Typewriter Guerrilla, Year 1969


Byline in a reputed journal like Frontier firmed up my resolve of joining journalism.

I was advised to learn typing and shorthand if I wanted to become a reporter. So I joined a typing institute. I could never learn shorthand. But soon enough I was able to type ‘A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ without looking at the keyboard.

The difficult part was commuting from my hostel to downtown Ranchi to attend the typing class. My roommates, two brothers who belonged to Katrasgarh royal family, came to my rescue. I would borrow their bicycle and paddle downtown to the typing institute.

The typing classes also solved the problem of getting my articles typewritten by professional typists which was a costly affair.

By the time I migrated to Patna University later, I was lucky to  acquire helpful friends like Bhushan Marwaha, the bureau chief of UNI at Patna. He would allow me to use his office typewriters and also correct my copies.

It was only much later, after I joined Nai Dunia at Indore in 1976, that I could acquire a typewriter of my own. I lugged around the bulky Remington Portable (price Rs 1,725) for several years. The fragile machine travelled with me all over Madhya Pradesh during my Indian Express stint.

In case you want to read my article on Bihar Assembly election in 1969, please click here.


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