Dear Ink Brothers,
First of all, I really thank all of you for compelling me to write my story and openly declare my nerdy love for FP. I have been a “lurker” so to speak for some time now. Visiting the forums and YouTube for every possible video/review/rants of fellow FP lovers, had become a part of my daily routine. SBREbrown and Matt (Pen habit) are some of the most prominent ones out there and they have their unique style of reviewing each pen. So, don’t be surprised if my thoughts/future reviews are on those lines. I, somehow like the structure and do wish to make it my own.
I pay my regards to the senior/prominent members of Indian SubForums and across the media as a whole. Hari sir, Sanyal Soumitra sir, mehandiratta, Subbu sir, BK123 (and others whom I may have missed), I salute your vast knowledge and experience that you bring to the table. Though we’ve never really met in person, your personalities/personas do seem familiar, due to your presence and passion for FP’s.
To come to my story, we were allowed to use these pens once we were in 5th Standard. Ball Point pens weren’t allowed. While most students opted for simple and easy to maintain Pilot/Hitec, I wanted to stand out from the crowd. I still remember my trip to the store when shopkeeper showed me so many options. Then something unique caught my eye. The huge glass ink bottle (Chelpark blue black) when compared to those puny often leaky plastic ink bottles got me interested. On further enquiry, the kind shopkeeper showed me one of the cardboard boxes which had an assortment of pens with golden caps and deep dark colored bodies. Enter the fountain pens, the uniqueness of an open gold (colored/imitation) nib along with the aerometric filler had caught my fancy. Overall look and feel of one these (Chinese) pens, had gotten me hooked on to this type of writing instrument.
Within a couple of days, I was obsessed. Sure they were messy (partly because I was a kid who loved having ink on my fingers) but they had their own charm. Majority of my free time went in stationery shops and pen stores seeking, admiring and when pocket allowed, purchasing ink pens. I did collect every new model or at least every model that was new to me but being a student meant, there could be only one pen irrespective of the color. The collection grew as I grew up. Some kind relatives got me a few costlier pens as well. A couple of Parkers, a few replicas of the hooded nibs, and an imported dark grey self-filling pen, the model I don’t distinctly remember. Among the known and more affordable range/brands, were Chelpark, Camel, Servex, Montex, Reynolds and Hero (imitation I think)
Then came the big moment, my father in spite of not liking the fact that I was spending time on my pens rather than studying, gave me the ultimate pen. A freaking Mont Blanc. It was a wedding gift he got in early eighties came as a set with a roller ball. It was the most treasured pen in my collection. I say was, because all these pens are stored in a box back home (in NCR). Slowly, as the collection grew so did I. Life eventually caught up to me and I went the ball point route. I can almost see you cringing when you read this. Trust me I also feel the same. It was blasphemy to say the least.
Fast forward a couple of years and here I am. In a different city far away from home, taking up a new hobby each couple of months. Journaling was the most recent thing I took up. Like all new hobbies, I went into one of the major stationery shops in IT hub of Hyderabad (where I work now) looking for hardbound journals, and then it happened all over again. On one of the shelves, I saw a lonely Camlin Trinity. It almost spoke to me and my childhood love got re-ignited. I bought that along with a few bottles of ink (Bril red, Bril Violet and a parker Quink blue, on a side note, before people enquire, the store only has red and violet bril as new old stock). As soon as I was home, the pen was inked. With the first stroke on the paper, I was in love all over again. Over the next couple of months, I’ve managed to re-build my collection so to say. It’s nothing fancy or not even a fraction of what people own/collect here. Some of them were rather unintended purchases.
To list a few on top of my head, I scored:-
- Inks- Bril (Red, Violet), Parker (Black, Blue), Lamy (Turquoise), Camlin (Royal Blue, Scarlet Red, Black and my custom mixes-a deep oxblood, a purple and almost greying blue black) (Also have a Chelpark blue black and camlin emerald green back home but I am not sure about their condition)
- Camlins: 3R, 11R, 18R, 21R, 22R, 36R, 47P, Mini, Cute, Trinity, Elegante (Scholar and SD are on route as we speak)
- Flair: Ink Tanker, Inky Trendz, both converted as eye droppers ( Inky gold, Inky DX, Inky GenX and Inky Executive are on route as well)
- Parker: Beta, Beta Premium, Metal Vector, Frontier (51 from Ebay but I doubt its authenticity)
- Jinhao: x450, 599/599A(4 colours ranging from fine to medium nibs)
- Hero: 221 (the pen that started all this when I was a kid) a few 322 (one in each color, maroon, black and green), 329 and a 616 doctor.
- Baoer- 507 (eight horses) and a black glossy 801 (love the nib on that one)
Other miscellaneous purchases are a few Montex (Handy and study I think), a Reynolds Fludo, a Classmate octane and a few generic printed plastic pens. I know the list doesn’t sound on top of my head but I do love my pens and remember most of them. I also plan to visit Deccan pens over the weekend to get some more inks. On the tangential part of the hobby, I also like mixing inks and tweaking my nibs. I may have destroyed and eventually repaired/restored a few cheap pens in the process.
Phew….that was a long one. The future plan of action is to have hand written reviews of most of these when I get time. This is undoubtedly inspired by Sanyal Sir and I give full credit to him for that. I am also planning a trip back home sometime next month to fetch that old box of mine. I am sure Hari sir would be able to help me with identifying the Mont Blanc and that self-filling pen. Hope to be a regular member here. Cheers…