by: Fahid Fayaz Darangay
he notification read as “Academic requirement is that the candidate should be Graduate from recognized University having minimum speed of 35 words per minute in typing,” popped on his computer screen. He was a competent academic student with a great track record. He could easily manage the first requirement of the aforesaid post, the graduation from a recognized university as he had done his graduation from one of the topmost reputed universities of the country, the Aligarh Muslim University. The only thing which could make him unable to think of the post was the requirement of having a typing speed of 35 words per minute (35 wpm), which his family members, friends and even himself was aware of. “I am not even taking into consideration this post because of its requirement which is nearly impossible for me,” his friend on the other side of the phone hung up saying this.
He thought to himself, my friend is a normal physically fit human with all his ten fingers functional. He is not daring to give it a go, How would I give? I have only five fingers (He was a person with a physical disability having only his left hand from the womb of his mother)!!!!!! He thought for a day and finally agreed with his heart to apply for the post. His heart only said yes because his heart was as others had not taken the physical limitations of his body into the considerations of its beats. With this, he searched on the web for the typing courses but immediately closed them with anger and frustration. The reason for this was the course available (free or paid) or the simple videos available on YouTube only emphasized the technicalities of applicants having both the hands and all the ten fingers functional. The course or the video would progress like this, “you have to assign the ten fingers each to an alphabet for all the three rows of the keyboard.” The instructor put pressure on the fact that you shouldn’t forget the above assignment.
With having all ten fingers on the keyboard you don’t require to see the keyboard, you can type by only seeing the screen. He had two questions on his mind; he had to type with only one or two fingers as he can’t assign the almost hundred keys for five fingers, this will decrease his accuracy and he had to necessarily see both the keyboard and screen simultaneously. How can he manage to do it? He immediately closed down this window and to his motivation his eye fell on a scientific study, “The number of fingers does not determine typing speed, people using self-taught typing strategies were found to be as fast as trained typists.” This study boosted his courage and he started typing with only two fingers of his left hand, the index finger and the thumb. His thumb was only used for pressing the space bar key while his index finger moved on the rest of the whole keyboard. His speed went on from initially 20 wpm and after a month 30 wpm.
After another month the dates for the typing test came, he practised hard for almost fifteen days and nearly broke his wrist. On the last few days before the test, his typing speed touched 34 wpm. On the day of the test, he half-heartedly went to the centre with full confidence, where his instructor broke it saying with a harsh tone, “Are you a person with a disability, how you can manage typing with this much speed.” Tears came down rolling from his eyes when the test started. He started to type while he was crying.
The typical requirement was to type 1750 correct characters in 10 minutes. He typed for almost 9 and a half minutes without bothering about anything. While half a minute was remaining the same instructor came to see him by this his tears almost doubled. He had to type the word. “Shifa” but his finger got stuck after the alphabet f. He couldn’t move it but to his surprise, a drop of warm tear fell down on the keyboard and on the key ‘a’. He thought at the moment it was his loss to the instructor if he could see the tear. For wiping the drop of tear from the keyboard, his finger moved without using his energy. With this, the ‘a’ key struck and the test finished. The result came out and he had typed exactly 1750 correct characters including the last ‘a’ alphabet. He thanked the instructor for coming out to see him. Hadn’t the instructor come to him; the tear wouldn’t have fallen on the key ‘a’ and would not have been struck. Without the last ‘a’ alphabet he would have been disqualified. The result was 35 wpm.
Author has completed Masters in Financial Economics from Madras School of Economics, Chennai. He can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org