So today was one of those days when I lost a pen again. No, some Czech prime minister dint steal it rather I misplaced it somewhere and spent the remainder of my productive work day looking for it down and under before I gave up in frustration and put in a purchase order to our materials department. The lost pen has joined the long list of stationery I’ve lost over the years.Sometimes I think all my lost pieces of stationery have reached their stationery heaven or hell.
Got me thinking though how I transitioned from pencil to pen. There may be a lesson in this experience for you wanna be venture capitalists about ‘cashing out’ in the right time. haha
So, up until my third standard I was accustomed to the nitty gritty of Natraj pencils with their zebra like stripes on a shocking red background. And God’s name on my pencil assured me of full success on my exams (i thought so ) also there was this ek box of pencils ke saath ek natraj eraser and sharpener muft . Groupon/Living Social aint got shit like this deal!
I had this nice WWF – Hitman Bret Heart pencil box (yes it was called WWF back then. Pencil box! ha ha i find that term funny and nostalgic now ) Each of us in class used to show off his allegiance and cred by the WWF star he supported. Me and the guy next me had this Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna war going on when our boxes used to clash once in while leading to a barrage of stats on biceps, chest, weight and championships won.
I eagerly waited for final exams because dad would buy me a whole box of pencils and mom would put it in the pooja room only to be used on exam day and put back after to recharge them for the next exam. My brother who was two classes above me was allowed to write with pens and used every given opportunity to parade his coterie of Reynolds blue ball point pens in front of me. He once bought a red ball point pen clandestinely to fix some areas in his marks sheets and kicked up quite a scandal. For in those days a student in possession of a red pen was a crime of the highest order.
Maybe it was because of the constant pencil usage or what I never realized and none of my teachers noticed that I had a terrible handwriting. Terrible is an understatement; it was caveman like drivel. And no one pointed it out to me. Two weeks into 4th class Dad got a job in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and I had to change schools in a hurry. I had just begun the transition to a ball point pen in Chennai. In the 4th standard at my new school almost everyone was using a pen flawlessly while I was still taking baby like steps. (they were accustomed to pens from 3rd class itself. outrage.) The class used to crowd around to watch me make earnest efforts to maintain sway and flow. After a month of pen lid biting and cursing I finally managed to pass muster from the ever discerning teachers.
Following family tradition all this while I had been using Reynolds 045 Fine CARBURE Ball Point Pens. Because these were the only pens available to me unless I flicked dad’s Luxor Pilot pen once in a while. And the moment i whipped it out of my box in a well planned PR move all the eyes in the class would be upon me; i would bask in the eyeballs in proper attention whore style. In fifth class I changed to a different school in Port Blair. The Carmel High School was a Christian missionary school; hence it was devoid of all the trappings on my earlier Kendriya Vidhayala schooling.I was anonymous no more and was held accountable for my bad handwriting and reprimanded accordingly with lower marks. This was a low phase in my life until someone suggested I join Shanta Xerses madam’s class; who during day was our western music teacher and after school hours for kids like me ran a handwriting tuition class. This was my first serious tryst with cursive hand writing. She was a tough task master and the one hour session everyday involved me copying out passages from Robinson Crusoe and getting them graded by madam. She always gave me a D or a C- and gradually transitioned towards a passable B. At the end of the year (also as i reached the end of transcribing Robin Crusoe in its entirety ) in her last class she gave me the A+ i had been craving for. Now as as write this and come t think of it no other A+ grade in my life till date has made me more happy. I will ever be grateful to her.
As a result of successful completion of my cursive writing class and graduating Summa Cum laude dad gifted me a Hero pen. This pen enhanced my cursive handwriting even further.
Hero Pen. The most awesome pen ever. And that whole religious process of filling it up and watching it run out of ink as I wrote was Nirvana. I think no other pen captured my state of mind beautifully on paper as this pen. Writing with this I felt like some great writer. haha How I wish I could get one of these like RIGHT NOW. Do they even make them anymore ?
As I reminiscence about the Hero pen and turn back hands of clock I am transported to a time devoid of social media (those days computers were good only for playing Wolfenstein 3d or typing out endless GO TO statements in BASIC) and COMPUTER stood for Commonly Operated Machine Prepared for Use with Technical and Educational Research. And when I lost my pens I would be subject to sound trashing.
Today I lose a pen; I just get an another one. Life.
p.s. there’s a whole sections i dint cover for sake of too much information( and it being quarter past midnight on a Wednesday!) about faber castell pencils with the fancy white shaves / the Japanese plastic pencils with many small leads / pen pencils / Pilot ink pens/ light emitting pens/ parker pens etc.
will sign off with this