27 September, 2020

For many, Viswanathan's typewriter forms a slender link to God

Viswanathan is an earnest navigator to needy patients, directing them to the precious source of money that has the power to heal.

For many, Viswanathan's typewriter forms a slender link to God
KL. VISWANATHAN would like to impress, not because men are looking but because God is. And, though he may mutter under his breath that the intangible Lord only keeps looking while someone else has to fend for the sick and the needy, Viswanathan will carry on typing desperate letters of appeal on a beaten Godrej at "...over 70 words a minute, I think."

This is why he sets out every morning to visit a few newspaper vendors in a Mumbai suburb. In return for about 30 years of small talk and odd jobs done for them, he gets to read all the papers free. That he believes this world is a wonderful place, despite reading so many papers daily, is a tribute to this man’s spirit. What he’s searching for isn’t news but tiny boxes carrying appeals from those who need money for treatment. Viswanathan collects their addresses and goes to his typewriter. His day finds purpose. Sadly, that’s all he has. Purpose. The means are with others. His job is to send the needy patients a list of 200 organisations who have the means. Then, he dashes off letters to philanthropists, ministers,...



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