Use the time constructively: I am working on the draft of my next book – Dr Sovan Roy

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Dr Sovan Roy, Scientist by profession and fountain pen lover by passion, author of the seminal work “Radhika Nath Saha – Unsung Hero of Indian Fountain pen” talks to Inked happiness about the virus, the lock-down it has forced on us and spells out ways in which the fountain pen community can make best use of the time they are forced indoors. Excerpts:

Inked Happiness. As one of the pillars of the fountain pen community, what is your message to the aficionados in these trying times when they are locked indoors with little more than hope and their fountain pens?

Dr Sovan Roy: First of all, I want to clarify that I am neither a pillar nor do I have capabilities to be a pillar of fountain pen community as my knowledge regarding technical details of the fountain pen is limited. 

Dr Sovan Roy
Dr Sovan Roy – making a point.

My message to the community is to capitalise this unprecedented lock down period, rather holiday, to make creative contributions or at least try to document your collections as far as possible so that information bank can be enriched. Please don’t panic. In fact, there is no reason to panic. I have talked to the grand-daughter of the father of Indian Fountain Pen Dr R. N. Saha, day before yesterday. She is Ms Shanta Rani Vyas. She stays at London and is in her 70’s. She is safe and happily locked up at her home although the condition of Britain is very fragile due to Covid 19 invasion. Although the virulence of the virus is exceptionally high, yet the Indian mutated stain appears to be comparatively weak. Further, in India and many other tropical nations we live simultaneously with Malaria and Dengue fever at by and large near epidemic or sometimes sporadic conditions. We have learnt to live with it. All of us know what to do. Please abide by the health instructions given by the Govt. 

Inked Happiness. How can fountain pen lovers better utilise the lock-down to care for their loved pens? Any tip?

Dr Sovan Roy: Those who have a big collection of fountain pens, they must give a proper clean water bath to all their belongings at least once in a year. Use liquid soap to clean up infectious materials on these pens if any. Soap is the best thing combining with water for viral particle cleaning. No need of sanitiser or alcohol. Open up all the parts separately for each pen in order to avoid difficulties to reassemble knocked down parts. Mixing up parts may create puzzling situation at the end. 

Dr Sovan Roy at the book signing ceremony

Inked Happiness. Three words from you that will help us all keep the spirits high, to meet on the other side of the pandemic?

Dr Sovan Roy: In 1930s Infectious bronchitis virus was discovered. This was the first coronavirus discovered. In fact, we do have many other types of coronavirus with us in the biological world. Many are not harmful. Many are associated with respiratory disorders. Covid 19 is the latest type of coronavirus which appears to be undergoing mutations very fast. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) – CoV is another type that caused death of more than 700 people in 2003. When any such disease of one nation passes on to other nations crossing the border mostly through hosts or other vectors, it is called a pandemic. The disease within the nation may be scattered, means sporadic at places,  or epidemic. In the history of science there has been a number of pandemic events prior to discovery of antibiotics. In most of the cases by and large 30 to 60 per cent of the global population was lost. But this is the age of science. Medical science is extremely developed. I believe that soon we shall see light at the end of the dark tunnel. Post lock down period management also has a great importance. Soon after lock down period is over, people shall be out on road. Maintain physical distance as far as possible. Use mask and gloves. Don’t touch your face and mouth prior to hand cleaning with soap and water. Avoid taking food not prepared at your home at least for some period. If u are compelled to take food outside then try to take fresh boiled and fresh hot food. I feel post lock down period management deserves equal importance to lock down period management. Once the human chain is broken, the virus may gradually loose significance. However, more scientific studies are needed before ultimate conclusion. Finally, there is no logical reason to concentrate on Covid 19 deaths and getting panicked. It’s percentage is very low. Our Union and State Governments are doing exceptionally good job. There may be many other reasons of death. 

As of now you may be interested to know what am I doing. Going to rooftop early morning and evening for exercise. As the availability is under constraints, eating less and passionately thinking of reducing weight and ‘age’ once the lock down period is over; and yes, last but not the least, the first draft of my next book is going to be ready by this time. 

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