Plight of Lansdowne building typists
Voice of The Reader

Plight of Lansdowne building typists

August 12, 2019


I was back in Mysuru, after working for a few years in the Gulf. Quite a few important works were waiting for me to attend to on my arrival. And on top of the list was work at Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA).

With an application written in English, I went to MUDA to submit it. I was told at their offices that the same should be brought in Kannada language. When I went hunting for someone to help, I was guided to try the ‘typists’ at the Lansdowne building. In the days of computers, how come the typewriters were still not defunct, I wondered!

I spotted a sprightly and a sharp ‘typist’ at the entrance of a ‘photo-frame’ shop of the busy Lansdowne building. Even before I could decide, he saw a prospective customer in me and made sure that I did not stray, as I parked my vehicle on the other side of the shops. He started typing my letter before I finished explaining to him the matter, as I sat on the plastic stool he offered me — admiring the speed with which he stroked the typewriter keys. Being away, and unable to draft in Kannada, I had landed in this situation. I was an ‘illiterate’ at this hour.

The cheerful and efficient ‘typist’ became my friend, as I would go to him for any application/petition in Kannada language — as I kept making trips to MUDA, MCC and other Government Departments!

By the way, my friend has two typewriters, one Kannada and the other English. I wondered at times as to why he did not take up a good job in some organisation as he’s equally capable/proficient in the English language.

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One fine day, the dilapidated and badly maintained Lansdowne building collapsed, killing some innocent people. My ‘typist’ friend had a lucky escape. And from the time the Lansdowne building is shut and barricaded, he and some of his ‘fellow typists’ sadly operate from the footpath adjacent to the Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Rainy season is a difficult time for them. As I was in that area yesterday, I saw their typewriters securely covered and they’re seated away, probably praying for the rains to stop! (See pic. above). Hope these ‘weather-beaten’ typists have a better working condition in the near future if a ‘good’ decision is taken about Lansdowne building as soon as possible.

– Mubasher Mirza, Bannimantap ‘C’ Layout, 10.8.2019

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