Adarsh Typewriters in CP for Your Inner Bibliophile

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Rajendra Kumar has been repairing old typewriters since he was seven, at Adarsh Typewriters, where his family has set up shop since the Raj.

Type A personality

Just opposite the imposing portico of PVR Plaza in Connaught Place survives Adarsh Typewriters. Every day, Rajendar Kumar sits on his stool outside the shop, chatting with childhood friends. Kumar has been in the business of repairing age old typewriters since he was seven years old. Typewriters instantly conjure nostalgia, from a time when spell-check wasn’t an option, and the smell of acetone constantly hovered over offices. 

Ribbons of ink

Looking to get an age-old Remington fixed, dusted and oiled, we wandered over to this shop. Kumar first gauged our interest in his machines and then without saying a word, vanished into his shop. At the surface, Adarsh Typewriters is like any other repair shop refilling cartridges, fixing watches and lighters… but then, he reappeared gripping a briefcase.  Inside this lay a 60-year-old Olivetti. “This particular piece would costs INR 11,000 today, and the price will only keep rising,” he said.

Generation gap

Kumar’s grandfather moved from Jaipur to work in Delhi and began to repair typewriters for a living. Kumar is now the third generation, and the last of his kin, to be repairing typewriters at this shop. He does most of the repair work in his home and each of the machines comes with a story. “I will first dip this {typewriter} into mitti ka tel and then leave it there for over two days. Then I shall prepare the missing parts in a kharat and make them look just like the original parts.” He rattled through the pile of machines and began to show us different kinds of electronic typewriters, old calculators and machines by Brother, Seiko, Remington, The Gossen Tippa and a stock of countless others.

Want something wistful and nostalgic on a Sunday morning? This is your stop.

P.S. You may find him either at the shop in Connaught Place or at his place in Paharganj, so we'd suggest calling him before you go.