By Siwalik Mishra
I loathe writing. It’s such a task to pen down my myriad thoughts. Although for some people, writing is an escape. Imagine how much the pen would actually be dreading to be written with if you are a frequent writer. Maybe it wanted a break from you. Or maybe it is dying to be written with (in my case and of several others like me), for in this digital age, we just use the Note app on our smart devices or the evergreen Microsoft Word to scribble. The world has stopped relating to pens. This piece is an ode to the nostalgia for the first generation millennials who might have been the last ones to ponder over this everyday tool we cannot do away with.
I strongly feel that pens have their own personalities. While some may come across as unassumingly docile, others have a strong disposition. Needless to mention, they contrast not just each other’s demeanor, but their appearances too. While there are quite a few cherubic doughboys, some wobbly and rickety as Christian Bale from The Machinist, others could be as beefed up as Stallone from Rocky.
For a visual reference, take for example, the Cello Gripper. A household name that hardly costs a few bucks that has a well chiseled body and a grip like no other. It’s almost like a man who every woman could bank on. And it does last long. Talking of endurance, there’s another contender in the heavyweight category that could go the extra mile when needed to. Indeed, it’s the Flair Writo-meter. While some refute its claims of being able to run a 10K marathon, it sure lasts longer than its contemporaries. Despite being an athlete, Mr. Writo-meter is suavely dressed and groomed to the likes of Mr. Bachchan. I’m sure Mr. Writo-meter has a baritone too. Sadly, not all pens last long. I’m talking of the Add Achiever’s Gel. It’s a classic, agreed hands down but while it promises smoothness, it’s just another glib talker. It does make a bold statement on paper, lasting only a day or two at max. It has the notoriety for being at the stand for a night only.
Pens have class too. Some pens are the impoverished lot from the countryside. I’m talking of the treasured yet belittled, Use & Throws. Sometimes I feel they must be farmers. While some survive, chances of others are bleak. People of all sorts use them and ultimately they are thrown away. Some even commit suicide for their honor. Despite being so blatantly violated, they have a peculiar fashion sense. All of them feel blue on the inside, whilst wearing clothes of all sorts of colors. Most of them like putting on striped mono-colored tees. Oh the irony of life.
There is a middle class of pens too. They promise prosperity, health and durability. They take the cogwheel of the country ahead. They are smooth, bold and work in all kinds of situations, come rains of July or the scorching April shine. The Reynolds Racer Gel and the Link Ocean Gel are few such pens. These pens are hit with the masses, and school-children love it too. For most of them, the first pens that they get after graduating from pencils are these middle class pens.
Finally, let’s get to the most interesting of all pens, the luxury pens. Parker and Mont Blanc, the former echoes of fortune while the latter sounds like a French croissant. As the names suggest, they live a life of affluence and excess and are used on rare accounts. Much alike rich people, they don’t get seen a lot. They rarely make entrances, but whenever they do, they come inside ribbon clad, velvety and sparkly gift wrappers. Most of the middle class comes in paper and plastic covers while these gentlemen come in glass clad limousine-esque covers. I imagine they smell like gift wrappers, for they are only seen at parties being gifted to some loved one who puts it away in the closet only to be discovered a few years later.
Oh and there is (was) one more kind of pen, the fountain pen. To put this instrument into perspective, we need to travel through time. But which millennial has the time? We got to rush. We got selfies to take, news to fake, memes to make & Snapchats to attend to. Google it buddies, it won’t take a sec.