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‘Dead’ typewriter still a lifeline

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 | PNS | Lucknow

The rhythmic staccato of ‘tik tak’ emanates from the corner of a hall where Yogi Adityanath sits and holds his Janata durbar in Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur.

Oblivious of the goings-on, Birendra Singh types letters on a Remington typewriter. Once finished, he takes out the paper with a whirl and hands it over to Yogi — also called ‘Chotte Maharaj’.

After a swift glance, Yogi signs the dotted line and hands it over to a woman complainant. “Yeh chithi de do (Give this letter.) Do tell me what that the officer says,” he tells the woman.

At an age when computers are a necessity, Yogi’s office in Gorakhpur relies on typewriters. Typist Birendra Singh has been working with Yogi since 1990 and he takes pride in working on the Remington and terms the typewriter as a ‘lifeline’ in Yogi’s office.

“This is an old machine of the 1950’s. It is better and more reliable than your computers. I can type a letter in the time you take to adjust margins,” Singh told this reporter from Gorakhpur.

Singh, who types around 200-250 letters per day, said that Yogi ji liked typewriters and he likes its font. “Yogi ji once told me that the sound of the key hitting the cylinder creates a working environment. This sound reminds him that he is working in the office. Every place has its own sound. In a temple you hear the chime of bells, while in an office it is the clatter of the typewriter,” Singh said.

Does this mean Yogi is against use of modern gadgets? Will this imply that the CM’s Office in Lucknow will go back in age and have more Remington than high-end computers?

Durgesh Singh, another aide of Yogi, says use of modern contraption in Yogi’s office is bare minimum. “Yogiji has a mobile but he rarely uses it. I can vouch that only a handful of people would have his mobile number,” Durgesh said and added: “Yogiji not against modern machines but his staff are more comfortable with typewriters.”

Walking down the marble pathway in Gorakhnath temple compounds, one gets stuck by the intricate designs of the temple interiors. The pathway is dotted with quaint looking shops selling flowers and memorabilia.

And majority of these shops are owned by Muslims, who have been doing business for the last decade-and-a-half.

“There is a wrong perception that Yogiji is anti-Muslim. Chief supervisor of this temple is Yaseen Munshi -- a Muslim. Muslims get financial help from Yogiji for getting their daughters married off. The charitable hospital of the Trust treats people without any bias,” he said.

Staff of Gorakhnath Mutt are confident that the face of UP will undergo change under Yogi. “He is a workaholic and sleeps for just five hours. He gets up at 3 am and works the whole day. He hits the bed at 11 pm,” says Dwarka Tripathi, who looks after Yogi’s office. “We are used to his working style. I wonder how bureaucrats will cope up with such working style,” he sought to know. 

 
 
 

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