The fountain pen lovers of Bangladesh have just unveiled their website. The hobby of pen collecting is not only alive and well on the other side of the border, but is actually throbbing with life. Inked happiness caught up with the aficionados from “Opar Bangla” and is delightfully stunned by the activities. Excerpts:
Inked Happiness: How did the idea of the club and then the website for pen lovers start? How big is the community of fountain pen lovers in Bangladesh? How are you coming together as hobbyists? How do you feel you can spread awareness and attract more people in Bangladesh into your fold as aficionados?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: At the beginning, we were just a small group of hobbyists. We knew each other well, we discussed about our hobby, and then we happened to know new young hobbyists through social media and naturally the urge to introduce them to our existing collectors and hobbyists was felt. As we hobbyists have questions, we need a platform to communicate with each other. Thus, the idea of a Fountain Pen Collectors Community arose. Within 2 years since then, we are now a big family of more than 3000 serious hobbyists. As a matter of fact, this hobby has been a great leveller and there are all sorts within our ranks – beginners, experienced and serious collectors. We have government officials, army officers, legal eagles, barristers, businessmen, doctors as well as youngsters – even school going kids. Everyone is an equal contributor to this beautiful hobby and the platform provides everyone with equal footage. This is a “re-evolution” of fountain pens in Bangladesh.
What is most heartening is that our younger generation is so much into this hobby. Here, we call fountain pen collecting a “Gentlemen’s hobby” and our hope is to spread this ‘Gentlemanship’ to our young ones even more aggressively.
Inked Happiness: What plans do you have to take the hobby of fountain pen collecting forward in Bangladesh? What are you doing towards this end?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: We have plans to organise a National Pen Show in this year of 2020. If the Corona situation improves, God helps us. We would also like to continue the Handwriting competition and make it into an annual event. The first one was a huge success and we are naturally extremely excited. We also have plans to start a Pen Magazine in Bangladesh. We believe all these things will help us in spreading this hobby to more people.
Inked Happiness: You mentioned just concluding a very successful hand writing competition – how was the response? How many entries were received? Who were the judges? What has been the feeling of the participants?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: The Hand writing competition was a really successful event. People responded with so much love that we were literally overwhelmed. We have received about seventy entries, digitally, which was a new concept in Bangladesh. But our hobbyists were excited and it was their excitement that really got things going.
One of Bangladesh’s prominent collectors a moving spirit behind the movement, Shameem Mozumder was the judge along with Tanvir Hussain, a really great calligrapher and collector, and Maroof Rana, who too is a renowned calligrapher and pen collector.
Inked Happiness: From your vantage point, do you see the demand for the fountain pen reviving globally in general and in Bangladesh in particular? Are more people picking up the “jhorna kolom”? Why? Is it a protest against the digital damnation of our lives? Or is it just another fad, a flash in the pan?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: We can see the demand is clearly rising. Fountain pens are becoming more popular by the day. Even the people who thought that the days of the fountain pen are long gone, are coming back and it is not because of ant fashion or fad only. But it is for love. Ballpoint pens cannot give you that kind of love: fountain pens are not just mere pens, they are companions for life! Just like in USA, people have an emotional connection with their cars, we have a connection with our fountain pens. People enjoy this connection, this is a connection between the past, the present and the future. Hobbyists often have a soft corner for their parent’s or even grandparent’s old fountain pens, and they want to pass their beloved pens to the next generation.
Inked Happiness: What are you doing, as a community of fountain pen lovers to highlight the rich legacy of both fountain pen and ink in Bangladesh? Sulekha for example had its origins in Rajshahi in Bangladesh. What were the other major fountain pen brands before after the formation of Bangladesh that we fountain pen lovers from around the world should know about?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: We are keenly interested to make people aware of the rich history of fountain pens and inks in Bangladesh. We have plans to start a pen magazine here, which we believe will help us tell these stories to our young ones.
Inked Happiness: What are the major problems faced by fountain pen collectors / hobbyists / aficionados in Bangladesh? What can the greater community of fountain pen lovers do to assist you in your quest for the fountain pen?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: We think, the availability of good pens and inks will solve most of the problems. Also, sharing of knowledge about inks, papers and pens will assist us greatly.
Inked Happiness: How acquainted are you with Indian fountain pens? How do you rate them as collectables? As writing implements for daily use?
Fountain Pens Bangladesh: We are acquainted with some Indian Fountain pens. We find that Lotus, and Kanwrite pens are always very attractive. Our hobbyists are very much interested to collect beautiful Indian Fountain pens. Kanwrite nibs are famous for their buttery smoothness and have a very good following here.
For More information visit: http://fountainpensbangladesh.com/