Remember an office scene of any movie of 70s, 80s or even a few of early 90s…One common thing, sound drum of every ear would have noticed. A sound copywrited to every office to such an extent that you can tell about the scene even without staring at the screen. Yes you guessed it right…the typical non stopping, sharp clack-clack sound of the typewriter. The sound has such a great effect that whenever a director want to convey some shock in the office he first have to create an environment full of typewriter’s noise and suddenly stop it when the shock is to be delivered.
What made me type this at this point of time, when the clock is showing 1:58:41 AM, to be precise, is the news in one of the leading newspaper today. The news is that the typewriter is to be a thing of the past in Indian Government Offices. The computer has steadily been replacing the typewriters in most offices, but they were still used to test the typing skills of aspiring clerks.
I remembered the era when the modern computers have just made an entry in the world with their black and white screens and were mostly found at some freaking Computer training centres and computer labs of few colleges. That was the begining of the end of typewriters which, once upon a time, was used to be the status symbol of any office.
I remember how crazy I went when I first typed my name on a typewriter. The clean, clear, well placed letters with proper spacing, better than any handwriting in the world. I was so excited that I took that piece of paper next day to my school and showed it to my classmates. I was the most sought after guy in the class for the next few days. Students even from other classes used to come to me just to have a glimpse of it and I felt proud as if I have achieved something in my life.
The trend continues for few months. On every holiday I used to go with my father to type something and feel special that I have got the opportunity to touch those keys which miraculously print the same letter on the paper rolled with the cylinder.
Another incident associated with the typewriter was about the sequence of keys. I used to wonder why the keys are arranged in this weird non logical order. Why cant they just be like regular alphabetic order. Sadly there was no google at that time which could have answered me. I tried very hard and racked my brain to figure out the logic behind it. I asked the question to many people but even they didn’t have the answer. After a long time, I came to know about it when I have started working on computer. The logic was the collision of keys strokes of frequent keys while typing fastly. Then came the standard design and is used till date. It was so effective and widely used that when the computer keyboard was invented the same design was used though there was no such limitation with it.
Few days back, one of my friend switched his job and he needed to submit some affidavit signed by notary while joining. He asked me to come to get one and I agreed against my will as it was a saturday and I hate to wake up early on a holiday. But the lucrative breakfast offer made my mind to convince my heart and get out of my bed. We went to a place where there were several notaries sitting with a black coat on their body and a briefcase on a table in front of them. My friend and I picked a notary from more than 3 dozens of identicals. My friend started talking to him about his requirements. He told us the complete expenses (inclusive of all taxes as mentioned by him) and handed us a few documents. He then took us to another person with a typewriter on his table and guided him what to type. As I was getting bored there, my mind started to notice and analyse the things around me as my hobby when I have nothing to do. At that very moment, I realized that I haven’t noticed a typewriter for a very long time. Forget about the phyical typewriter, I haven’t even seen the word typewriter. I stressed my mind a lot to recall a moment when I have witnessed a typewriter for the last time but after every type of search, the result returned was NULL. Suddenly I noticed some argument going on between the notary and my friend on one side and the typewriter, in his early 60s, on the other. It was related to some spelling mistake made by him while typing. Once that is over I asked the notary that why the typewriter is still being used at this time when everything can easily be done by computers and that too without these type of spelling flaws. He just answered that this is the goverment rule and he cannot do anything in this regard and infact he too wanted this kind of implementation. I think he must be some relative of the God (read some higher government official) that his will was so early fulfilled and here we are reading the news about the same.
Whatever I am typing here is in the silence of night without disturbing the other folks sleeping in their cozy beds, but yeah I am missing the classic clack-clack sound. I can clearly feel it in my mind but can’t describe it here. It will always remain an epic sound and surely be missed at atleast SARKARI offices.
But what-so-ever be, one thing is sure that the death of typewriter will be typed from a keyboard which has got its key patterns inherited from a typewriter.
PS: The word “typewriter” is the longest word that can be typed using only one row of keys.