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  1. Mr Lakshmana Rao showed me some more new creations...he had made new Jumbo models...some of you might remember the earlier Guider Jumbo...it was a black ebonite behemoth...ha ha ha (in case you don’t, here it is again)...but obviously, Mr Lakshmana Rao wanted to excel himself this time...and this time, there is a change in material too...the new bigger Jumbo is called the Super Jumbo...and it is in White Acrylic...as I had written earlier, Mr Lakshmana Rao had sent me photos of this Super Jumbo and I was smitten...and here I was sitting in front of the maker of this pen and holding the pen in my hands...I just couldn’t bear to keep the pen back in its box... Mr Lakshmana Rao obviously saw the gleam and longing in my eyes... The pen is just marble white in colour...nice clean smooth lines...a black cap jewel and a steel arrow clip...just the kind of clip that would look good on this pen...and everything looked well fitted...I looked at the nib...it was not bespoke, but customised with ‘GUIDER FINE INDIA’ in three lines pressed on it and below this is a G inside a circle...the proof of the nib is in the writing, I said to myself...there was no ink there for me to try and test the smoothness of the nib... The pen is really huge...I thought about the earlier black ebonite jumbo and imagined it to be of the same size as this one...mind plays tricks, doesn’t it? I mentioned this to Mr Lakshmana Rao and he assured me that the black ebonite jumbo is much smaller that this one and that this is the biggest pen he has created so far and he also said that he is considering sending details of this pen to one of those books of records to be considered for the ‘biggest pen’...anyway...that is another story... I told Mr Lakshmana Rao that I wanted this white pen and he told me that since I had expressed my desire as soon as I saw the photos earlier, he would be happy to give me one...and the most interesting part is, he said he had made only two in White Acrylic and that I would be the first user of this new model... I really felt privileged...not only did I have a preview of this pen, I also got to own one of the first two pieces of this fabulous looking pen... I just couldn’t wait to reach home and ink it up...somewhere I had this feeling that because of the translucency of the white acrylic, the barrel might darken as soon as I ‘filled’ it with ink...so I first wanted to take photos of the pen un-inked...after I took the pictures, I inked it...to be precise, I was actually able to ‘pour’ the ink into the barrel straight from the bottle!!! The mouth of the barrel is that wide...and the barrel did indeed darken... And I finally ventured to write with this new pen... I was very pleased to see that the nib was smooth and the flow was even and the line was ‘fine leaning towards medium’...and a nice wet line... I was very happy...and now for the long term flow... Most of the times, I write my blog posts I a diary and then type it out...gives me a chance to write with my fountain pens... I took this pen and started writing in my diary...the narrative of my meeting with Mr Lakshmana Rao (the previous Part 1 post)...and I just wrote on and on... I wrote close to eleven pages continuously to finish the first draft of that post!! The flow is superb...and the nib is smooth with a slight hint of tooth at a particular angle, which I like because that gives some grip... this post too I wrote with the Super Jumbo...close to eight pages continuously...no finger fatigue at holding the thick section...no wrist pain at holding the thick pen... the pen rests comfortably between the thumb and forefinger... I am not much of a post-er, but I did post and write...but un-posted is most comfortable for me... Now for the vital statistics...the pen is 6 ½ inches capped; 5 ¾ inches uncapped and 7 ½ inches posted...and, the diameter of the barrel, measured just below the section, is 20.68 mm (my friend and colleague, Pavan, who teaches mathematics in our college, helped me with the formula [2πr = circumference] to find the diameter; and I also measured the thickness of the barrel with a screw gauge borrowed from the physics department...) ... really Super Jumbo... I then thought why not compare sizes with the black jumbo which I had...only when I took out the black jumbo from its box did I realise how ‘impoverished’ it looked in comparison...ha ha ha...at that time, I had called the black jumbo the ‘Jumbo XXL!!!’ and had thought no pen could be bigger than the black ebonite jumbo... Mr Lakshmana Rao never ceases to surprise... Here are some photos... http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/1GuiderSJWhite-capped_zpsb98c7822.jpg The Guider Super Jumbo in White Acrylic – capped http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/2GuiderSJWhite-uncapped_zps847d2556.jpg The Guider Super Jumbo in White Acrylic – uncapped http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/3GuiderSJWhite-posted_zps7366f19d.jpg The Guider Super Jumbo in White Acrylic – posted http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/4GuiderSJWhite-sectionnib_zps50f5cf9f.jpg The Guider Super Jumbo in White Acrylic – section and nib http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/5GuiderSJWhite-nibred_zps663ff686.jpg Somehow the photo came out like this...I thought it looked awesome... http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/6GuiderSJWhite-writingsample_zps360d134a.jpg Writing sample...two pages from the first draft... http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/7GuiderSJWhite-withguiderjumboblack_zpsd18e6f7f.jpg Super Jumbo and ‘just’ Jumbo... http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/8GuiderSJWhite-withMB146_zps24570b51.jpg The Super Jumbo with MB 146... Thanks for looking...more to share... Shrujaya
