Usually, when I come across something termed as ”Vintage” few questions often cross my hollow sphere ..
‘When something turns from being normal to Vintage?’ ..’Is there an association with time period (as in alcohol) and if yes then where is the threshold, when one could declare something as Vintage?’ ‘is it to do with the demand/supply and economics of Scale?’ I had my share of brief encounters with the subject Economics but am pretty sure that this topic was never taught…
At a very small age, I realized that vintage is not something that would be bought or appreciated in the family and then, I grew up.. I left home in search of career & direction and came back after a long-span of time (10 years to be precise).
Here comes the main plot, the thing which made me write this blog… “the wardrobe“… which stood right there in my room for these ten long years. As I came back, I bought my whole stuff with me. And to get space for my gizmos and all those stupid looking things, I was required to clear the magic lamp of old memories (my wardrobe).
”Mom, haven’t anyone bothered to check my room, for all these years?’‘ I yelled and waited for a response… maybe she figured out I was acting stupid and searching for an excuse to enter into an argument with her, to get some sort of help from her. And post standing my ground for a while, I realized that no-one is paying any heed to my yelling. I was left with no other choice but to clean the wardrobe, alone.
Thank God!! I cleaned that wardrobe alone …Old comic books, class 9th notebook with a sticker on the cover, undelivered love letters, old greeting cards, ‘once upon a time’ favorite toys, old rustic key-chain with bicycle keys.. this wardrobe kept on bringing that nostalgic feel shelf by shelf.
And now, I was not sure what to do.. Shall I throw the old stuff away and break the bridge from where sweet memories seep in? If not, then where shall I keep those stupid looking gizmos? I was flipping coins ( to get on to a decision) when it slipped and ‘clunked’ with some metal.
Wow!! a fountain Pen!! When was the last time I used this? Is it still working? I should fill it up & see if it is…
As a pro I planned to prepare a list of things required to make the fountain pen work. It always feels good to plan and pen down tasks. What feels better is to keep that paper aside and sleep…
So after many hours of sleep and feeling better about myself, I came up with the final version of ‘things required to make the fountain pen work’…
one ink pot
one golden tip
practice to hold the pen to exert correct amount of pressure for the nib to work
inspiration to write
Some fake stories to boast among friends
I vowed to my fountain pen that will use that ‘stare the laptop with blank face‘ time in writing with the pen.
It was time to clean the oldie .. first the outer metal body.. then cleansing from the inside.. later removal of that bit of rust accumulated on the golden tip.. and Voila!! it was done.. the most powerful weapon meant for human was there in my room.. and its aura was so profound that all the Ball Pens, Roller pens, Pencil, Eraser, Pencil Sharper, Laptop, Television and my stupid looking gizmos ran from that very space!! And there was me… dazzled by its pure awesomeness, trying to act normal. The best I came up with is to hold the pen in the left hand and shout.. by the power of greyskull
Later in the evening … me and the pen was heading towards the market. We were best buddies already! …and we didn’t stop, till we reached the book stall.
I want one ink pot, blue to be precise and a nib.. The declaration came .. but something went wrong.. the shopkeeper was looking puzzled as if I have asked him his wife’s mobile number…
What did you said? An Ink pot and spare nib? I don’t have any of them in my shop and you will not find them anywhere in this area!!
May I ask, why ?
Because nobody uses ink pen now a days .. I am amazed that you are asking for it .. their market shrunk some 8-10 years back…
I held the pen tightly, trying to give some sort of comfort to ‘it’ from his harsh words but the reality hit me hard… The shopkeeper was probably right in his saying .. this is new India where people want fast service, fast results, fast motors and fast relationships .. I was standing right in the middle of ‘multitasking generation’.. Here tablets are giving tough competition to mobile phones, who already are in a fight with laptops which defeated desktops comprehensively, few years back. Here, people don’t care about a fountain pen.. They already moved on, as I did till the time I was required to clear that wardrobe..
