ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Embracing the Ink Pen Again

A daughter rediscovers her love for ink pens as she honours her father’s memories and hopes for a plastic-free future.

When I was growing up, the top ink pen brand was “Hero.” The nib (thin and small) and the different mechanism for filling ink (by placing the nib inside an inkpot and pressing the refill tube) in those fountain pens used to make my jaw drop. But, I had to struggle with my eyedropper pen (in which the ink is filled in the barrel using an eyedropper) until my dad decided to buy me a Hero pen. I sat behind him on his cycle as he pedalled off to Chitra Agencies in Luz, in Chennai. Holding the Hero pen with its golden coloured cap, opening and closing my pencil box a hundred times that evening to see it, all these memories are still fresh in my mind. (It’s a different thing that the pen didn’t fetch me more marks or improve my handwriting.)

When I look back, the true “hero” was my dad. The memories of the trips to buy stationery with him are visually etched on my mind. He took me to both big and small shops, and sometimes even got me rare items. When mechanical pencils were the rage and everyone had a 0.5 mm easily breakable lead pencil, I got a 2 mm lead pencil from a tiny shop in Sivaswamy Salai in the Mylapore area during one of our trips. Swaminathan Stores and Stella Stationers were our other local hangouts. Every day there would be a new need to go stationery shopping. One day for a world map, another day for a protractor, another for chart paper, and so on.

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Updated On : 20th Jun, 2021
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