After a long and hard to understand Statistics class I came home feeling tired, confused and found myself questioning the need of the subject’s existence. When I reached home my husband, stopped me at the door and blind-folded me. When I came inside and removed the blind-folds, on the dining table sat a rugged iron suitcase. “You got me a sewing machine?” I asked him. He rolled his eyes and told me to open it. I did, and thats when I cried.
Inside the iron suitcase was a German made Olympia SM3, often called the BMW of typewriters for its feel and performance. The machine had scratches and showed signs of being used before. Chinmay told me it was, this machine was made in the 1950s and had been refurnished just for me. It was exactly like I wanted it. Typewriters have their own private stories. People who must have written on this typewriter seemed to have me their memories. Oh! The love letters they must have wrote , the poems, the job applications. My imagination runs wild thinking about the past.
My romance for type-writers started a long time ago. A rich friend of a friend had invited me over for a meal to her house, that’s when I saw my first typewriter and fell in love with it. I do not remember the rich friend , neither do I remember the parents. All I clearly remember is that beautiful typewriter which they had used as a show piece in their house. Since then I have read, researched and watched documentaries about the typewriter. I know for a fact that the best writers in the world write their amazing novels on a typewriter, and not a computer. I have asked myself why that is? This is what I have come up with.
Typewriters don’t judge. They do exactly what they are told like, if you want to spell something wrong a typewriter does not put a blue/red line under it to correct you. It improves your spellings, you need to know how to spell it right. Writing is an act of solitude. It is about getting yourself out of the world you live in and entering the world that resides inside of you, without distractions. When I write on my computer there are too many distractions. There are calls, Skype calls, mail notifications, Facebook notifications, news notifications, it just never stops.
Writing on a typewriter ensures you no distractions. The only sound you hear is the sound of your alphabet keys smashing and the final ‘ding’. The sound of your writing is music to your ears. The sole purpose of your typewriter is to write, which translates into your sole purpose when you are working on it. Writing is a personal and a lonely act and a typewriter ensures it remains so!
The story of my crazy husband acquiring this vintage type writer is a stuff of legends. He exchanged mails all around the world. He even wrote to a man who is a personal typewriter provider for Tom Hanks and got an instant reply. The whole story is one crazy adventure!
Money can buy you a vintage typewriter, but a crazy husband is priceless. As I reach the 30th year of my life, my hope is that I can add many such priceless moments and people, and write about them on and with, Woody. Yes! Thats what I named him, because Woody Allen is an inspiration and the Olympia typewriter is the only brand he has ever used for all his writing.
Welcome to your new home Woody!