Hyderabad, June 11 -- Fakir Syed Aijazuddin

Writing my first book, over forty years ago, was as primitive an enterprise as incising hieroglyphics onto a stone.

All I could afford in those days was a second-hand Remington typewriter - the one with a metal key-board with round buttons, and an uptight carriage into which one fed a single sheet of paper at a time. Mistakes were unforgivable. One had to start a fresh page. This was brought home to me when my U.K. publishers demanded an error-free manuscript. Excisions, deletions, tipex-ed corrections were not allowed. Pages with a single mistake had to re-typed afresh. The manuscript had to be as error-free as a holy book.

Gradually, technology made the work of authors somewhat easier. Comp...