Indic Varta

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  • Published on: 2023-12-13
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As the human world is being swept by artificial intelligence (AI) lending even typing redundant, the reappearance of writing with fountain pens underscores the permanence of continuity. Although one cannot go down the same flowing river twice, we still call it by the ‘name river’ and still use the water to quench our thirst.

Fountain pens are friends again on ‘World Fountain Pen Day’!

PUNE: Change it seems is permanent. But this is only half the truth. Continuity is also permanent. This is to say, that certain knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, practices, artefacts, refuse to become obsolete.
As the human world is being swept by artificial intelligence (AI) lending even typing redundant, the reappearance of writing with fountain pens underscores the permanence of continuity. Although one cannot go down the same flowing river twice, we still call it by the ‘name river’ and still use the water to quench our thirst. The chemical composition of the water remains H2O even after a century has passed. So, is our good old ink fountain pen poised to come back, helping in children’s motor development on the one side and secure sensitive documents from being forged.

The fountain pen has indeed returned as a friend of mankind. Co-inciding with the World Fountain Pen Day to be observed on this November 3 (First Friday of November each year), a city firm has taken upon itself organise the three-day “Pune Fountain Pen Show 2023”

The country’s only fountain pen expo from shall be a three-day event to be held on Pune’s Apte Road. It is something which has enthused not only the nostalgic and government pen-pushers, but also youngsters starting from the age of 24/25 years…and then there are fans of fountain pens.

Rashmi-Nagarkar Pillai who along with her husband Rajesh have come forward to promote fountain pens, their private outfit being the only one in the country to organise an expo for this purpose not merely to sell, but to generate interest amongst educational institutions, governmental officials, and the common public. “At least three schools in the city have revived the erstwhile rule that school children must use fountain pens after seeing our expo in 2019, the first ever held in India,” recalls Rashmi.

“The event proved to be unexpectedly successful with over 100 brands of ink pens with almost 50 per cent Indian manufacturers displaying their best; We discovered that there are a sizeable number of fans of the fountain pens, hitherto believed to be a thing of the past,” says Rashmi. 

The “expo exemplifies our ‘make in India’ policy,” points out Rajesh. People from all over the country have already registered for the event. “Our various writing contests are rather popular among different age-groups,” which Rajesh adds is a way of popularising the ink pen.

But what attracts a journalist most is the display of antique designs in new material. There are the vintage feather pens and antique designs, but made of glass. There are pens that even a baby can hold. Then there are world-class pens which everyone can afford while there are those which only a millionaire can collect. But there are other collectors who own dozens of fountain pens which cost millions.

Rajesh tells us how fountain pens’ world is specialised field of knowledge in its own right. He tells us how the humble ink can not only be extremely costly, but it can save huge embarrassments, embezzlements, and even upheavals. “There are at least three highly placed government officials who keep changing their fountain pen inks and prevent forgery of sensitive government documents. An official not only changes the inks, but ensures that he uses inks of foreign origin which reduces the chances of forgery considerably,” says Rajesh.

“A fountain pen is an investment for the future if you can maintain it well. What you buy today say, at Rs 500 will sell at Rs 20,000 in the future if it is well-maintained. During de-monetisation people have bought fountain pens so that they could sell them later,” he reveals.
Many an old tradition like Dhrupad singing, or the pristine Yagya, and Yoga have returned. Let’s welcome the fountain pen in the eve of the World Fountain Pen Day.


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