‘Be Birbal‘ – A digital agency based in Pune, India did a remarkable and generous contribution to the lovers of Marathi language and literature. They launched a font made using the beautiful handwriting of legendary writer and artist – Pu. La. Deshpande, affectionately known as PuLa.
What’s more the font can be requested for free from their website!
As someone who always got punished for bad handwriting in school, I always wished if I could have a good ‘font’ to replicate. I decided to grab a chance by using this font on WordPress and using Guternberg editor. I am copying below, lyrics of a famous Marathi song where PuLa is known to have given the music (He wrote, directed and acted in the movie as well of which the song is a part):
इंद्रायणी काठी, देवाची आळंदी
लागली समाधी, ज्ञानेशाची
ज्ञानियाचा राजा भोगतो राणिव
नाचती वैष्णव, मागेपुढे
मागेपुढे दाटे ज्ञानाचा उजेड
अंगणात झाड कैवल्याचे
उजेडी राहिले उजेड होऊन
निवृत्ती, सोपान, मुक्ताबाई
Even if you are someone who is not aware of the works and legend of PuLa, (even I would call myself ignorant of his achievements), you will still feel a lot of life in the font above. Full kudos to BeBirbal and the designers who selflessly brought this handwriting to the hands of so many, and make the legend live on in a different and beautiful way!
The font/ handwriting is so beautiful, I would love to use it even for Hindi, Sanskrit, Konkani and other languages that use the Devanagari Script.
Note that with due respect to PuLa, the font is given free for non-commercial use and with copyrights of its original owner fully respected.
Now to the technical side of it. Here are the steps I did to bring this font to my blog:
1. Download the font by requesting it from the BeBirbal website. Both-hands-raised and props to them!
3. Activate the plugin and click on its option appearing on the left side. Request an API key (Free if you wish to convert only one font, Please do pay and upgrade if you need to convert more fonts).
4. Upload the font TTF or OTF file that you would have received by email from step 1. Give it a font name –
pula100 (small case and no spaces)
5. After upload, note the classname given for the font. In all likelihood, it would be
pula100. You will need this classname for later.
6. On a new blog post, or a page compose your post using unicode Marathi or Hindi font. You may use tools like Google Input tools (also available as a Chrome extension. I have found another indigenous typing tool that has given me far more accuracy while typing – IndiaTyping.com. If you like their accuracy, do consider purchasing their offline typing tool from TypingVidya.com. Both these online tools allow you to copy the final text and paste it as it is within the Gutenberg (block) editor of WordPress.
7. The Final step is to give the
pula100 class to each of the language paragraphs. And you have the legend of Pu. La. Deshpande live on your own blog or website!
Big thanks to BeBirbal, Dinesh Karki, TypingVidya for bringing life and languages to WordPress!
Thank you Hindustan Times, for your article spreading awareness of the lovely font.