HYDERABAD: Modern neuroscience suggests that when we handwrite, a unique neural activity in our brains gets activated, which is akin to meditation. Some of the famous writers such as Stephen King, Franz Kafka, F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, who all had access to a typewriter or even computer, chose to put pen to paper while creating a lot of their work. In a world of computers, texts and mails, the Deccan Pen Store in Ameerpet and Abids, which was established in 1928, continues to sell handcrafted fountain and ink-dip pens.
Mir Najaf Ali Khan, the grandson of the VII Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan, is an avid dip pen user. Both, his grandfather and father used to buy pens from Deccan Pen Store, which used to import pens from the United Kingdom. “The pleasure of writing with an ink dip pen is immeasurable. The immersive contentedness of sitting on a writing desk with an inkpot, stylus and the ink-stained cloth and papers is lost today. Writing with these pens requires a lot of patience, perseverance and concentration, which modern folks have lost.”
The Deccan Pen Store offers timeless, ornate, handcrafted dip and fountain ink pens adaptable for individual hands. Be it scribbling, jotting, lettering, writing, calligraphy or drawing, you can get them all. “We have pens customised for writers who hold their pens at a certain angle, those who need a specific kind of grip and have a particular speed,” says Salman Siddiqui, one of the owners of the Deccan Pens Store.
The company started manufacturing handcrafted pens in the 1960s. Before that, Salman’s grandfather, Sabi Siddiqui, the founder of the company, used to import handcrafted pens from handmade pens from the company Conway Stewart in the UK. “These pens were a symbol of luxury among the nobles of Hyderabad, who adored them,” adds joint owner of the pen store Hassan Siddiqui.
“Until the 1960s fountain ink pens were prevalent across the city. Thereafter, ink pens came up in the market followed by ballpoint pens, but the love of Hyderabdis for fountain pens never ended. There were many people, such as few Urdu writers, who preferred fountain pens only,” says Salman.
Deccan Pen Store started manufacturing its trademark handcrafted fountain ink pens in the early 1970s. Even though the market had cheaper and efficient pens there were still lovers of the good old fountain pens. “Though the sale of fountain pens has declined, there are still many hobbyists, professional writers, doctors, advocates, politicians, bureaucrats and celebrities who use custom Deccan fountain ink pens,” Salman adds.
According to Najaf Ali Khan, Mir Osman Ali Khan has on several occasions offered pens from the Deccan Pen Store to his office bearers store in the city. The Deccan pens store now offers custom engraved steel, gold nibs for fountain pens, besides custom grip, suitable to the style of the writer.