I miss the clunk-clunk of the iron molded typewriters. Yes, its good to be in the company of computers and printers, but my heart has started craving for the authoritarian typewriters. There were days when no office was ever complete without the chaotic clunk of those metal buttons. The frequency of clunk was more or less directly proportional to the amount of business the office was doing. Even now, whenever I see some old Hollywood film, the sight of a blonde girl working calmly on the typewriter while her superior is puffing cigar in the next room seems so familiar.
Time paced hurriedly and computers took over. Printers took over, fax machines took over, cloud computing took over. Nothing remained the same, though the poor typewriter always tried to make space for every other competitive product. Alas, the dignity and respect that the typewriter displayed for the superior species never got returned back. When the typewriters were about to be introduced in the market, there was quite an uproar by a certain segment of people. Poor spellers lobbied against the concept of mechanical typing and imposed the severest of resistance against buying typewriters. They were afraid that they won’t be able to hide their inaccurate spellings with illegible handwriting. But as the typewriters entered the commercial markets, they created a legend. In the late 19th century, the most popular typewriter was appropriately named as The Dollar Typewriter.
I have passed a large part of my early years in various B town cities of India; and owning a typewriter had always been considered a thing to be proud of. As a child, I have fond memories of trying my finger pulp at hitting the cold, hard buttons and seeing the carbon making imprint on the recycled paper. It used to be such a pondering process; I don’t know was it the love of typewriters or was it the sense of seeing a form of creation with wide eyes, but I had always loved to watch a typewriter in action. Even today, if I get a choice to install some software by which I can hear the clunk sound of typewriter buttons when pressing my computer keyboard, I would go for it without second thoughts. I am sure many of us have deeply attached sentiments with the legacy of typewriters; if any one is planning to start a typewriter aficionado group in India, consider me IN.