Tag: #nostalgia

The Romance Of Writing

Pic by Aaron Burden (Unsplash.com)

Sixth grade was a year of milestones. It was the year when I was finally allowed to cycle to school, giving me freedom from the overloaded, cramped, abhorrent auto-rickshaw. The second more momentous milestone was that we sixth graders were finally allowed to use a much-coveted fountain pen in school. Thus on the first day of sixth grade, I was the proud owner of two fountain pens and a bottle of Camlin royal blue ink.

It suddenly felt as if we had left our childhood, with its pencils, erasers and sharpeners, behind. We could now pretend to be grown-ups with our sleek fountain pens and the accompanying ink bottle. Of course, once you own something, you are also supposed to be responsible for it. Being responsible meant I couldn’t lose them, since losing would mean sharing with my sister( which would mean I would have to be at her beck and call just for one pen). I had to make sure pens were filled with ink before I left for school (we weren’t allowed to carry the ink bottle to school). Components of the fountain pen had to be disassembled, cleaned and re-assembled every week. You couldn’t take out your frustration while writing and press the nib too hard on the paper. If you did, you might crack or break the nib of the pen, and the younger generation had better believe me when I say replacing the nib is an ink-stained pain in the neck task. I slowly became used to my ink-stained fingers and blots of ink on pages of my notebook, while my mother sighed with despair at splotches of ink on my white uniform (from when I would flick my hands to get the ink flowing smoothly).

However, India and it’s education system were changing, in 1991 Manmohan Singh’s economic reforms meant waving goodbye to the fountain pen and welcoming Reynold’s multi-coloured ball pens. The fountain pens of whom I had been so proud now lay forgotten. Like fast food, we all got used to the convenience of ball pens, the use and throw nature of these pens mirroring the growing consumerism of our society. The fountain pen became lost in memory, until a couple of years ago. While browsing online through amazon to order pens for my son I came across suggestions for a fountain pen. The fountain pen had undergone an upgrade, instead of cumbersome filing mechanism ( which was actually a sneaky lesson in physics), the modern fountain pen now came with use and throw cartridges. Intrigued, I ordered one pen and fell in love with writing all over again.

For a person who writes everything on paper before posting on the blog, the fountain pen adds another dimension to my writing. I love the way the nib scratches on paper. The scratching of the nib on paper acts as a piece of background music to my thoughts. Somehow my words and thoughts seem neater on paper when I write with a fountain pen. When my thoughts run away, the fountain pen reins them in. It makes me give up my impatience, take a pause, to marshall my thoughts and to enjoy my writing.

In the past two years, I have purchased a few more fountain pens to add to my growing collection. Fountain pens have an old world charm. The fountain pens seem to signify gracefulness in writing. We are living in a world where time is of the essence where every minute is precious, the fountain pen seems to slow you down. Yet, I love using the fountain pen. It reminds me of a time when things were simpler, the pace unhurried. Writing with a fountain pen reminds me to savour the words encapsulated in ink, to make an effort to produce words which touch people and hearts.
For me, writing with a fountain pen brings back the romance of writing.

*I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s  #MyFriendAlexa*