Infusing lease of life in typewriters


The board of the shop reads ‘sale and purchase, repairs and hirers of all kinds of typewriters’ – yes, you read it right, typewriters. One would think that the humble typewriter is extinct in this age of computers, laptops and Ipads.

At a time when youngsters know only Notebooks and PCs which make their lives ‘easier’ there is Rajender Baila who gives new life to good-old typewriters in Connaught Place in his shop, Adarsh Typewriters.

From the outside, it looks like any other repair shop for refilling ink cartridges and fixing watches and lighters but 58-year old Rajender patiently sits there carrying forward his love affair with typewriters!

With grey hair and piercing eyes, he is apprehensive when asked to share his experiences but eventually his affection for typewriters and his desire to talk about them overcomes the initial fear.

Rajender is the third generation and the last of his family who repairs typewriters. His grandfather moved from Jaipur in 1944 to work in Delhi and began to repair typewriters for a living.

His father too followed him and soon began to learn the basics at the age of seven. “I am just carrying forward the legacy. I have been doing it since 1970 and I could not achieve anything else in life as this is my passion. I just love it,” admits Rajender.

But typewriters are now obselete. Is there a future in this work? “No, I beg to differ on this. Typewriters are widely used in courts and by advocates. Also, I would suggest you to always go for typewriter-printed stamp papers and not computer-printed. A stamp paper printed by a typewriter never loses its colour but a computer-printed one does. So, I get all the redundant or out-of-work typewriters and mend them.”

Rajender usually gets typewriters from scrap dealers, repairs them and gives a new look by painting and oiling them. Then he sells them off, if there are buyers. Most of them are foreigners.

“I buy them from scrap dealers for nearly Rs 500-700 and after repairing them, they are sold at Rs 12,000-15,000 the labour that goes into each machine is very high,” adds Rajender.

Rajender plans to retire soon and is upset about the fact that his children are not supporting him enough in his work. “My son, who works with HCL, is very irritated with the fact that I have always devoted my time to this business. I wasn’t able to earn or save too much. People around me have done so well in life but I am still stuck here. I have been always happy with my dal, roti,” says the content man.

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