But we were not ready to believe that crazy shopkeeper’s word! He got absolutely no understanding of the market.. there must be people like me out there who love to write and that too with the most powerful weapon! And straight away both were headed towards the next books cum stationery shop..
No.. we don’t have what you are asking …
Ink Pen hahaha.. you are the first person to ask for it in 5 years …
They are no more the choice of the common Indian as now are expensive and still messy..
No we don’t have that but why don’t you try this latest ball pen.. it got a free refill too!!
Let me check.. and there I stood praying as the one of the last stationary shopkeepers in my area, went deep down in a dark room…
I have two ink bottles with me ..fountain blue and red ..which one do you want?… I was overwhelmed by his question, trying hard to say something..
Blue would do .. do you also have a spare nib for this pen?
Ahh, this pen must be 7-8 years old .. we don’t keep stock for ink pens now-a-days. There was a time when we used to.. you are lucky that I had the ink bottles .. although,they too are at-least 3 years old.. but they will do the job.. I knew he was right when he mentioned me being ‘lucky’…
I brought the pen home and straight away uncapped the ink bottle.. the outer cover reads ‘Manufactured in ’06 .. and as soon as we removed the cap, a magical blue concoction in the bottle looked up to us as if asking ‘what took you so long’…
Now, the pen was loaded with ink and we were all ready to fire away the first words of the many to come scribbles..
We both tried hard for 10 minutes but the blank paper was as blank as my answers for ‘why this pen is not working’ .. is the nib okay? should I clean the pen again? Or is the case is that this pen was left because it was not working in the first place? I decided to start with the cleansing…
The pen was cleaned and filled with fresh ink, again. This time, a faint trail of ink came out of the split ends of the metallic point..
Later, the faint trails gained momentum and now the pen was producing what we all know as writing.. but often the hiccups surfaced where my beloved ink pen just refused to obey the hand strokes … making my belief stronger that it needs a new nib. I was even aware of the fact that the nearby stationary shops will not come to my rescue.
So, I came up with two plans .. plan A and plan B!
Plan A: Figure out more stationary shops in the vicinity or increase the size of the vicinity and then figure out more stationary shops
Plan B: Try Googling for nibs.. after all they are masters at searching and all I needed was an expert on the case…
Sadly, both plans bombed on my face.. increasing vicinity doesn’t produced any unfamiliar reactions and Google asked/advised me to go for a new ink pen! It even got few tempting offers for me… like this one: “Go for a new fountain pen.. get cartridges and an autographed postcard of a famous Bollywood celebrity”… the offer was good but I guess that the temptation to make the oldie work, was pretty strong.
I must mention here that the popularity of the oldie increased in my friend circle and I was more than happy to receive those compliments.
wow, ink pen!!
I have not seen many people using ink pens nowadays!!
Sophisticated people write with an ink pen… it talks volumes of your personality
Make it work or give me another pen..
Yes…as the compliments grew so as the complaints.. but hey I am not complaining for anything …The pen was thoughtful enough not to leak on me and I am grateful to it, for that.
For the golden tip I checked three different states in India (not exaggerating) but never found what I was looking for.. however discovered that reactions of shopkeepers were exactly the same, throughout!!
One fine evening while I was coming back home, my motorbike fuel meter touched the ‘E’ sign & forced me to visit the nearby petrol pump. It was one deserted pump as there were two customers against four gasoline dispensing pumps. One of the two customers was me and another one was busy getting his car filled. Post getting my bike’s tank filled, I realized that the other vehicle was ‘Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost’.
Straight away, I went up to the man and congratulated him for the vintage he was driving. And at the same time, petrol pump attendant came with the credit card slip to have my ‘autograph’ on it. Post returning the slip to the attendant and keeping my copy, I turned to the gentlemen to have some chatter… and before I could say anything, he said “hey is that what I think it is..Now it is my turn to congratulate you for owning this vintage”
There, he was mentioning my pen in his lines…