After a long time, I randomly decided to refill some of my old fountain pens today. And what a coincidence, I got a Whastapp message around the same time saying it’s Fountain Pen Day!
I had no clue such a day existed. There are countless special days, especially if you note the Google Doodles. Nevertheless, this one is pretty interesting because it brings quite some school memories to the fore.
Check out: www.fountainpenday.org It states, “Taking place on the first Friday in November each year, Fountain Pen Day is celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide as a time to embrace, promote, and share the use of fountain pens.”
In school, we were so excited as we were entered grade five. There would be a new life with pens, objects restricted till then. Only pencils were allowed. When we started off, we were allowed to use only fountain pens or sometimes “gel ink” pens, but never the roller ball ones. This was for improving our handwriting. I must say, it indeed did!
Splashing of ink, accidentally or purposely 😀 and notes getting spoilt by ink blotting or water spilling, are such vivid markers of that phase. Things such as ink erasers, perfumed pens, “Hero” pens (I think the Chinese ones), Camlin, Chelpark dyes and the much coveted Parker pens were craze of the times.
Our parents describe their era as the one where they had inbuilt ink troughs in their desks. They had to keep dipping the nib of the pens and write till the ink lasted only to repeat the process. The pens didn’t have attached ink containers as we now have. Must have been so cumbersome!
Various innovations have been added since then. Now there are hollow ink tubes, piston sort of small suction pumps and even readymade use-and-throw ink cartridges available for storing ink in the pen. The messy part has been well sorted out.
As we grew along, we had to write insanely long answers and essays. The company of these beautiful pens had to be given up. Speed became the inhibiting factor.
But now as we suit up in the offices, we yearn for those “classy” writing instruments again. Or as we go on exotic holidays, the antique fountain pens with feathers and other embellishments catch our fancy. Or the pricey anti-gravity ones on the airports. Hope they never go out of fashion…