Magna Carta launches the Goddesses and Amazons series
Magna Carta, a family run enterprise, has a number of things going for them. They are, their relatively late entry into fountain pen making notwithstanding, an extremely enterprising organisation. Call it vision or brush it away as chutzpah, one cannot but marvel at the entity’s concerted efforts towards creating infrastructure that will one day witness Magna Carta making everything in-house – from nib and feed to turning, designing and finishing its pens. That incidentally is something that most Indian pen manufacturers are chary of, trying as they are, to cut costs by outsourcing. Magna Carta is also extremely boisterous when it comes to pushing sales and the way it is courting overseas buyers is a lesson in itself. The fact they make reasonably decent pens (I have heard reactions from “Wow” to “Yuck”) is thus, like the proverbial icing on the cake.
One area where, I personally thought that the company was lagging behind was branding – the entity just wasn’t weaving compelling stories around its products, stories that will help create the aura around Magna Carta creations, place them at a pedestal for the collectors and connoisseurs to lap them up. Fountain Pens, and especially the high-end ones created by the likes of Magna Carta, after all, are more accessories, objects of desire, than instruments that are used to earn victuals for the word weavers. And it goes without saying that when a premium product is unveiled before the prospective buyer as an enigma wrapped inside a tale, its desirability is jacked up manifold.
Yes, I had broached the matter with Hiren Kanakhara, the irreplaceable spirit behind the Magna Carta and was therefore extremely pleased when he got back to me with his newly christened “Goddesses and Amazons” line of fine writing instruments. In keeping with the Magna Carta name, the line comprises of white bodied fountain pens that represent the delicate and superhuman beauty of the Goddesses while the black bodied refer to the Amazons: warrior queens, who, though born mortals, were capable of earning their place in the Elysium. All the pens in the line sport filigree work that add to the inherent beauty, apart from adding to the tribute to the paragons of beauty, even brute beauty.
The pen from Goddesses and Amazons line, the one that I possess, is called Helen of Troy and it is being so called, I saw, not without justification. It is made of Casein, a material that was once used extensively to make fountain pens, but is extremely hard to handle, demanding the dedicated attention of master craftsmen to wield its charms. That Magna Carta has dared to use the material and made a pen so beautiful out of it, is in itself an achievement of sorts. The filigree work, without being ostentatious and ornate, is also a welcome touch – it adds just that understated elegance to the pen that helps it make its Odyssey without a glitch.
Helen – of Troy and of Sparta – was the most beautiful woman on Earth, a face that had launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium. This Magna Carta pen, by its sheer looks, me thought, is capable of doing no less. The pen, like most created by Magna Carta is a nice writer – a bit on the girthy side to hold; is finely balanced; with a nib and feed that writes in a steady wet flow and leaves little to be desired as an instrument for writing. It comes fitted with a converter and is as near hassle-free as most pens in its price bracket are. Point is, the higher one goes up the costly Staircase to Heaven, the more taken-for-granted are the functions, the differentiating (read tilting) factor being the looks and the aesthetics. And here, the Helen of Troy scores majorly. Little wonder the Goddesses Hera and Athena were as angry with blind rage as they were.
Says Hiren Kanakhara of Magna Carta “we are a family run business where each and every member of the family looks after a particular area of the business. Every pen that you buy from us is a product of our tender loving care. We know we are old fashioned, for we believe in staking our reputation as a family on our products. Yes, we are old fashioned, but then again, come to think of it, so are fountain pens”!
Watch this space, for I will acquire an Amazon princess shortly – can’t wait to carry a black beauty next to my heart in my shirt pocket!
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