Kolkata celebrates PelikanHubs, 2018
Ask any average quizzer what is special about the date September 21st and chances are that the answer will refer to the year 1792 when the National Convention had declared France a Republic by abolishing the absolute monarchy. Some may even mention the year 1949, when the Republic of China was established. The day may also be recalled by some as the one in 1937, when Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published. The answers will be routine, nonchalant replies by bright minds crammed with an exceptional amount of knowledge.
But ask a lover of fountain pens and the obvious excitement that the date means will come to the fore. The eyes will light up in anticipation or become misty with nostalgia; the voices will tremble with excitement; the ink of life will flow in all its regal majesty – for September 21st is this year’s PelikanHubs Day. It is the day when Pelikan aficionados meet around the world to celebrate their fascination and love for fine writing instruments. Last year in India alone such hubs were organised in seven cities, Kolkata included. Globally, there were 145 individual Hub locations spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants.
Pelikan’s lovers, for sharing their inked-happiness, sign up in the Pelikan website and based on their response the cities where hubs are slated to be held are selected. Each event also has a Hub Master, who takes care of the organising of the event. There is nothing better than a hobby shared, and lovers meet, mingle and tank up.
The Kolkata Hub was organised in the Senator in Camac Street, which witnessed a spirited participation by 34 pen-thusiasts. The number of young people who had come from all parts of the city to celebrate their love for fine writing instruments was exceptionally noticeable. The credit of organising such an emotionally charged event, to a very great extent, goes to Samit Dutta, the Hub Master who left no stones un turned to ensure that the ink kept flowing.
The star attraction off-course was Yousuf Mansoor – the ultimate fountain pen geek. A collector, restorer, historian and raconteur of everything that is related to fountain pens, he regaled the audience not only about Pelikan but also about pen collecting in general and the need to take the noble mission forward.
ASA pens, Constellations88, Lotus Pens had sent giveaways for the city’s pen lovers while Krishna pens had sent their newly launched inks to be sampled.
Pelikan, which traces its history back to 1832 when chemist Carl Hornemann founded his own colour and ink factory in Hanover Germany, is no ordinary pen maker. A gold-plated, iridium tipped nib that is the hallmark of craftsmanship and the green striped sleeve (of the model 400 launched in 1950 and later baptised Souverän) are not only icons in their own right, but also command the admiration of a dedicated global fan following, whose passion for the Pelikan (depicted by a pelican with its four chicks, which is one of the oldest trademark registrations in Germany) has to be witnessed first-hand, to be believed.
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