Long back in a distant time when I was in primary school, we kids were only allowed to write with pencils. We would see our teachers and parents use Pens to write, we could only dream that one day when we will be older we can use pens and be more like them, the adults. So when I reached fifth standard, at the start of the school session it was announced that the students from fifth standard onwards will use pens to write. After hearing this rule we felt like James Bond as if we’ve got the infamous “License to kill”.
Everybody was excited and rapturous but among this exhilaration there was a feeling of concern as the freedom and security that we had of using an eraser would be gone, writing with pen was like walking on fire, one mistake and you’ll have to either over-write above it or make a cut all over. It was a big deal keeping your notebooks neat and clean. Now we truly understood what it meant when Peter Parker (Spider man)’s uncle Ben said,” With great power comes great responsibility.”
All the kids got busy discussing and making plans about what kind of pen and of which brands they would buy, what colored ink they are going to use and how it would feel to write with the forbidden red ink with which teachers dwelled in to the realm of miserable discourse. The main altercation was whether you will become a Gel pen user or a Ball (dot) pen user. Finally the kids who did not give a rat’s tail to how their hand-writing looks also known as the hippies of the class started using ball pens and the uber-citizens of the class who would consider any other thing that they don’t use as untouchable, used gel pens.
Everything was fine until one day my friend brings a special something to the school. He entered the classroom, came and sat beside me. Before I could ask what is up with him, he opened his bag and handed a maroon colored pen to me. It was a Fountain pen (Ink pen)! Before this I had only heard about these or had only seen them on television. Now one was in my hand. It was the most interesting and elegant thing I had ever seen. Every line, cut or curve on that pen spoke to me as if we were bound together in a cosmic sense. My friend asked me to go ahead and try writing with it, afraid that I might break it, I carefully wrote my name on the back of my notebook. The magic struck and I was spell bound!
As a result I wanted one for myself, own this feeling that I just had, and make it mine. Seeing my enthusiasm my friend promised to get me the same pen the next day, till then he allowed me to borrow his. Did my classwork, my homework and when I had nothing to write, went and started making signatures at the back of a notebook with it. As promised my friend gave me a brand new fountain pen and I returned his the next day. But something was not right! The pen looked the same in all its respects but when I started writing with it something was amiss. The connection that I had, it was not there! I started figuring out things that might be different, trying everything that could help make the same connection that I had with my friend’s with this new pen.
With each moment that passed and my efforts failing, the darkness dawned upon me. The sheer attraction of that mysterious connection with my friend’s pen made me panic. During the recess when my friend was away, I switched the pens. I felt a sudden rush through my head and everything went silent for a while. I had got what I wanted. There was a strange satisfaction in the crime that was committed.
Being content, I went to bed but couldn’t sleep and somehow inside my head the two Paresh Rawals from Andaz Apna Apna started arguing and convincing me who the real Teja is? The honest Paresh Rawal won and I understood what I had to do but still no sleep. I was so guilt ridden till the morning that any sound that would come out of my mouth, turned into a snivel half way through. After reaching school, I searched for my friend frantically thinking of ways how I would tell him that I had betrayed him and our friendship by doing this heinous deed. I found him sitting at our desk and told him everything. Anticipating what he might say or do, I was going bonkers. I wasn’t this scared even when the teachers used to tell marks and show test papers. He just looked at me and said,” Let us play a match of Pen Fight and whichever pen wins, I’ll take that one.”
Just like that,this fountain pen became my first instrument. But what did this instrument do?