Power of Pen

Ashok Sharma

The curious mind of man invented various means to record his observations and experiences.As time progressed, alphabets of various languages came into existence and literature , was produced.One field on which the teachers would lay thrust was the art of writing beautifully and they would ensure that their students would master the art of flowing handwriting.So the students were required to write with a reed kalam on wooden plank or takhti for as long as the first five years in the early years to master the art of calligraphy. They would invariably had to write something on their takhtis everyday and show it to the teacher to get appreciation as’good’.Contrary to all this, children these days are introduced to phones, computers, laptops as even before they are able to learn to speak clearly.As students reached the sixth class, they were allowed to use pen holders into which nibs could be inserted and students had to dip their pens into inkpot to write on their notebooks having four lines.It was followed by fountain pen which could hold ink but it too had one disadvantage.While refilling the pen, sometimes the ink would spoil the hands or smudge the paper .The spilled ink would, then be wiped out with a handkerchief or a piece of cloth.The students were required to write cursive and fluent exercises, often on four lined pages for days and weeks with the result that as time passed,most of the students developed flowing handwriting with a distinctiveness of their own having proper length and space between the letters and the words.Then came the ball point pens and gel pens which didnot require any bottle of ink for their use .So many people gravitated towards these pens for writing exercises or signing documents.One of the advantages of the ball point pens and gel pens is that they could be thrown out after use.When one writes on paper, there is something and personal comforting the mind and the soul. Thus, putting pen to the paper is a satisfying experience for the writer.One feels elated and uplifted to see his good handwriting.Writing letters in good and flowing handwriting using words pregnant with meaning was what every young man would  aspire to impress his beloved and friends.At school,calligraphy competitions used to be organised frequently and those who wrote beautifully were honoured and profusely appreciated.But now a days, both young and the old are so busy in their phones, ipads, desktops/laptops that they have little time and inclination to write in ink.Most people don’t take pride in owning pens of internationally famous brands.They simply type messages on the phone and post them on the social sites.
But it must be remememberd that pen is not going to lose its importance.Taking time to write letters or invitation using a pen is relaxing and tactile process.With e-mail and text becoming the primary source of communication tool but emails may get overlooked or deleted without much thought but a well and beautifully written letter itself has power to demonstrate love, care, effort and time it took for the composer to write it.There is something in the act of pouring thoughts out on paper, the scritch-scratch of the fountain pen and the romantic blue, black, blue-black or green ink that covers the paper, which is quite personal.The intimate act of sitting down to write a letter to a friend as opposed to the gesture of sending an email, a text or a tweet transfers the communication into a more thoughtful and meticulous enterprise.The act of writing itself is cathartic and it requires a hard work to communicate and wrestle with ideas to form letters with greater attention to uniformity in look, shape, height etc of letters to  convey ideas.But in the wake of modern technology and texting of messages and emails, many people don’t use pen for purposes other than putting down their signatures on documents and elsewhere.But it must be remembered that pen is not going to lose its relevance in the times to come.Shorthand came and became obsolete; type writers met the same fate, similar may be the fate of desktops and laptops in the years to come as these gadgets may be replaced by some more advanced technological inventions but pen will continue to rule the world and prove that it is more powerful than all these things.All the people should  cultivate the habit of writing letters and messages in ink.Parents too should encourage their children to write’birthday’wishes and ‘thanks’ notes in flowing handwriting. We should also wish our relatives and friends by writing handwritten letters as sending a handwritten note conveys much more closeness than a typed one on the social sites can. It simply means sending a part of yourself to your friend or relatives.