Vaibhav stared at the tap writer! He moved swiftly like wind towards the laptop on the table and on the other end moved an inch to run his fingers smoothly on the old typewriter. Clang!!!! He repeated the movement oscillating from one to the other, one, two, three, four, ten, twenty and twenty-five times.
A shy boy trembled at the sight of the tall and fair man wearing a smile and unfolding his palm to gently tender coins in his tiny hands. The first token of friendship in the Mussoorie winter. Nanu! He never knew his real name. The little boy feared the man till the time the stranger man holding his trademark suspender on his white shirt smiled at him and they became friends. A popular writer and loved by everyone in the hill station, the old man tapped voraciously on his machine rattling with words, smoking his pipe in the garden and flapping the crumpled notes.
Nanu unfolds his palm every time the doting grandson visits with parents and treated him with toffee and dimes. The little boy raves about Nanu in his Bombay School and back home, he checks the coins filled in a white sock hanged on the wooden door. Daydreaming about holiday is his personal hobby and longing to be in the company of his favorite friend Nanu. Building stars in the air, the arms crossed and cupped to his head, he time traveled and dreamed of having his typewriter to pen stories like Nanu, crumpling papers and books sold like hot pancakes at the railway station in the countryside.
He always carried his sock ballooned with coins to Nanu’s sprawling cottage when one day Nanu folded his hand, “Will you give me this sock filled coins?” He was hesitant. A little voice cracked, “I will buy a typewriter with the coins.” Nanu broke in loud and uninterrupted laughter. “What if I sell you this typewriter?” He pranced, jumped sofas and zigzagged towards the room to grab the sock clutched to his chest and sprinted back towards Nanu, careful not to let the coins fall on the floor.
Nanu took back his coins. The typewriter’s burden was shouldered by the little boy. He crossed the seas, moved countries, traveled in the trains with his loyal friend. Fancy gadgets took over the typewriter with time and the old friend was moved in a dusted corner.
He tapped furiously on the keyboard and stared at the blank page. A bang fist on the wooden table. Less than one hour to submit the manuscript to the publisher, he was stuck at the climax and the idea to hook readers miraculously disappeared. He paced in the room and lit a cigarette. A bizarre force took him in the store and he lifted the typewriter when accidentally his hand touched something.
Tinkling sound and rusted coins fell on the floor. An old and fading sock lay on the ground. The idea struck. Nanu and the typewriter will move the story ahead towards the end.