Feb 17, 2009

I for Inkpot

Its been sometime now since my younger daughter has taken to writing with pen in school. And yesterday while I was buying refills for her gel-pens for the 138th time this year, I suddenly got nostalgic!!!






I still remember my first day in Class 6 which was filled with apprehension, fear, anxiety that catches hold of you when you are suddenly going to be officially declared as senior! But then, it was this excitement of starting to write with pen which masked all the other feelings. Somehow, the 3 letter P, E and N was the passport to adulthood, to maturity, to seniority. It marked the end of kiddish era of PENCILs. PENs meant that finally we have arrived (though WHERE noone would know). We were not allowed to write with ball-point pens and so fountain pen it was. I can proudly say that my first ever PEN gifted to me by my father stood by me for 7 years till the end of my school education.
It used to be quite a ritual no less than the famed tea ceremony, this art of filling ink in the fountain pen. There were many ways of doing the needful. You had cylindrical storage type pen where you just needed to fill the ink and the ink would trickle to the nib enabling you to write. Then there was this pump type where you had to dip the nib of the pen just enough into the Camlin’s ink-pot (I wonder if the kids of today know the meaning of this word) holding a valve tight and on release of the valve, the ink would be sucked into the pen.
I would dutifully keep a duster by my side during this ritual of ink-filling since it would invariably lead to ink-baths everywhere. A piece of chalk would also be kept handy, since chalk absorbs ink fast. After filling the pen, the tips of my fingers would attain a dark blue hue and somehow it gave me a feeling of what a hard-working student I was!
The ink-pens were also source of mucho joy in school though looking back I find the acts pretty wrong. But when you are young, there is nothing called wrong when it comes to times you are having a good laugh. All the bothersome and unpopular teachers would find ink stains on their sarees or shirts or trousers. And ink being ink, would not be scrubbed off easily! I had many lasting ink stains on my uniform too, not that it ever bothered me. As an aside, I have been told that blue ink has anti-inflammatory property and soothes a burn. Never tried it but have heard my grandparents vouch for it.

Coming back to pen, the nibs of the pen were the most delicate parts. One hard push and phooosh! They were gone. Oh and let me at this stage, confess that inspired by Ved Vyas of Mahabharatha and all those classic mythological serials and movies, I did try to quill-write using the feathers of pigeon ( I could not find one of the peacock) but dipping in the inkpot for every second word was something which was testing my already low patience and hence the idea was discarded.
Exam times saw me packing 5-6 extra pens and ofcourse the ink pot.
Gone are the days! Today is the world of Gel-pens and Reynolds. My daughter tells me that for her boards its mandatory to use ball pen and not ink or gel-pen! Times surely have changed. So, with the advancement in technology, there is a price tag attached and lets accept it with grace. Though we have less time on our hands to fill ink in the pens, we have electronic medias like these where we can get outright nostalgic. Years later, when my kid’s kids will grow, maybe gel-pens will be out and some silicon-pen will be in and then my kids will update their blogs something on these lines :)
So, now when I need to rush to that book store for buying assortment of refills for the gel-pens of my kids, I try to think of the plus. Atleast they don’t get their hands stained like we did and atleast their teachers sarees and dresses are safe!!!

34 comments:

Angel's Flight February 17, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

Shanti,

This is a lovely post, brought back so many memories :) I had both type of Ink pens, and am proud to say that I still have them..(though they are not used)...Loved the ink filling ceremony....what fun!!

Btw...one downside to the ink filling ceremony....for some weird reason for a couple of weeks...we took to taking a sip of ink every time....lol...walked around with blue tongues! ...Imagine the pitaaii....once our moms found out...hahahahahahaha

Cheers

Oxy February 18, 2009 at 2:26 AM  

7 years? Damn!!! U dint lose it. But then girls somehow are better at this than us guys. Me and my bro lost one within a week but can't say same for sister. Like you she had one particular savored for ages. And every time we lost one she used to get a new along with us so u see she had many and we had just one which eventually would be lost sooner or later.

Like Angel said, this brought memories of yesteryear. I used to tuck mine in the ganji(not in box or shirt pocket) and sometimes I would find just the cap and pen would have long fallen somewhere. Haha.

Btw, by the time we reached 12th Board, we were also told not to use Ink-Pens.

Monika,Ansh February 18, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

What a lovely post. You got me all nostalgic & the green & maroon Chinese ink pens are floating in front of my eyes.
& it's so great to hear the details.........the chalks, the stians....:)

Just Like That February 18, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

LOL! Trust you to find a nostalgic pen to post about. Or should it be post to pen about..? :-P
Am reminded of HITs and safetypins :-D
Lovely post as always.

couchpapaya February 18, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

gosh, u made me all nostalgic too!! i loved our fountain pens, such a pity that the kids can now use ball pens etc .... and i cant believe u tried writing with a feather lol

we were a girls school so we didnt do too much naughtiness just the teacher's sarees sometimes, but my bro wld come back almost every day with a line of ink dots on his back and my mom wld almost cry. actually now i come to think of it, it's better that the kids now dont use ink pens, cannot imagine the torture of washing all those whites brrr ....

