Owing a perfectly working beautiful looking Cross fountain pen has been a distant dream since childhood. My craze for ink pens began when I first chanced upon my grandfather’s enviable collection of pens. As kids, my cousin and me, like all the other kids in our country, spent much of our summer vacation at our grandparents place. His library was our regular play area. He was possessive about his books and pens, but had complete faith in our ability to keep to ourselves and not disturb things in the room. It was a dingy little room with two open shelves and a small Godrej berow. It was all filled with books of every possible shape, print, binding and language. He could read Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Sanskrit and Marathi. Just at the entrance of the room, there was a perfectly crafted spacious wood table with one big shelf underneath to the right and a small drawer to the left. The table housed a type writer which was always covered with a gray cover. He used to spend hours writing and typing, sitting on that very desk while we kids sat on the floor and kept to ourselves. After all, one can’t really expect two kids with a cooking set to cause much trouble. He always kept the draw locked. As we grew up, our fascination with the sounds from the type writer and the colorful pens he used increased. We used to bug him to let us type or use his pen. He would relent a bit and let us play around for a while before shooing us off.
Then we grew up and forgot all about his type writer and pens. He had sold his type writer and purchased a computer. I taught him how to use it and started spending time with him again. He used to lend me his pens but made sure I knew the value of the pen I was using. All his pens were expensive. He had written much of his published works with those very pens. That fascination for ink pens, which I lost during the years of slogging at school slowly started creeping in again. I ensured to take good care of all the ink pens I owned.It never occurred to me that he would pass on his collection to me one day. The world had already moved on to felt pens and what not, but it was something he wouldn’t give up on, and it was a trait he passed on to me among other things. I still don’t like writing with a ball point pen. It doesn’t have that smoothness an ink pen can offer. He passed away and I was too busy pursuing my engineering degree to think about his pen collection. As such we had enough trouble disposing his books.
One fine day, when I chanced upon the blog post of my friend who wrote about his experience of using an ink pen after a long time, the flood gate of memories opened. I regretted not bothering to check if my mother had retained his pens. I decided to go poking around the house to check if she had kept it safely. That’s when my dad came to rescue. My grandfather, apparently, had passed on about 6 fountains pens, most of which had gold nibs and had asked him to give it to me when the time was right. My dad gave me just one pen out of the collection. My joy knew no bounds. It was the very pen which my grand father used to write his last book before he passed away. I had seen him using it.
The moment I held the pen and wrote a few words in my journal, a warm feeling engulfed me. I experience that every time I use it to write. No matter in what state of mind I am in. That pen is my most treasured possession.
PS. Good thing I decided to join Write Tribe’s Festival of Words. A much needed trip down the memory lane.