I learnt typing formally during my teens. And then I understood why there were little raised indicators in the F and J keys. From then on, it was an endless series of FFFs and JJJs before I could progress to FGF and JHJ. Coming to the alphabet line level and typing the entire alphabet in reverse were huge achievements.
Those were the times when I’d seriously dreamed of writing my own novel with a typewriter – a dream I had not given up until recently. The old worldly charm of the typewriter and the tap tapping sound the keys made only added to the intensity of the wish. Having grown up on a diet of early twentieth century English novels, I couldn’t shake this idea off that I needed to finish typing my novel on a type writer.
To my over excited brain, the logistics of wasting so many sheets of paper and ribbons of ink seemed a mere compromise just for the elegance of the text that would come out of the type writer. All that nostalgia about typewriters came to the fore of my mind today afternoon when I visited a friend who had one.
And just for the heck of it, of course I demanded that I have a go at it. She obligingly performed a cursory clean up and readied the typewriter while I mentally prepared myself to write a beautiful passage at least, if not my whole story. All the words were floating in my head and I was sure I could type out an awesome paragraph. I prepared myself with gusto and sat in front of it while my friend watched with barely concealed glee. She knew the outcome better, perhaps.
The blank white sheet seemed to stare back at me and as I placed my hands on the typewriter keyboard, and I was unable to form the words. All of a sudden I wanted to write everything but could not write even a single actual word. I was very aware of my friend’s laugh coming muffled from somewhere behind me. After a few moments of numb hesitation, I finally began typing out a story I had already written, one of my personal favorites and a paragraph I had written at a stretch and read over and over again.
Once I began though, there was no looking back. The words flowed without a break and before I realized I had typed a whole page of beautiful content without a single typing error. This is a great accomplishment I would remember happily for some time to come. Be it in getting my fingers to work extra hard (not to mention unnecessarily tapping my laptop keyboard extra hard as I type this, out of habit) or in watching the page of typed content roll out, the joy of typing in a typewriter has no match. Agreed that computers are much more convenient and efficient.
But I will type in the old fashioned typewriter whenever I get a chance again, because of the feel good factor aesthetics. In this, I belong to the HP world where quills and parchments made more sense than papers and pens.