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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

My fascination with fountain pens

April 8, 2012

Fountain pen, a thing of the past! No one remembers it today. Who cares? The age of computer keyboards and use and throw ball pens have almost pushed it to the point of extinction. That day is not far when it will disappear totally and can be seen only in museums!

It leaks, leaving indelible marks on shirts. It has to be held at a certain angle so that the nib generates legible words. So many problems with fountain pens, you see! You have to fill it up often from a bottle smeared with ink! And each time you do this, your hand invariably carries stains of ink! And then if the pen lies naked, i.e. without the cover  it dries up instantenously and then the real pain starts... you have to shake it, mostly more than once and sometimes vigorously, till it spits some ink on to the paper and some on your shirt. After this you have to dip that nib in this tiny pool of ink and keep on drawing long lines on a dry paper, waiting for ink to appear.

You never know when your pen will suddenly run out of gas... I mean ink... sometimes while signing a cheque, sometimes when you are in middle of an examination, if you are a student and sometimes while it is lying idle in your pocket. So you need an extra pen for backup and entire bottle of ink for extra security.

However I don't mind all these complicacies. It doesn't deter me from carrying a fountain pen till this day. Call it my headstrong mindset. Or my foolishness and stupidity or being somewhat eccentric! I don't mind.

Or you can call it my fascination for old items- an old vintage car, an old Vijay scooter, the antique telephone, wall clock, arm chairs - all these fascinate me beyond imagination. And you dare not find any logic in this... because you will not find any! 

It is blind love beyond logic which conforms to the adage, "Old is Gold." It proves that the adage is not limited to gold and whisky alone, at least for me, and pushes boundary into items of daily use, vehicles, tools, people and so on. I admit of being in total awe and fascination with old items... old people, old mindset, traditions and culture, old paintings and architecture, old songs, music and movies... almost anything old. And I also admit that the current generation of youth will not get this idea quite right.

Odd man out in the herd, I still carry my fountain pen, the occasional ink stains on my shirts and hands… sometimes face, the tag of being stupid, ink bottles and last but not least, a unique satisfaction.

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