It is the world’s smallest fountain pen and it is in Rajahmundry, thanks to city-based KV Ratnam and Sons or the Ratnam Pen Works that manufactured it. The feat has earned them a place in the India Book of Records.
C Venkata Chary, Chief Coordinator for the India Book of Records presented a certificate acknowledging the achievement to the pen-manufacturing company here on Tuesday. Made of ebonite for the body and 2.22 carat of gold for the nib, the pen is 3.5 cm in length and weighs 1.7 gm. The cap of the pen has been embellished in the three colours of the national flag with figures of Bharat Mata and Mahatma Gandhi etched on it. It took three days to manufacture it in April 2008.
Kosuri Venkat Ramana Murthi, the current proprietor of the company, sounded excited while talking to the Express. “The recognition has enhanced the fame of our company that catered to many great personalities who used our pens. All of your pens are handcrafted and it takes three days to manufacture the special ones,” Ramana Murthi said. “I got inspired after seeing 3/4-inch Mahatma Gandhi portrait which was made by a goldsmith. I took it as a challenge and made the pen,” he added.
Established in 1932 by Kosuri Venkat Ratnam in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s Swadeshi Movement, the company has grown up to be one of the premier companies in the pen manufacturing industry. Recalling the history of the company, Ramana Murthi said, in 1932 when his father, the late Kosuri Venkat Ratnam presented a pen to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation refused to accept it saying that parts of the pen were of foreign origin, sourced from Calcutta-based Gupta Company that had imported them.
In 1933, All India Village Industries Association secretary JC Kumarappa came to Rajahmundry to witness manufacturing of pens. KV Ratnam made two pens in the presence of Kumarappa, and gave one pen to him and sent another to Mahatma Gandhi. Later in 1935, the Mahatma wrote a letter to Ratnam, and congratulated him for starting a pen company. The family is still in possession of the letter.
After Ratnam’s demise in 1981, his son Ramana Murthi took over and is running the company from the same house in a lane at busy fort gate area in the city.
Today, the company receives orders from India and also from foreign countries for their regular pens as well as expensive pens that are made of gold and silver.
- Sunday Standard