Writing is an art that was admired by all people and by all cultures. So much so that there are phrases like well read man, man of letters etc. Phrases dealing with writing or reading what has been written. In the Telugu culture one of the celebrations is the time when the small child is fed solid food for the first time. This occasion called annnaprasana has an interesting side light. Article like money, knife, key chains and many other assorted articles are placed in front of the crawling child. The child crawls and catches any one article. The article that he catches it is said will decide the profession that the child will chose in the future.
Parents are very happy if the child chooses a pen as it means that he will be well read and that he might pick up a profession that has a pen in it. Pen has magical connotations for many. So such that it is said 'that pen is mightier than the sword'.
We as children were fascinated by ink pens. It was coming of age if one writes with a pen. The ink pen had many accessories like the nip, the ink bottle, the ink re-filler etc. Schools benches had small depression in which the ink bottles could be placed. Every student was also supposed to have a blotter and was supposed to keep it close by. Ink spilled on the text book could magically spread and make the entire text book unreadable (thanks to the cheap newsprint paper used in making the cheapo and affordable text books).
Of late writing with ink pen has become unfashionable. The cheap ball point pens have innumerable advantages. They are cheap, don’t dry if the nip is exposed to air without writing, can write faster and don not require frequent refilling.
On the flip side writing with a ball point pen spoils the handwriting as ball point pen writers tend to write faster. Of late writing itself has become a disappearing art. We don’t pen our thoughts any longer we key our thoughts in. The usage of computers, cell phones and the usage of e-mails and SMS has made the present generations become very bad writers.
Interestingly ink pen writing has become very fashionable. Recently In India we had limited editions pens sold at a whopping cost of over Rs 2,00,000/-. The pens had a very usual model - Mahatma Gandhi. The epitome of simplicity as a model for a high priced pen! The story of Monte Blanc the costliest pen is also worth remembering. The pen is so cherished that it becomes a family heirloom.
Psychologically too ink pen writer tend to be a different breed. They tend to intellectual, slow thinkers (one can’t write very fast with a ink pen) and people who are decision makers. The green ink pen signer in India is held in great regards. They are the gazetted officers. Officers whose signature is highly prized. They can sign the photo copy of a certificate thus making it authentic. That’s the power of a gazetted officer.