An affair from school rekindled

An unassuming Doctor’s Day present sent me on a trip to the past.

An unassuming Doctor’s Day present sent me on a trip to the past. Do you remember the cursive era of fountain pens? For most of us, our first experience with the ink pen goes back to school days, with four-lined notebooks, ink-stained hands and blotted school uniforms.

I was 10 when I first held a fountain pen. It was our first formal step into adulting. I still remember the time I went to purchase it from the local stationery shop with my elder sister. Back in those days, we had limited options. I bought a royal blue coloured pen with a golden nib.

It cost a whopping 35 bucks. The experienced sister asked me to use it cautiously. At first, writing with it seemed daunting. But as they were mandatory, we had no option but to get used to them. With fingers in the right place, holding the pen at the correct angle and applying just the right amount of pressure on the nib, the ink smoothly glided out on the paper surface. Whoa! 

Of course, its usage would mean the daily, cumbersome refill of ink. Alas, despite the warning, my blue ink pen didn’t last long as the pen slipped from the grip of my hand accustomed to holding a pencil. The next one that I bought, in bottle green colour with printed pattern, lasted almost a year. 

But then, change is constant. Then came the era of Pilots and Rotomacs. Our teenage spirits found release from the oppressive grip of fountain pens. The Pilot swept us off our feet and fountain pens were gone from our lives—for good. 

To me, a fountain pen is all things old school. In a world where everything is tap and swap, I am thankful to be in a profession that has yet not been completely taken over by the digital medium. To me, the gift of the fountain pen means almost as much as the first watch I purchased or the first hand-written letter from my husband. It has my childhood stamped all over it. It is like an affair rekindled!

All incidents, people, places, relationships, possessions and so on have a story behind them, which we retain as memories to be revived later on. They keep us firmly rooted to our past—a past in which our parents toiled to keep us happy. They keep us yearning for those years which still give us the thrill that I do not identify with my middle ages. Thank you, Chelpark, for the leaky ink bottles and blue-stained pocket memories.

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The New Indian Express