Reema February 18, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

wonderful nostalgic post :) There is an advantage of gel pens that are water proof. But I still believe ink pens are necessary for developing handwriting. I disliked the habit of wiping leaking ink pens on hair by some kids.

udtahaathi February 19, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

Awwwwww....everyone is getting so nostalgic! For valid reason too :)
Your writings are just so fresh and lively, like a slice of life, breathing. As I still use fountain Pens I understand the nostalgia, the duster, the chalk, the whole mess. I cherish the ink filling ceremony every weekend when I wash my writing instruments ( as Cartier says it). However, I don’t use my croquil (without feather) that often.
But you know, unlike your girl’s school, my boy’s will use fountain pens class VI onwards, as per school rules.
Very well penned post.

Cheers!
~uh~

WhatsInAName February 19, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

Angel :)) Sipping ink lol. oh yeah, wasnt it fun to have coloured tongues! I dont blame your moms for the pitaaiis cos I have changed the party now.. I am a mom :P

Vee :)) You are right. I think girls are more possessive and caring :P I even saved my books for my brother to use them 3 years after me!!! But then the girls of today are no less than the boys, you must be knowing ;)

Monika :) Nostalgia is fun! Its so dreamy, isnt it!

JLT :p OK I will write on safety pins next and dedicate it to you ;)
Yeah those days were good, no!

CP :) Absolutely! I just cant think of washing those ink stains (even though its my washing machine which does it ;)

Reema :) Oh yeah, you are right. Ink pens improve the handwriting like none other. But I am one of the specimens who can prove the last statement wrong ;)

UH- AH! Is that you I see flying? Good to know you still follow the ink-filling ritual. I miss it, sigh :( I guess you are possessive about your pens :) Even my father is. And welcome to the awwww-ing club :P

workhard February 19, 2009 at 9:26 PM  

Your post is very interesting, the writing style is good, your posts reminds me of the good old days, we used to get these "HERO" fountain pens, i hated to have to fill my refill

Work from home

Smita February 19, 2009 at 10:51 PM  

Sigh!!!!

U know what, I still have 2 ink pots in my office drawer...I keep losing the pen :-D

You used to use a duster or chalk?? I used to fill the pen and wipe it off on my head :D my Mom used to shout on me that my hair will go white but kaun sunta tha :)

My dad says that if we write with in pen writing acchi aati hai...but these days who has the time to write my once upon a time good hand writing is now so bad ki chodo...

Lovely-2 post :0) loved the nostalgia...

Oxy February 20, 2009 at 1:58 AM  

@Reema, U mean u disliked Smita and the lady who can prove ur last statement wrong!!!

WIAN and Smita, Reema Disliked/s u... :):)

--xh-- February 20, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

it made me so nostalgic.. i still remember teh first inkpen i got - my dad gifted it to me - It was a Bismi, the one with a cylindrical ink storage bin. then later i got my first hero pen - a deep brown color and then the prised possessions - Pilot and Penguin, gifts from my uncle. it was an object of envy and i used to write my personal diary with the pelican till I finished my MCA.

man, this post brought back so many font memories...

udtahaathi February 20, 2009 at 12:34 PM  

I returned, as ~uh~sual.

Yeah, I am possessive about my pens, which some say, are mightier than sword (with bigger size and more pointed nibs). I used to write with Artex, Hero and Linc when I was in School. Then I used to Rotring, Staedtler & FabreCastle while in College (Architects sleep with pens). Now I use Waterman, Mont Blanc, Sheaffar's, Lamy, Parker (all received as gifts). Now expecting a Cartier as gift, from some big hearted friend(s), who are nostalgic about pens.....;-)

Cheers!
~uh~

workhard February 21, 2009 at 12:42 AM  

@Smita:

Its very funny, i used to wipe the extra ink on my hair, because it was very convinient, and my mom used to say the same thing.. I think its like one of those 'stories' that get passed down from generation to generation, i think it was from mom to mom in this case...And then with my new pens, my dad use to make us soak it in hot water....
I just dont know why?


Work from home

Bouncing-Bubble February 21, 2009 at 7:27 PM  

Dear Wian..only you could write with such child-like enthu.

I was not very fond of ink pens as I was such a mess in maintaining them. Of all that I had, used to love Hero pens.

