Story of a Song - Ecstasy and Agony

CHP took up translating the book Story of a Song - Ecstasy and Agony, of the Kannada original by Shivaramu entitled Vande Mataram (Published by Rashtrotthana Sahitya, 1972) during 1968 at Bangalore. Curiously this book had two related anecdotes that are worth a mention, especially since a weblink pointing to the misspelled book title, and a few others links quoting [sic] next to the title caught our attention.

While serving Coffee Board, he got transferred to New Delhi and completed the work by mid 1969. In his inimitable style, he typed directly without a written manuscript, and by habit always created a carbon copy of whatever he wrote.  Those were the days when photocopying was unheard of. The complete set of original typed manuscript was sent to Bangalore for publication through a relative who had come down to visit, considering safe delivery. Unfortunately, that man had the misfortune of all his belongings getting stolen at Agra station while traveling back by the then GT or Grand Trunk Express. The carbon copies finally saved the day!

The second shock to him came in the form of the book title and the cover with Ecstasy spelled wrong as Ecstacy! He regretted the printer's error all through. In short, this book brought in a great amount of Agony!

Bijou typewriter

CHP was fond of two items, the gold-tipped, black bodied Swan Fountain pen with a shiny metal cap. that he probably won as a prize during college, and the Bijou typewriter gifted by his brother-in law in the early 1950s. He did all the writings on this machine till early Seventies. He had an equally dedicated serviceman who maintained it in working condition. The typewriter still remains usable despite completing over a hundred years of existence!

Brother typewriter

In mid-seventies, an admirer presented a Brother typewriter that was more robust, and lighter, and was put to use till mid Eighties.

Smith Corona electronic typewriter

In 1985, his son gifted him a Smith Corona electronic typewriter that had preview, a spellchecker and many useful features. But for one accustomed to the old school, CHP found the feather touch keys a bit tricky, and considered frequent changing of ribbon cartridges, and such fine printouts an expensive affair for something to be published!

Finally in 1995, he got equipped with a  PC (an I386 with a whopping 128 MB disk, 4 MB memory, that ran at 50m Mhz in Turbo mode, a novelty then!), composing in Word Perfect DOS version. The paperless concept appealed to him, and he learnt to work on it sportively. He however was much against archiving his writings on the disk once they got published, considering their redundancy! It was quite a transformation for a person used to a PC of another sort, the Post Card that he bought in large quantities to answer reader's queries and appreciation from admirers. He did not live through to enjoy the Internet, e-mail or Weblog etc., which he would surely have put to positive use, and made most of it by doing one thing he liked most: keeping in touch with people from all walks of life, and to try & solve their issues.

Feedback, suggestions, reporting broken links, and queries are welcome at