for Accawi, the telephone was “bad news. ” He had a little business of running errands for the older men. He would sit outside of Kaleem’s house and wait for a man to call to him so he could run errands for him. The men would pay him a small amount of money each time. Although Accawi may have enjoyed living the simple life, he was brought an opportunity of a lifetime because of the telephone. While the telephone brought much grief to the town itself. I think it also gave the town people opportunity to go and do some real work even if it a low paying job.
Better than not doing anything and just staying and playing cards. “Three years later, having won a scholarship, I left Lebanon for the United States. Like the others who left Magdaluna before me, I am still looking for that better life. ” (41) And, at last I would say that we humans are greedy, and we are never happy with anything that was provide, we always want more. So, even though the villagers gone for “opportunity” they would never satisfy with what they have and always look for better. And, at the end we human will just think about things we had in the past.