Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dude, where's the ink???

It's a funny and yet sad way how things change so rapidly. I was in a mall in Bangalore the other day, picking up some essentials. I was passing by the stationary section, and a rather large stationary section it was, with its zillions of rolls of coloured paper, filing equipment, and the usual assorted collection of random stuff which somehow makes everybody want to walk through the area even if they are perfectly satisfied stationary-wise in life. I am still quite the old world types in some aspects, and I love my fountain pens, especially a older than a decade and a half Lamy beauty which still writes smoother than any darn piece of writing equipment I have had. I needed some ink, having left my campus ink pot in my room while leaving, not wanting to take a chance of turning everything that I own to a spectacular shade of blue.

And so I ambled along to the sales guy who was manning the place and asked where I could find some ink, wondering whether I should continue with Camel or splurge on Parker or try something more exotic, and whether I should finally succumb to my long-unfulfilled ambition of writing with green ink, when I got a stare and a 'what??' look. Ink, I repeated, for a fountain pen. 'Sorry sir, but we do not stock ink', was his bemused reply. I was a tad confused, for I had just seen a row of shiny, expensive Parker fountain pens. 'The stuff that goes with these, you know,' I tried explaining, knowing that I was growing old and couldn't expect the newer generations to quite follow what I was talking about so easily. 'Yes sir, but nobody buys that, so we don't stock it', he replied with impeccable logic. 'So what do the folks who buy these -pointing to the offending pens in question- do with them?' Anyway, I knew it was a fast-losing battle, and I walked out of the store a dejected man. Really? No fountain pens? Does nobody find the bother of putting that messy stuff into those thingies worth the simple joy of the smoothest way man can write? Bloody hell, the moment I get a little bit of extra dough, I am stocking up on enough ink to last me for the rest of my life. And take my Lamy with me to the grave. Baaaah, to all you ball-pen scribblers!

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