Even today many prefer type written documents to keep it out of hawkers’ hands.
When one enters to the Amaravathy complex, Mananchira in Kozhikode, may be little surprised to hear the rhythms of type writer.
The paper moves from side to side and new sheets need to be rolled in with a clacking sound.
Generation next, touch screen wallahs who visit this compound to internet cafes and Xerox centers, look enthusiastically on this old type writer and the lady working on it fast.
M.Sheeba is typing government documents like registration deeds and contracts at a private firm, ‘Types and Fonts.’ She has been doing this job for the last two decades.
This is one of the oldest and few remaining type writing offices in the city.
Her name is type-written at the bottom of every document passed to the registrar office situated at the other side of the road.
She joined for KGTE (Kerala Government Technical Education) in 1992.
It was not easy to go through higher exam those days.
But, she passed the exam at the very first chance itself thanks to her strenuous practice from a type-writing institute.
“During the initial days it was tough to press shift keys occasionally to change English and Malayalam fonts.”
She remembers, “There were many type writing institutes and many girls used to join the course immediately after passing out S.S.L.C examination.
She entered into this job by 1994.
She never looked back for any other option except once she attended a government position, that too in the same job at a court.
She performed well in that practical test. However, that post was given to a differently- abled candidate.
But Sheeba has never complained for not selecting her for a government job, even if she has many financial burdens on her shoulders since the sudden demise of her husband few years back.
“What do you mean if she never tried for a government job?
The answer is simple; the government really missed an expert in typing and documentation, that’s all.”
Her colleague at this office, P.Sruthy is excited to say Sheeba’s skill on this field.
“As part of the examination, I had practiced in second paper and balance sheets.”-says, Sheeba.
If practice makes people perfect, Sheeba is here to prove it.
“Paying attention to the work you do is the most important thing in this field.
If you make a mistake, you can’t delete it as you do on computers. So, it is very important to avoid typos. ”
“Many students, who pass along this office, sometimes ask their doubt on the activity of type writer.”
Many are quite ignorant of this hero of yesteryear.
Documents look fresh
“The most positive part of type-written document is its longevity with fresh look. Today’s computer printed documents may fade very fast after few days of filing. But, type written matters are long lasting.”
Even if technology has taken you to new places, the nostalgic chatter of yesteryear offices that is alien to new generation is still running here.
“I always enjoy working on type writer and never felt boring.
What helped me lot is the best basic lessons; I practiced systematically during my initial days of typewriting.”
“It is very difficult to find out a technician for typewriting machines. Today, we can’t find out many type writing institutes too.”-says S.Viswanathan, a retired sub registrar who runs this firm.
These type -written papers are perfect for documentation, even laser printed ones are fading fast.” –he says from his long time experience.
“And the recent world trend is the growing incidents of hawking. But, this ageing type writer can prevent official documents being hacked,”
“Even if the Kerala Public Service Commission has redesigned the post of typist as computer assistant, the contributions of typists in government documentation is still relevant.”