Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scribblings with pen and ink!!!







"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

39 comments:

Rambler said...

oh I totally remember the feeling of graduating to an ink pen..and specially how much I had to fight with my parents for getting an HERO pen..I also remember getting lured into buying fake hero pens and then getting struck with them for the rest of the year :D

Smita said...

Prats, This is nostalgia..the graduation to ink pen was such a big deal..and making sure the nib did not get bent..the stains..oh you bring school memories back...

brocasarea said...

hm....still remember the day ifirsat used my 1st ink pen in 4th std....
hero pen were really trendy...and guess what still now i use ink pens!!!

Ankur said...

i remember... it was a prestige to have a fountain pen... especially a chinese one!!! wat a feeling, and we were scolded to use ball pens or even gel pens then.... things have really changed now!!

Preethi said...

aaah... what nostalgia.. M and I were discussing this recently.. yeah we are so utterly topic-less that we discuss the pens we used in childhood.. from the camel to the hero to the parker! so what do kids use these days?

ceedy said...

True...and now you remind me of rotrings and steadlers...even drawing isnt the same :(

Now I have to buy ink for my keyboard....damn

Pavi!!!! said...

Ahh..wat a beautiful memory u trigger!
It was such a moment of pride when we graduated to using ink pens in class V. Felt like we were grown-ups..Ahh! n my first ink pen was "Hero"..a black one..how i treasured it...n asking mom for a new ink cloth every few weeks..remembering to fill our ink pens only in the morning rush..beautiful memories...
BTW..my granddad(75) yet writes only with an ink pen.

This post makes me want to write with an ink pen prats!

Suma said...

me too...these kids don't know what they are missing really...i remember feeling so proud filling that blue ink and inevitably spilling the bottle...straightening the nib with the teeth..were all so similar?!!!

ahhh..memories..memories...

Suma said...

sheesh,

i meant were we all so similar?!!!

--xh-- said...

sigh! this put me on a trip back to my school days.. The first ink pen i got was bismi make, and much later, i got the coveted Hero pen. and once when my uncle came from dubai, he gifted em a pelican pen - and man, it was the pride of me and envy of whole class - I had agreen colored one and a chocolate brown colored one....
and as ceedy said, the stedlers...

Keshi said...

omg those were the days! :)

Keshi.

Veens said...

ooo yah yah!!

being able to write with an INK PEN was the fun part... u suddenly were BIG!

and were looked upon ;)

i totally remember having that pen for exams.. ;)

i dnt have an ink pen now **sigh!

Gotta get one soon :D

Joy said...

I still remember my favourite ink pen was taken by a teacher and she lost it. It was blue in color and used to write smoothly. :)

Yup, those were the days. Now doesn't matter what handwriting you have, we all type the same letters.

Tys on Ice said...

u remember the splats on girls shirt backs when we used to spray an ink bolt with a twist of the wrist?

u brought back some memories...the inkstain on the index fingers after an exam..the crisis of a spilled ink bottle...the need to be different by writing in black ink...

and my god, the greatest handwriting...ballpens ruins a good handwriting...wonder why?

Prats said...

@rambler Hehehhe....do you still have the fake one??? I'm sure it'll still be far better than the substandard ones of now

@smita I always wondered how they couldn't ever make pens that didn't bend their nibs...but now i'm glad they didn't
I would have had no memories then

Prats said...

@broca Wow!! Thats really great, you still use an ink pen.

@ankur OH you had a chines one?? i remember we used to get a Hero pen and it used to have some chinese lettering on it...and that for us was 'Imported'
Oh yes, it surely has changed

Prats said...

@preethi ..aah!! I had forgotten the name...it was a 'camel'. Kids are more into 'instant stuff" Now...Gel, use and throw stuff, so there's no fun in it

Prats said...

@ceedy...Ink for your keyboard... :( What is that for?? am I lagging behind that much?
I still love my rotrings...and staedtlers....nothing compares

Prats said...

@pavi...you said it so right...it makes you want to right now with ink pens...but the trouble of filling ink is what makes us reach out for the otehrs...
Wow!! ur grandad still uses one....thats really cool.

ceedy said...

It is figuratively speaking....like people get writers block or smg a concept that I dont understand....my reasoning is "ink in my keyboard is over" :)

Prats said...

