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  1. It was in the November of 2017 that I visited the Deccan Pen Stores in Ameerpet in Hyderabad. It almost felt as if I had finally entered my place of pilgrimage. The gentle and kind face, accented by senile wrinkles, of Mr Haleem Siddiqui welcomed me. He was about to leave the shop for prayers but after seeing me enter and ask for their own pens, he decided to delay his prayers, much to my denial. He showed me a very limited selection of Deccan pens and I saw my pen almost instantly. We talked about the shop and about pens in general. He told me that there was a recently finished Deccan Advocate that cost 30000 INR and housed a gold nib. And then he told me that he did not see many teenagers who were crazy about fountain pens. I promised him I would be back another day and also visit their Abids branch. I’m still waiting for that day… Now let’s get into the pen. Design and Writing Comfort: The pen is a different design than many. It is a flat top Deccan Advocate and a design that I had never quite seen. It looks good and is an oversized pen. The section is concave. The pen is made of ebonite and is quite light. It is a really good pen in the hand and feels really comfortable. I have started using it in school and it is a joy to write with it for hours. I have reached that point of loving to write with this pen, that I get upset when teachers do not give any notes. It is a good companion during Accountancy and Business Studies. It can be posted but becomes absurdly long and back heavy. Being ebonite, the pen does feel warmer and softer to the touch than acrylic or resin. Looks and Construction: The pen is completely handmade. And as I said, made of ebonite. Mine is the Dark Brown Rippled version and looks really beautiful. Coupled with the imperfections of the ebonite, this pen almost looks and feels organic. Like something that could grow in the soil. This pen falls a bit back in construction and finishing. The section has a few rough-cut marks that could be felt. You can kind of see these marks in the third picture. Also, the end of the cap tends to scratch the barrel. You can see that in the fourth photo. The clip wiggles in its place but now I have slightly glued it and has been solid ever since. The biggest problem was finishing. The pen was so poorly polished. It had tool marks all over. Once I reached Abu Dhabi, I ordered some Novus #1 and Novus #2 polish and some nail buffers and polished it to a mirror finish. That’s when I could truly appreciate the beauty of ebonite. The beautiful ripples can be seen here in this photo. Filling Mechanism: The pen is a simple eyedropper and there is nothing more to it than that. Since it is a huge pen, it holds a ton of ink. However, I would like to share something interesting here. I asked Mr Siddiqui if I required silicone grease for this pen. He replied in positive and greased up my pen for me. When I told him that silicone grease was scarce in UAE, he told me how I could make some of my own grease. He told me to melt some coconut oil and candle wax together in a ratio of 1:2. Then a thick paste would be formed and after cooling, it could be used as grease. I haven’t tried this but since he is a pen expert, I am willing to take his word for it. Writing: I originally had a Kanwrite flex nib in this pen and after heat setting the nib and feed, the writing experience was of perfect ink flow, but the nib was really scratchy. It would write really smooth at a high angle but not at a normal angle. So I ended up grinding the nib to a scratchy italic. I hated the nib and threw it away. I now have some experience grinding nibs and have a #6 JoWo medium nib with a stub/italic grind. Its quite in between those grinds I believe. Coupled with and ebonite feed, the writing is really nice, wet and perfectly smooth with ample line variation on Rhodia 80gsm paper. The nib was a single tone gold and I removed some plating to make it two-tone. This was done using an electric eraser. I use this pen in school just for the fun writing experience and comfort. My friends, every now and then stare into my books and admire the line variation and of course, my Deccan Advocate. Final Thoughts: At the price of 950 INR, I must say, its quite worth it considering it is a handmade pen from one of the oldest pen shops in India. Yes, it does have its share of problems but not any that cannot be corrected. I would place this pen much higher than the Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy Safari/Al-Star/Vista. It doesn't however reach the level of my TWSBI ECO, ASA Nauka or my Platinum 3776 Century. But it is a nice addition to anyone's collection who prefers large pens. (The photos were taken with a Nikkon D5300 in natural light. I must admit this was a very difficult pen to photograph considering I am a total newbie to photography.) Thank you for reading my review and hope it was useful. I look forward to another review but I am out of pens now Regards, Adit Sreesh Kamath

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