We were permitted to use ball pens so I used to love Reynolds during higher secondary.

ps:I loved double-underlining side heads with red or black :D

Suma February 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

i was so proud when we graduated from pencils to THE fountain pen...

what a lovely post, WIAN...am so glad nostalgia forced you to pen...er... key it in, ...:D

Sakhi February 23, 2009 at 10:31 AM  

I still love writing with ink pens and have just recently bought yet another "shaeffer" :)

Reema February 24, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

hey u have been awarded here
http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/bengali-and-hindi-songs-tag/

WhatsInAName February 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

Dear Workhard :) Thank you for the visit. Oh YES, How can one forget the famous Hero pens!

Smita :) Good to see some of you still following some good habits with so much of patience. Please lend me some!

Oxy, the Narad :P Reema is too sweet to hate us!

Xh :) Thanks for the visit. We are all linked by almost the same kind of memories! Ah, sweet emories!

Uh uh! :) Large hearted friend? Who is he/she? :P :P BTW, that was a nice list of pens you owned. Wow! wow!

Bouncy!!! :) Underlining? Lol! some passion that


Suma ;) lol I hope this enthu remains! ;)

Sakhi! :) Welcome to my blog and yeah I see that I need to take some lessons from some of you :)

Reema :)) Thanks a lot and hugs to you!

worldthrumyeyes February 25, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

yes times surely have changed... but i guess the glory ink pens enjoyed in their hay day can never be matched by the gel pens and ball-point pens of today!!

eye-in-sty-in February 25, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

I had a nice ink-pen! The fun-scary part was when it wd stain the shirt... and the most fun was when u'd splash ink on the person sitting ahead of you and they didnt know it :D Perhaps thats why I became a last bencher :P

btw, ur tagged here!

http://eye-in-sty-in.blogspot.com/2009/02/unveiling-and-reply-to-tag.html

!! Spike !!

Mama - Mia February 25, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

:)

niiiccee! i somehow never got fond of ink pens! i had that Hero pen where you had press and fill ink. i shifted to ball point pens verry happily! :D

i used to love those others. where you had to fill ink with a dropper. it was like something between an ink and gel pen. The brand was Pilot so everyone called it pilot pen! you remember them?! it was quite mehenga too. some 35bucks! whew!

and yes, moving to secondary chool meant writing with pen! :D

cheers!

abha

verbivorehere February 25, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

Such a lovely post that really took me back to the good ole days!
My experiences are ditto! Im too proud to have used a 'hero' pen gifted by mom for 7 yrs :)

No enigma here. I'm your girl-next-door February 25, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

I miss those Chelpark bottles too!
Lovely, nostalgic post :)

No enigma here. I'm your girl-next-door February 25, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Thanks for the comments on my blog...you've been blogrolled :)

WhatsInAName February 25, 2009 at 9:50 PM  

Nova :)
You bet. Nothing beats the ink pens and the nostalgia

EISI :)
Hehehe You too last bencher? and how come you were not caught? :P BTW, thanks for the tag. Will surely take it up

Abha :)
hmmm So someone begs to differ? Thats OK. These days looking at my handwriting, I have decided to stick only to keyboard :)

Verbi :)
And you know the irony? Now nothing sticks to me more than 7 months except my hubby and kids lol ;)

Workhard :)
yEAH Looks like it :( BTW, where do you blog? I am unable to find any links!

Girl-next-door :)
Welcome to my space and thanks for blogrolling me!

kanaguonline February 25, 2009 at 11:13 PM  

Very lovely post, made me to remember my school days.. but we started using ink pens by 4th Std.. but that times are quite wonderful... I will keep on tightening the pen after filling the ink and it will start to leak after that .. LOL :)

/*Exam times saw me packing 5-6 extra pens and ofcourse the ink pot.*/
too much of pens..

/*I can proudly say that my first ever PEN gifted to me by my father stood by me for 7 years till the end of my school education.*/
phew... I have got 7 more pens in the first year.. couldn't remember any pen that lasted with me for atleast a year :)

Indian Home Maker February 26, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Hey this is a lovley post ... made me nostalgic about the time I and then my kids started using 'ink pen' :)

I tried introducing fountain pens to my kids too, but what a mess they made!
Eventually I feel gel pens are a more convenient option!

We had even learnt to use kalam which had to be dipped in an ink pot .. this because we had an enthusiastic Sanskrit teacher, who insisted we learn the old fashioned way of writing, we enjoyed of course :)

Swati February 26, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

ohhh..you brought back so much of nostalgia :)

workhard February 26, 2009 at 10:11 PM  

Hey, im just a starter and you can find me here

http://bpojobsathome-workhard.blogspot.com/

eye-in-sty-in February 27, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

I didnt get caught bcoz I knew how to splash the ink 'just right'.... I discovered (a few skirmishes and stained shirts later), if I 'threw' the ink too hard, the recepient could feel the cold ink right away thus allowing for less time to get-away :D

avdi February 27, 2009 at 7:40 PM  

Oh yes, I remember my trysts with pens. The inkstained fingers made me feel like a superscholar, though I wasnt one.

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