Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving

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Maanjitender Sethi setting up a precedent for others to follow.

It all began with a mail:

Good Morning Mr Ganguly,

I have a few fountain pens which I don’t use and want to give them away. They are very low-cost pens. 

Honestly, I have not been able to find out someone who would use them in my personal circles. 

Maanjitender Sethi

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving

Now to me, and many others, it has never been about the gift of the lover as much as it has been about the love of the giver. Naturally, I mailed back my eagerness to accept any fountain pen that he may want to remove from his collection so that in turn, I may hand them over to the fountain pen fanatics who may want to expand and enrich their collections.

Maanjitender Sethi kept his word and the packet came in a jiffy, by which time we had created a rough list of the pen lovers who would receive the pens. A Pen Meet cum Giveaway was planned and needless to say, the excitement was palpable among those who had been selected. Amitava Mukherjee, the big dada of fountain pen collectors in these parts of the world, who organised the meet single handed, deserves the first round of applause.

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving
Sagnik Bhaduri and Dr Anirban Ghosh

Among those who attended the meet were Sagnik Bhaduri, still in school, but as much a fountain pen connoisseur as any other. Dr Anirban Ghosh, a dentist by profession who still writes his prescriptions using only fountain pens that are made in India and is an aficionado who has focussed his attention on Vintage Indians was also present. Subhojit Nandi, another fountain pen loving soul had not only attended the meet but had also brought some of his most loved fountain pens, which he magnanimously allowed the other pen lovers to caress and test. Arindam Bose an up-and-coming artist and Anushka Debnatha student of English, both recently bitten by the fountain pen bug were present, a little ill at ease in the beginning, which eased away, as the meet progressed.

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving
Dr Anirban Ghosh and his Camlin Cute

Subhojit Nandi summed it all up succinctly as he pointed out how a group of people, who otherwise did not know each other had assembled, to accept gifts from someone who did not know them either, attributing the beauty of the gesture of Maanjitender Sethi to the passion for the fountain pain and expressing his wonder at the fountain pen’s ability to create such lasting bonds. Subhojit raised the cheer to which all joined in, to thank their benefactor Maanjitender Sethi and all those who had come from different parts of the city to attend the meet.

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving
Amitava Mukherjee

The talk inevitably veered towards the relaunch of Sulekha inks whose factory is located, coincidentally just a few minutes from where the meet was being held. On a whim a call was made Kaushik Maitra, the Managing Director of Sulekha, who on hearing about the meet expressed his desire to join and exchange ideas with the assembled pen and ink lovers. The thrill of the prospect of having him was like an unexpected gift, which was increased manifold when he reached the venue, that too bearing a bottle of Sulekha ink for each of the afficionados who were present!

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving
Subhojit Nandi, Anushka Debnath and Arindam Bose

Kaushik Maitra took time to address all the fountain pen and ink related queries that the pen lovers had and talked at length about Sulekha’s plans for the future – for the ink as well as the community of fountain Pen users, one that is slowly but surely growing both in numbers and in visibility. He expressed his happiness in the company of such a passionate group of young people and requested all to convey his good wishes to Maanjitender Sethi whose initial gesture had made the meeting possible.

Dr Anirban Ghosh broached the topic of formalising the proceedings by forming a group for organising more such meets in the future, towards which Kaushik Maitra promised unstinted support and blessings from Sulekha. The other pen lovers who were present were also very enthusiastic about the idea and decided to give the onerous task of completing the initial formalities to Amitava Mukherjee and Dr Anirban Ghosh.

Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving
Kaushik Maitra explaining the finer nuances of Sulekha inks

However, there was more in store for the assembled pen lovers, as quite by chance walked in Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, veteran fountain lover and collector who was there on some personal business. The assembled youngsters, when Amitava Mukherjee identified the legendary collector to them, swarmed around him and subjected him to a number of questions which he answered to their heart’s delight.