  2. Continuing with Mr Lakshmana Rao’s experiments in acrylic…the ones being shown here are the standard size which is called Raja in local FP parlance (I heard the name Raja being used to describe the standard size by many Andhra Pradesh based handmade FP manufacturers during my interactions with them) … these are beautiful looking pens and the blended colours of acrylic gives each pen a unique look…in that sense, no two pens look alike…I picked up the blue and red first and then picked up the amber one too…somehow liked the golden shimmer… I had mentioned I Part-3 that the White and Red Jumbo FPs seem to be made from acrylic rods…and responding to the post on Red Acrylic Jumbo, Hari mentioned that ‘acrylic is also available as thick sheets which are then cut into square sticks and then rounded on a lathe’… I think these pens below must be made out of acrylic tubes …the end plugs are for that reason I think… must do some research on this…or better, ask the pen maker himself… Mr Lakshmana Rao has tried different things in terms of design…the blue one is flat topped and flat ended…the red has rounded ends…the amber one has a metal cap jewel and rounded barrel end…the final group photo tells us that all colours are more or less available in these three designs… here are some photos… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/1-Maharaja_zps300cc9e8.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/2-Maharaja_zps1568a630.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/3-Maharaja_zps2dec6093.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/4-Maharaja_zpsfd884706.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/6-Maharaja_zpscde0ec02.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/7-Maharaja_zps5ea259c5.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/8-Maharaja_zps9be42e83.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/9-Maharaja_zps377860f4.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/10-Maharaja_zpsc2791fbc.jpg Thanks for visiting and reading… Shrujaya
  3. This is the third part of my narration of my meeting with Mr Lakshmana Rao and the new pens that he had made…I posted the first two ones almost immediately, and wanted to give some gap before I posted the rest…but I suddenly realized that the gap has become too huge… Here is the Guider Acrylic Jumbo in Red… the White Super Jumbo in acrylic and the current one are both Mr Lakshmana Rao’s experiments in acrylic with big size pens…one can say that this is his ‘Acrylic Phase’… the earlier two posts on Guider Acrylic Kid and White Super Jumbo showcased his size related experiments…and it is not that he has not made pens in Acrylic earlier…one can say that he is a traditional ‘ebonite pen maker’… and only occasionally dabbled in acrylic… I liked it as soon as I saw this pen…it is similar in shape and size to the Guider Black Ebonite Jumbo… here are the photos… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/1-GuiderRedJumbo-capped_zpsee8f9096.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/2-GuiderRedJumbo-uncapped_zpsbd2e6f39.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/3-GuiderRedJumbo-posted_zps537e6c2e.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/4-GuiderRedJumbo-clip_zps685dfbe5.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/5-GuiderRedJumbo-nib_zpsedabbf1f.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/6-GuiderRedJumbo-section_zps918d67d5.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/7-GuiderRedJumbo-feeder_zps8b3b4c4d.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/8-GuiderRedJumbo-capcloseup_zpsb6c71b67.jpg One can see the increase in translucency as one reaches the cap lip…the dark red becomes lighter… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/9-GuiderRedJumbo-acrylicrod_zps49fb83e1.jpg This was something new to me…this is an acrylic rod…Mr Lakshmana Rao had brought this with him to show me…the present Red Jumbo was made from one such rod…I always thought only ebonite came in the shape of rods and had to be bored to make pens…and acrylic and celluloid came in the shape of tubes…and therefore one had to seal the ends with ebonite or any other suitable substance to make the tubes into pens…so when Mr Lakshmana Rao showed me this, I was surprised and asked him and he told me that acrylic is available as rods too…and when I saw the pen I realized what he said…there are no stoppers at the barrel end and cap end… this is true of the White Super Jumbo too… maybe these rods come in single colours and it is easier to make single colour pens with these rods…but when it comes to swirls and whorls, one has to go to the sheets and tubes…this is my understanding…I may be completely wrong… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/10-GuiderRedJumbo-acrylicrodandredjumbo_zpsccf45ee7.jpg Red acrylic rod and the Red Acrylic Jumbo… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/11-GuiderRedJumbo-withblackjumbo_zps9a330891.jpg With the Black Ebonite Jumbo http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/12-GuiderRedJumbo-withblackandwhitejumbo_zps6cb1b387.jpg With the White Acrylic Super Jumbo and Black Ebonite Jumbo http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/13-GuiderRedJumbo-allguiderjumbos_zps6af840fb.jpg A group photo of all the Jumbos that Mr Laksmhana Rao had brought with him…you can see Jumbos in mottled green and mottled brown ebonite too… Thanks for visiting and reading… Shrujaya
