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  1. The ASA Bheeshma is named after a mythic Indian commander, an archer who ultimately died on a bed of arrows. Suspended in mid-air, his head unsupported, Bheeshma asked for a pillow appropriate to a warrior. That turned out to be three more arrows, tips up. The architect Vaibhav Mehandiratta named the pen after this epic character, after collaborating with passionate friends in India to design it. They included Prithwijit Chaki, a financial consultant; L. Subramaniam, founder of ASA Pens; and other pen warriors. These two themes, arrows and friendships, define the pen for me. After completing the design, Chaki commissioned a Bheeshma from ASA in 2015, and orders from other clients followed. About a year later, on a pen-component shopping safari in New Delhi, Chaki found a 14-karat gold Sheaffer inlaid nib and offered to help me work with Subramaniam to incorporate the nib into the overall design -- a kind of large version of a Nakaya Piccolo. Sheaffer's elegant nib resembles nothing so much as an arrowhead, and it's paired with a gray, quartz-like acrylic material that forms the graphite shaft of the arrow -- its barrel and cap. The acrylic was sourced from a stash of former Conway-Stewart material at the Turners Workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne, then shipped to the ASA shop in Chennai. But enough back story. Details The nib writes well and with considerable feedback, probably because it's an extra fine. I've forgotten what filling system was used in the nib's former life, but it now exists as a bulb filler, with the sac protected by a metal sleeve. The pen is 151 millimeters long, capped, and 135 mm uncapped. The cap and barrel are 15 mm in diameter, and the section is 10 mm, meaning that there's a considerable step-down. The inlaid section is 25 mm long, however, providing plenty of space for fingers to seat themselves before they reach the threads -- which are smooth enough to grip, anyway. I don't know how much the pen weighs, but it's mostly acrylic, so it's light. The pen is clipless, and a bronze snake ring serves as a roll-stopper. In Conclusion The Bheeshma is a sharp tool that fits my hand comfortably, writes cursive script with precision, and holds a respected position in my quiver of pens. Any army attempting to oppose Bheeshma should beware. A powerful cadre of friends supports him, and they are building a daunting armory of writing instruments.

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