After days of planning, I was finally sitting on the metal stool next to the sidewalk typist’s desk. Two typewriters covered the entire surface of the desk — one for English and one for Kannada, the local Indian language — sitting back to back. A thick white rag strategically placed beneath the typewriters enabled the typist to switch between them with a quick spin of his hands. He typed expertly but not particularly fast. A few inches in front of us, pedestrians of all ages, wearing a mix of traditional and Western clothes, urgently squeezed past each other while to our right, a steady stream of young men and women filtered in to use the two Xerox machines that supplemented the typist’s business. If I had been standing among them, I’m sure I would have found it crowded and stressful, but as I took in the scene from my stool,… More…