Lately I am remembering lot of things about my childhood. Am I getting too old? Is it a premature midlife crisis? Or is it just the outcome of subconscious self psychosis? I dont know!

We were supposed to write using pencil till 4th standard. In the summer holidays that year, we had gone to Bangalore and my dad had got me a couple of reynolds pens. Yes, the same Reynolds 045 Fine Carbure! Getting an opportunity to use pens was a great feeling - it was one way of declaring that we were no longer kids (though this feeling was not as satisfying as wearing pants in high school!) And most of the kids in 5th standard were using Reynolds pen. It was a very simple looking pen, mostly white with a blue cap. The pen was very good, but the cap was so badly designed that keeping the pen in the pocket was so difficult. And we had a group of highly creative minds who would play around with the words on the pen to give new meanings. One of them was like this. In "REYNOLDS 045 FINE CARBURE", they used to erase the last stroke in R to make it look like P. Then erase Y and O. Erase the second stroke in D to look like I. Erase 045. Erase CARBURE. It would look like 'PEN IS FINE'. It took us a couple more years to realize that our creativity had much more meaning than we had originally thought!

By the end of the year, my pen craze was at its peak. 045 had been replaced with its cousin called Reynolds 040 Bold. I loved this more. Somehow, my handwriting was far better with the blunt nib of 040 than the sharp nib of 045. I had inherited a "foreign" pen from my father's collection. It was a grey metallic pen, that had a small electronic watch near its rear. I dont ever remember writing using this pen, but it made for a nice collection. Another was the very sleek Paper Mate, which did not qualify for regular writing, even though it suited my style of writing. How can I forget that beauty called Luxor? It was not a dot pen, it was not an ink pen. It was a micro tip pen! That was a 'wow' at that time. Of course, there were a few ordinary pens also. One of them had push buttons at the back. It was called "takaa tikki" pen, because of the sound it made. Other was a big sized pen that had 4 refills - of blue, black, red and green. It was also kind of fancy takaa tikki pen, that had very little utility value.

By 7th standard, we had shifted to ink pens. Getting an ink pen as a birthday gift was a very popular phenomenon during the early 90s. I had a huge collection of pens stored in my pen box, having a picture of "Dennis the Menace" sleeping and the quote reading "Do not disturb, great mind at work!". I was very particular when it came to inks. I never used Bril - it was the kind of ink people filled their pens with at the Kaaka angdi. I did not like the round bottled Camel either. Chelpark was my brand. And the color was turquoise blue! Till I Was convinced by my parents that turquoise blue was not allowed in public exams and I had to shift to Chelpark blue. I could never write well with ink pens though, till...

Hero pens! That was one of the best phases of my pen craze period. Every hero pen that my father or uncle used to get would be part of my collection in no time. I had a couple of black ones, a brown and a green one. Hero pens were very royal, with their golden caps and a nib that appears so small and the ink filler very different from the other ink pens. During my high school days, a classmate had borrowed one of my Hero pens and the nib had bent when the pen fell from his hand. I was so fond of that pen and I did not want to change the nib, that I had changed my pen holding style for the next three years!

There were another set of ordinary ink pens, whose nibs we used to cut at an angle using scissors and used them for calligraphy. There was a huge community of calligraphy writers in my high school days and I was one of the unsuccessful triers of that art.

Slowly by college time, my pen craze was diminishing and I had stuck to Reynolds Jettor. Reynolds Jettor Black! The nib of black was not as good as blue. By the time the refill was half empty, the nib would be "worn out" and the pen used to write darkly. So I used to pull out the old nibs and use them with new refills. I had a collection of 5-6 such nibs. It used to vomit a lot of ink, but my hand writing was at its best when I wrote with this. I was loyal to it for around 6 years.

Now, I own a maximum of 2 pens. And I ask my brother to get me "any" decent black pen. I hardly write. I am very dependent on Verdana. I miss those days very much!


  1. Anonymous said...
    Chelpark(Turquoise Blue) was my brand too at school.. I loved it so much that even though people gave me the same public exam funds.. I went on to write my public exam with it..Your entire post looks like its been written on my behalf.. Be it carvings on Reynolds or the Cut Nib Calligraphy.. Great Post. !
    Anonymous said...
    Sunil said...
    Brilliant . Made me totally nostalgic. You know I remembered all your writings by various pens as I read on. And to my surprise I could remember better than I had expected myself to. Thanks for this post.
    Viji said...
    sooper maga..sakkatthagittu..I very well remember Chelpark turqoise blue..It was quite a fad then.
    Talking of calligraphy, I can never forget the atristry of MJ(Sunil) who used his spliced nib ink pens to draw great 'figures' in his botany and zoology practical notes (aka 'Records').With your black luxor, ur highly legible handwriting(inspired by NRM or someone?) were a part of the Marimallapas folklore then!
    Sunil said...
    hello viji, who be this?
    spill your ink..
    Pavan said...
    Wonderful post!. Each line is true on my part too. Thanks for taking me to those good old days.
    Anonymous said...
    ye neevu kud daga..yadva tadva beautiful agi barithira kandri..;) ....--Vinay
    alexanderino said...
    You, Sir, are my hero of the day, for you have mirrored my own life experiences down to a T!

    Bit of a pen fan since my childhood, now trying to earn enough to justify some of the more esoteric "writing instruments" out there ;-)
    Bit Hawk said...
    @anonymous 1
    Good that you liked the post! Is anonymous your first name?

    @anonymous 2

    When I was writing on calligraphy and I remembered good hand writing, you were one of the people that came to my mind!

    Thanks maga!

    Are you the Pavan who was my high school classmate?

    Naanu kudyalla maaraya, baree nostalgic aagidde ashte!

    Appreciate your comments, sir :)
    reddy said...
    Ended up at your post when trying to search for "reynolds fine carbure" as part of being nostaglic. It was a memory trip reading your blog. I am an M.D in the US currently (originally from Hyderabad, India) and most of the daily patient charts/ records and prescription are on the computer here. So much so, that we harly use a pen any more and the other thing about the "pen culture" here is the fact that they are every where for the taking/using and most of them of sub-par quality and of hardly any value! Totally different from the good old day when it was a prized possession!
    Sudhir Dhulipala said...
    Grt Post !!! Made me nostalgic as well !!! Though in my case I was always better with an Ink Pen........Donno why but I was always a fan of Reynolds brand and hated Cello Pens. Doesnt matter any more now as I hardly use a pen anymore...........But Pens are seriously a very remarkable gift to a person who realizes their value...........

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