Nav Yug from ASA.
Ever since I did the YouTube video about ASA Nauka Pens, where I had shown a glimpse of a “Red pen” that Subramaniam has lovingly made for me, I have been inundated by requests to write about the pen, which seems to have set the imaginations of the community on fire. People want to know about the pen, to possess it, write with it, but more than anything else, learn everything possible about it.
When I called up Subramaniam to get more details about the pen, initially he was guarded as he had plans for a grand launch, but finally acquiesced when I told him about the genuine interest in the fraternity about the pen.
The back story is well and truly fascinating. The red pen is one from a new series that ASA pens is working on and is awaiting induction in the army of offerings from the workshop of Subramaniam Lakshminarayanan, AKA Subbu, AKA Anna. The grapevine has it that the all-weather, multi-terrain series will have the necessary firepower and the wherewithal to become the Main Battle Tank in the armies of a number of fountain pen fanatics. The induction, if sources in the ministry of “pens are mightier than swords” are to be believed, will happen faster than skirmishes in the border begin with desultory firing.
He is calling the series “Nav Yug” (New Age) not only because it is expected to herald one in the anachronistic world of fountain pen turning in India; but also, because these pens are being crafted using machines that are far superior to what was available with Subramaniam so far; because they represent a completely new (fresh, if you may) way of approaching the entire art of commercial pen turning. “From design through to the sourcing of the materials all the way to the final craftsmanship, everything has been reworked to fashion these Nav Yug pens” says Subramaniam. And yes, as I hold the pen in my hand, alternatively feasting my eyes on it and putting nib on paper to feel the pleasure shooting up from my fingers and exploding in a million blasts of happiness in my brain, I can feel what he is alluding to.
The pen is made of acrylic, that too of the best quality available and has a nice tactile feel. The weight is just right (if there is anything like that) and is perfectly balanced for long writing sessions, marathon sessions even. The Nav Yug has a very ergonomic section and fits snugly into any grip. For those in the know, the section is the same as the one that was fitted into the ASA Genius, which continues to be quiet a popular model with the pen lovers, both diehard fans of ASA pens and others.
It is “pocket friendly” in a literal sense, as it is about 140 mm capped and fits comfortably into the standard shirt pockets. Posted, it is 165 mm, which isn’t that unwieldy, aficionados who like their pens posted will agree.
Now for the biggest surprise. The Nav Yug will come fitted with a Kanwrite nib. While Subramaniam has neither confirmed nor denied this, sources in the ministry say that the converter that will be fitted into the pen as a standard supply, will also be a locally made. For Subramaniam, who has virtually created the Jowo-Schmidt combine, this seems like a huge departure from the mean and when I queried Subramaniam on the same, he just smiled and changed the topic, talking about the aesthetic appeal of the Nav Yug series.
Sources close to Subramaniam have however confirmed that the deeply nationalistic Subramaniam Lakshminarayanan, the spirit behind the Nav Yug, is terribly pained by the way the Indian fountain pen industry has been reduced to only turning, while most of the components are imported. “He wanted to go against the tide and create an Indian pen in the truest sense of the term” said one who obviously did not want to be identified. “Swadeshi is the new buzzword. Swadeshi in letter and spirit. And from this angle too, the name Nav Yug is significant. For, we believe that Indian pen turning should grow up to a position, where it moves beyond the mere hyperbole, beyond the cosmetic saffron and green stripes to celebrate our Nationhood and create pens that can truly touch Indian hearts, pens that can genuinely fill us with pride as users and as manufacturers – as a people, apart from winning hearts abroad”.
The Nav Yug, again Subramaniam has not confirmed this, is being planned in nine attractive colours and will be made available at a striking price point.
“Dada”, said Subramaniam, “you know just how seriously I take feedback from the users of ASA pens. Suffice to say, everything about the Nav Yug, from the colours to its design, built, components and pricing has been arrived at based on the inputs received from our loyal customers, people who have supported me through the thick and thin of life. Trust me, I will not squander the love that they have heaped upon me. Trust me, the Nav Yug will not disappoint them”.
It is words like these that separate the winners from the also-rans. God bless you Subbu Anna.
Watch this space.
For more information: https://asapens.in/eshop/index.php?route=common/home
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8UBpIktmXw