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A pen in hand is better than a phone with an App.
Pen – A magical tool in my hand that transfers my thoughts on to the paper. I keep wondering about this marvelous invention.
Pen vs. Humans:
Has anyone thought of a pen as a human being? Why not? - Like us, it has a body, inside which flows the ink, like blood. It comes in different shapes and sizes, just like us. Some nibs are sharp, others bold or blunt, just like our brains. It has class differences too. An ordinary stationery pen is in the hands of working-class people and kids. It works as hard as its owners. A high-end pen from a branded company decorates the pockets and tables of rich people.
They say a good pen is a writer’s best friend. I call a good pen a devoted friend.
Best friends do have opinions and suggestions for us. Devotion never questions! Is there any instance in which a pen ceased to write something which it differs in opinion with the writer? A crazy imagination - What if pens have their own minds with reasoning powers? Will they protest and refuse to work, when someone tries to write down a lie? Will they ask for oral summary before writing? Will they ask for a better paper to write on?
In today’s world of technology, people hardly “write”. By the word “write”, I meant the, “real act of writing with a pen”. With Pcs and smartphone in hand, I am a slave to technology like most people. On a comparative scale, typing on an electronic medium excels writing with a pen - easy editing, saving time and saving a few trees as well. However, wasn't there something more to writing with pens in those good old days?
I have been missing something real big for all these years of my love with electronics. I figured it out on an unfortunate day when I was helplessly away from computers. In a very bored state, I started to scribble a few lines on a paper and finally ended up with writing a couple of pages. I stopped briefly to go through the pages. It felt very different to read. I sensed an unusual bonding with the words like never before. Those simple lines carried no special content in them, yet they felt so good to read. What was I excited about? Was it reading those lines in my imperfect handwriting? Strangely, the answer was a ‘yes’. I was happy like a kid from a kinder garden holding crayons carving out shapes on a drawing book.
It makes me think, "what it is about pens that still fascinate me?" I for sure love the sublime delicate feel I get, when my fingers dance around with a pen on a paper. I do miss the marks it leaves on the finger and the sweat in the palms after a long writing session. Writing with a pen is like listening to a classical melody while typing the same on a keyboard is like listening to trance music. It gets boring beyond a point. Human handwriting may be imperfect, but it has “Life” to it. We establish a very personal connection with every letter that is inscribed with a pen.
Generally, I tend to think, anything without imperfection is either too good to believe or it is too much of goodness for me to handle. I understand, that I like my imperfect handwriting than a perfect font. Does it make me a narcissist?
Good old days - Nostalgia:
Gone are those days, when I as a kid, waited for the postman on holidays expecting a greeting card or a letter from relatives and friends. We did not have a Telephone line. It was all letters.The postman rode on his bicycle with loads of letters every day to the neighborhood. He was the most expected and respected person in the street. At the sight of him at the end of our street, I ran to him asking for my letter. Most of the times, he tried convincing me with false promises that he would bring one with my name on it, the following day. We both walked together to my home in the cool shadows of trees lined up on both sides of the road.
Letters from my friends during long summer holidays were a delight to read. It always felt like, they were talking to me in person. The handwriting was the key to that feel. A few years back, I dug into the old repository of letters from my childhood days. Most of them were filled with wrong spellings, crossed words, and funny frames of lines. As I said earlier, they were filled with “imperfections”. Yet, they are the most lovable letters I have ever received so far - filled with life and love to cherish for a lifetime. . The fragrant smell of the card and the ink …mmmm I can still smell them fresh. We were trained at school to spell out every letter separately and then reading it as a whole word and finally as a sentence. Not to mention, reading aloud was the norm. People around always had their laugh at us kids, when we read our "personal letters" How rude!
The first touch:
I am an 80’s girl from India. At least to my generation, pens were a luxury while growing up. I remember the very first time I touched a pen. My dad, being an academician, we happened to have more than a few pens at home but, I was not supposed to touch Dad’s pens. One lazy afternoon, when my parents were taking a nap, I stealthily put my hands on those beauties, mostly Fountain pens. My-my, it was electrifying like licking an ice-cream cone, fully drenched and shivering on a rainy night.
An affair with Ball-point while married to Fountain pen:
At school, we weren't allowed to use anything other than Fountain pens. We were warned against using ball-points for they can spoil the development of a neat handwriting. I hated this rule. I had a thing for the Reynolds ball-point pens with black ink. Sometimes, when we wrote our assignments using a ball-pen, my teachers were always kind enough to cross the pages mercilessly and punish us with orders to start the assignment all over again. Were they rude or what?
Well, I don’t know if ball-points spoil the handwriting; but I can assure that Fountain pens do improve it. At least it was true in my case - it helped me in winning the Camlin Inter-school competition for best handwriting, multiple years in a row.
These days, I use just the ball-points. I have a confession to make to my teachers: Sometimes, when I write with ball-point pen, I can't help myself from secretly laughing at you, especially, the language teachers who vehemently separated me from ball-points and made me write the assignments twice as punishment. I know it is ridiculous. Still …. (Grins)
Over the years my handwriting has greatly changed. They don't look good. At times, I find it difficult to decipher my own writings after a while. Its sad. Words of wisdom from my school teachers do make sense.
I wonder, whether today’s kids will have a tale to tell about pens in the future. Or will they wonder what is a Pen?