"No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had" - Samuel Johnson.
LIfe is not fun anymore....trust me. In these ages of 'make things perfect' products , the fun is lost.
Just last evening while checking my sons stationary to be taken for his exams, I was a lil disappointed to see the inside of the case.
No stains and no blue gory looking tissues or cloth. Hmppffff....
In my school days, writing with an ink pen was in the first place, a very prestigious benchmark in our lives. Ok so all the rest were to be counted in too...but , I'm sure the school year, where you are allowed the use of a pen was a moment to be rejoiced and cherished. It signalled the advent of 'grown up kid' ...of course it has no physical justification. Imagine, a 8-9 year old being 'big'?? Huh!!!
But pen it was...and the preparations for the journey was a memorable one. Then the pens that had to be used were only fountain pens. The ball-point pens ( dot pens, as it used to be referred to ) were a sniggered cousin. The teachers would smirk and of course 'stand up on your bench types' if we did use one.
The fountain pen had its days.
The varieties were few . The regular ones with nibs having their noses out. The nibs were special...one had to be careful...if it fell to the ground while you were flipping it to get the ink to flow along, you had to repair the bent nib. And off it went to the edge of the desk, a pencil box in hand, hammering at the edge to straighten it out. The nib of course by now would have a gap, that would set its status to " reject or deject' But not for us...the pen would be brought very gingerly to the teeth, and pinched between the 4 frontal dental geniuses. Nib repaired...( it had to be checked by scribling in the back pages of a book, of course!!) one would know exactly why the bench partner would be staring at you. No !!! You were not the proclaimed genius of your pen..but you would be sporting a blue grin...thanks to dental make ups...
The offended teeth would be wiped away on the edge of the bag...( then it was the canvas one...washable and much more lighter( on the pocket, wallet, back and the teeth too!!)
The art of cleaning, had to be mastered too....a thin white ( nearly) cloth or sometimes paper too had to be twisted into a thin long piece and inserted into the cap, only to come out all soaked and drooping. It was an art...yes!
Sadly the fountain pen, did have its esteemed company in the name of "HERO" pen.
Oh yes the smoothie, the no - nonsense ink filling pen. The joy one got of just dipping the pen into the ink pot and coming away un-blued...was a joy. But those pens were only meant for the exams...it used to be the more expensive ones of our time...a whopping 16 rupees.
But they were treasured.
The shirts had their stains, and the women's magazines had their articles
" How to remove ink stains from clothes"
The graffitti on school walls, sprinkled blue and black...sometimes for the adventurous, green too....small splats, looking like flowers with one petal drooping out of the cluster and drooling gravity. They were there, for the walls to soak and memories to be made.
Now when I see the ultra clean gel pens...the cheap, disposable, refilled, kind of pens....I look back and wonder, if the stained memories were more fun...blue'd walls be damned!!!
And collecting some vague ones too..I had one which had the outer barrel stuffed with currency notes, one that had a figure, transparent one..that when tilted to write would fill up to disclose the beautiful woman...so many , such a lot of fun.
There's nothing like writing with a fountain(ink ) pen! :) Oh ya