  4. Mr Lakshmana Rao, over the last few weeks, has been very active and busy, and has been sending me photographs of the new models that he had designed and created…I could see that this time he was concentrating on acrylic and the pens in various swirling hues were indeed eye-catching… Apart from the spinning and whirling colours…blue…red…amber…gray… yellow…I could also see that he had made a huge pen in all-white acrylic and another, slightly smaller, in all-red acrylic…I was fascinated by the big white and the big red and called Mr Lakshmana Rao in Rajahmundry and asked him how much they cost and if he could send them across…then he told me he’d be visiting Hyderabad shortly and that he’d be bringing his new models along with him and that I could see then, try them, and then decide…and I got a call from him on Saturday, 25 May 2013, asking me when I’d be free, so that we could meet…he could’ve just informed me that he is in Hyderabad and that I can meet him during this time period on this particular day…such is the humility of Mr Lakshmana Rao…I was feeling a bit sheepish…and told him that I’d be glad to meet him on Monday, 27 May, in the evening… I had spent a memorable evening with Mr Lakshmana Rao more than a year back listening to pen tales and I had also written about it here…this time too we planned to meet at his son’s house, which is a short distance away from my house… Mr Lakshmana Rao was staying with his daughter in another part of Hyderabad and he had to come from there to his son’s house…it took some time for him to reach and I was waiting in front of the apartment block. Again, I was amazed to see how this “one of a kind of man” (especially for fountain pen enthusiasts), is without any airs…he was carrying a big bag with pen boxes and folders inside, as he got down from the city bus…the same simple dress…and on top of that he apologized for being late…!!! We went up to his son’s flat…it was locked and he opened it and the flat was bare…the last time I was there with him, the flat was furnished…now there were only a couple of plastic chairs and we sat on them and started talking and slowly he started taking out the boxes and showing me the recent models…this time he talked mostly about the new models… He took out a box and showed me a colourful array of short pens…he said he had made this model for a particular customer who had seen the acrylic ‘Baby’ models on the Guider website and wanted something similar, but longer than the ‘Baby’…since there was no existing model of the intermediate size, the customer himself suggested the name ‘Kid’ for the new proposed model…so, Mr Lakshmana Rao says he set down to work…he says he tried using existing acrylic material and cutting them to the new required size, but somehow it wouldn’t work and he was not able to get the barrel and cap to synchronize…and he didn’t want to abandon the attempt because, he said, the customer has come to me because I have advertised that I make customized pens, and he has asked me to make a particular kind of model…I am a pen maker and I will not disappoint my customer…whatever the cost, I will make this model… Mr Lakshmana Rao then decided to get a new die made to cast for this new model, though this meant unforeseen expenditure…he was finally able to get the size and shape right…but there was another problem…he had some beautiful acrylic in wonderful swirling colours and shades, but some of them were not sufficient for even one full ‘Kid’ pen…and as you can see in these two photographs below, only three pens were possible in full acrylic, i.e., both cap & body…amber…dark blue…and light blue…the rest of the ‘Kids’ have black ebonite caps, though the cap jewel and clip are of the same design…and if you look closely, the colours are delicious…the dark blue…the lovely golden amber…the veined marble light gray…the lovely swirly brown…and that ‘wow’ yellow…that gray veined black…the gorgeous red…that chaotic marbled gray at the extreme end…that deep darkish amber…I fell in love with the colours…maybe, only acrylic can lend itself to giving out so many tints and tones…and those swirls and whorls…like twirling ballerinas and whirling dervishes…colourfully chaotic… http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/Guider-Kid1_zps556b15ef.jpg http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn280/bambli_mass/Guider-Kid2_zps540f33d8.jpg And Mr Lakshmana Rao was finally pleased with what he was able to achieve…he told me, “Customer satisfaction is what I aim for and I too keep experimenting with materials, shapes, sizes, etc., and because of this customer, I now have a new model…the Acrylic Kid…” Thank you...there is more to come... Shrujaya





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