“This I guess, is what is the joy of fountain pen collecting” said Dr Anirban Ghosh, “where the legends like Kaushik Maitra and Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya do not think twice before mingling with us novices, where collectors like Maanjitender Sethi open up his treasure chests for the young to possess their dream pens, where new friendships are forged, not by fire but by inks that are indelible. May our tribe increase”.

All I can say is Amen.

Anushka Debnath with the inks of her choice
 

8 Replies to “Maanjitender Sethi a Pen meet and the spirit of giving”

  1. I am extremely happy to attend the meet through my son Sagnik.I am thankful to Amitabh for keeping Sagnik in mind. It keeps me elated to find such youngstars who are involved ,dedicated to a wonderful passion which is missing now a days instead of getting subdued to social sites or cacophony musics and so on. The gracious presence of Shri Chawm Ganguly who was the fulcrum of the entire meet as well Shri Kaushik Maitra was definitely a big status quo of this meet. And last but not the least the chaste English of Sri Ganguly depicting the entire meet is another take away for me.

     
  2. Dear Mr.Sethi,
    The thought process of yours and to turn the same in reality needs a big soul. I feel jealous that almighty has provided such a big heart in you. The PEN as received through this meet by my son SAGNIK lit a glow on his face and as his father I was a silent yet much satisfied observer. Thanks a lot Mr.Sethi once again to keep the belief storngly in our mind that distance cannot be a factor to build up natural freindship .

     
  3. It kept me much elated when I got a call from Amitabh by putting his modest request to make Sagnik available in a pen meet . I was told that a pen will be gifted to a few selected pen lovers. The background was not much clear before I went there along with Sagnik and Mr.Chawm Ganguly explained the same. I remain ever greatful to these big souls who spend their valuable time to cheer up the youngstar aspirants ,who instead of getting subdued in social sites or cacophony musics and all, feel themselves much happier in this fantastic world of fountain pens.

    In the entire meet Shri Chawm Ganguly acted like a fulcrum . His gracious presence,his kith and kin mix up even with my son Sagnik ,the youngest member, like a new friend, was a lesson for all, the relation between the teacher and taught was much felt. My thanks and love flows spontaniously towards Amitabh for keeping Sagnik in mind.

    The step in of Shri Kaushik Maitra ,the MD of SULEKHA,our childhood companion throughout our studies, was another big joyous moment for all of us. We learnt a lot from his brief yet vivid speech.

    Last and not the least the sum up of the entire meet by Shri Chawm Ganguly through his chaste English is yet another take away for all of us I strongly believe.

     
  4. Stephen Leacock once jocularly remarked:”It was Einstein who made the real trouble.He announced in 1905 that there was no such thing as absolute rest.After that there never was.”(The boy I left behind me).Jokes apart,the world is too much with us.Getting and spending ,we,a la Wordsworth,lay waste our powers.But some people,perhaps a microscopic minority,know how to utilise their leisure hours properly.The pen lovers who assembled in the pen meet, including my nephew,belog to this genre.
    The report,marked by a brilliant turn of prose and wry humour succinctly brings out the spirit of the meet.It speaks volumes for the fact that the world is large and hugely diverse with many distinct pursuits and a feast of viewpoints.Just think of it.Love for and interest in pens serve as a common bond among people irrespective of age,place and profession.It was undoubtedly a stupendous cornucopia.
    What is written with pens never dies.No man and no force can abolish what a pen writes.Pens are weapons.And what Roosevelt said about books is applicable to pens also–“It is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man’s freedom.”
    Looking forward to the next pen meet with profound gusto.

     
  5. Hello uncle, this is Sagnik Bhaduri writing. The meet was thoroughly enjoying. It made me a rich boy both in terms of knowledge and acquaintances. The Parker Frontier fountain pen and the Sulekha Moss green ink added fuel to my happiness. I was marvelled to see Sir Kaushik Maitra, the owner of Sulekha inks gifting me the ink. The fountain pen has dethroned my Parker Urban fountain pen and has become like a brother to me.

     
  6. Accha….pen meets, exhibition…e gulo janbo ki kore. Ami ekjon college professor, English porai ar 2006 theke fountain pens collect korchi. Thanks. Kumar Judhajit Dey.

     

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