In India’s southernmost state, Kerala, newspapers will survive until the end of time.

I grew up here. We were fully literate, had equal rights, and a healthcare system that was the envy of the world.

On some evenings, my loving grandmother would give me a faded twenty rupee note for my good behavior. This would set me off on a 15 kilometer journey navigating Trivandrum’s potholes on my tiny motorcycle to the only newsstand that sold English newspapers.

On bad days, big pelts of rain would dampen my favorite green sheet, Arab News, spoil The Pioneer’s masthead, curl up The Illustrated Weekly and destroy my elegant Independent.

I huddled with newspapers. I smelled, felt and understood newsprint. I learned leads, touched typefaces, understood columns, cursed turns, envied bylines, and relished the power of imagery.

Newspapers are dying. New platforms and storytelling techniques have evolved. These days, I try to write content in 300 words or less.

I learned the value of brevity reading newspapers. The huddle was worth it!

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