@suma...hehehe You bit ur nib too???? The blue toothed girl..

Prats said...

@ceedy Oh thank God!!! for a minute I was sure I had slid down to the pre-historics....
So whats the scene now? more ink or is the screen blank?

ceedy said...

At this very time the hard drive is feeling like taking a nap (sleep mode) - and is sleeping with the enemy (virus) :) so the mother in law (firewall) has to intervene

Ankur said...

hehe... haan woh hero wala bhi milta tha, but those were not to break otherwise no new one... ek badi mushkil se milta tha...

sachchi i remember how our parents use to give us everything, almost everything they cud have, sacrificing their needs!! :)
we were lucky!!!!

J said...

I don't remember when was the last time I used a fountain pen.

Those were the days really and yeh owning a HERO pen was like being with the times.

rayshma said...

oh, i SO love fountain pens! my handwriting actually looked good...!

i think ball-point pens are the reason i stopped writing completely. and got addicted to this machine.

Ps said...

Hey--Loved this post!I could so relate! I still use a fountain pen (a hero pen) :-) and i have passed on the love to my son as well.
Cheers
Preeti

sahana said...

god!
teacher Lalitha and teacher Kristine nagging us like our handwriting would be our only 'saving grace' and confound it!
it is!
my kids go on and on abt the fact that their handwriting is not as beautiful as mamma's!
and to add one more fact, eating blue coloured curd rice was the ultimate high!
how gross!!!
if i caught noops doing that, i'll wash her mouth with soap , i suppose !!

Mama - Mia said...

wow!!

this post sure brought back some memories! and realised we have become old since we talk about "in our days" and think messy blue ink stains were just because thats the way "we" used to do it! :p

i so remember the Hero pen! had a few! but i was always a ball pen girl! lot easier to buy a pack of 10's of reynolds and tell mom new pack is needed when you have lost 9th one! yeah i was horrible with school things! :p

so you remember the sharp tipped "pilot" pens which and different ink which came in bottle like kid's nasal drops. you had to remove the black cover at the bottom and fill it.

even more expensive than hero! had become quite a rage having Pilot pen!!

thanks prats for this post!! things we forget and remember!

cheers!

abha

Prats said...

@xh I have heard of those pelicans...but sadly we never got to see them :(

@keshi :)

@veens It was fun, even though it was messy....and you could still buy it now...

@joy Oh poor girl!!! I know how it can feel to have someone else lose your favourite stuff....and lol, whats the difference now

Prats said...

@tys...So were the naughty boy in class, eh?? GIrls backs, splats...and what may this twist of wrist be???

And yes, I feel the handwriting is the best while writing with ink pens...not the easy going ball pens

@ceedy...has the different people woken up or r u still in standby mode???

Prats said...

@ankur lol!!! Oh yes!! you break it or lose it...its back to the cheap wal pens....
and parents are like that....I still try to give my kids what is most needed. And I know it will be a good lesson one day

Prats said...

@j You must have never used one?? :P Heheheh....or maybe it was some fast trick you pulled on the teachers???

Prats said...

@ps...wow!! you do? Thats really so wonderful, cos everyone's into the fast track stuff now. I agree, about the love for it.. I have done the same with my son, and he shares the same love for the pens....and he uses the one I did while in school...carefully and very treasured.

Prats said...

@sahana Maybe they were right hundred percent...soemtimes when I see kids who dont pay attention to their writing now, I feel like sending them back to our school.
And don't be too harsh on the kiddos, you'll never know which colored food goes in.....lol

Prats said...

@mama mia....You surely took your mom for ride...but i'm sure as all mothers do, she knew it pretty well...
and yes, the pilot pens were fantastic too...though it came in much later. It used to be the micro tip pilot pens for a while

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Nothing like a fountain pen.
Even during my engg I was a major fountain pen fan. Waah! the black ink looks so good. Classy!
Have you tried smoothening the tip by writing on mirror?
Have tried that, it works.

-Nikhil

Ziah said...

ah! the hero pen!! :) and its esteemed cousin, the pilot pen!! Good ol days!:)

~nm said...

You brought back so many memories!!

I still remember how I got my first fountain pen. :)

In fact I was thinking of something similar not so long ago. How getting a fountain pen was an achievement for us and I was wondering if it would be the same for the kids of today. Will they feel any excitement on getting a fountain pen?