Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the death of heroes, pilots and fountains

the epitaph reads :

'May the memories never fade away'

I know I should have titled something in the lines of 'death of the ink pen' but then...

Remember those days? when the favorite April fool prank was to throw ink at the back of someone else's shirt, and the partner-in-crime was none other than our beloved ink pen.

Pardon my ignorance, but I really do not know what kids these days use for writing in school.Perhaps they are learning the alphabet on the computer, ending the era of slates,slate pencils (which ,among other things, used to be quite yummy to eat),pencils and pens.

I remember the transition from pencil to the ink pen and the first ink pen I had - it was a beautiful grey and the nib was golden in color.
Ink-filling was a ritual, no less in importance than the daily puja,
and was done under the strict supervision of my mom; dip the ink filler carefully into the royal blue Bril inkpot, fill the pen and shut it tightly so that it doesn't leak, ensuring that there are no filthy ink stains on our stark white uniforms.
My initial days of learning the written word were filled with wonder as I saw the blue ink spread among the 'ruled' notebooks. Ah! and the joys of getting one of those pink/red ink remarks or an occasional 'Very Good' by the teacher, is beyond the comprehension of the adult world.

now we are coming to a point of digression(skip this part if you are someone who hates digressions) - I always was in love with my handwriting - the girlish-cursive style which speaks about the all-girls-convent-education at the first glimpse of it.Too bad, I do not get enough opportunities to flaunt it. My group of friends were always inventing ways of dotting the 'i's and curving the 'g's or 'y's , not to mention a beautifully calligraphed S, A and D.The writing styles would develop a dialect of their own and we could identify the name of the schools looking at the handwriting;and no, we were not into graphology.(end of 'no-use-to-anyone-except-self' digression)

Slowly the ballpoint pen made inroads into our school-bags and without even putting up a fight, the ink-pen seemed to have died a slow death.
But then if writing is itself slowly fading away, the days of the ink pen are almost buried.
It wouldn't surprise me if sometime in the near future, we start using electronic notebooks and our handwritten notes can be easily transferred on to a Word document.
Add a few hundred years more and the antique ink pens would be on display in museums;
a thousand years and they would become fossiled remnants of the era of handwriting.