Ebony and Ivory … in perfect harmony

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Ebony and Ivory – perfect harmony from ASA pens

Ebony and Ivory – the Paul McCartney – Stevie Wonder duet had hit the charts when I was in the final year of school, way back in 1982. Naturally, the lilting tune and the catchy phrasing of the song had turned me, like most of my friends, into a convert. It was much later that I really comprehended the true purport of the seemingly simple lyrics.

Harmony – be that of caste, creed, religion or colour – is a prerequisite for happiness, for peace, for progress … of being. And, as the days pass and I see the increasing discord all around me, somehow the melody of the song and McCartney’s immortal words keep coming back to haunt me:

“We know that people are the same wherever we go

There is good and bad in everyone

We learn to live, we learn to give

Each other what we need to survive together alive

Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony

Side by side on my piano keyboard, why don’t we?”

The question remains unanswered in my heart till date.

The meaningless violence, and the divisiveness, and the pettiness to which we have descended pains me. Just the way the fact that “Ebony and Ivory” was banned in South Africa during the Apartheid era had pained me. But there is also hope that everything that the song stands for will triumph just the way it had, when Stevie Wonder had accepted his 1984 Academy Award for Best Original Song in the name of Nelson Mandela. There is hope in my heart yet, and in the pen that I now hold in my hand, literally, as I write this piece.

It is the ASA three in One (eyedropper, cartridge, converter) Rainbow – in the full splendour of Ebony and Ivory. This masterpiece from ASA is made of acrylic and is literally handcrafted to ensure a place in any chart, if the fountain pen industry were ever to do a Ranking.

The ASA Rainbow (read a detailed review here) is fitted with a polished steel nib of German make (Schmidt FH341) and comes in various options (Fine, Medium and Bold). Mine is a F and also came fitted with a K5 converter from Schmidt . Both nib and converter being globally acknowledged industry standards, obviates the necessity of singing the paeans that are otherwise warranted. Suffice to say, the ink filling is a breeze and writing is such a pleasure that one is tempted to call ASA over and over again to play the other Stevie Wonder classic “I just called to say…”

The ASA Rainbow is a classic cigar shaped pen – though a flat top with matching bottom version is also available. The weight of the pen is decently balanced and even when it is fully inked, it is fairly light in the hand. Same holds good when the pen is posted, though I seldom post my pens while writing. The gripping section too is comfortably crafted. The only embellishment is a steel clip which in some inexplicable manner, accentuates the bold statement that the ebony and ivory blotches on the acrylic body make.

In the final analysis? The ASA Rainbow, completely handmade, is stuff that legends are made of – like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder coming together, like Ebony & Ivory living together in perfect harmony on my keyboard and my ASA Rainbow saving my thoughts on paper for whatever they are worth!

ASA Rainbow (Ebony & Ivory) Specifications-

Pen Length (Capped) 135mm
Pen Length (Un-capped) 100 mm (Excl Nib)
Pen Length (Un-capped) 120 mm (Incl Nib)
Section Length 25 mm
Cap Length 65 mm
Cap Dia 16 mm
Barrel Dia 14 mm
Section Dia 12 mm avg.

For More information visit the ASA website:





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