The lock-down is dragging on relentlessly, testing our patience, challenging our sanity, forcing the mind to flirt with depression as we remain confined, compelled to follow a routine that is not of our making. Lives of fountain pen lovers around the world too are badly impacted as many of us are wondering, “why this? Why now?” And perhaps more importantly, “Why me?”
To alleviate the suffering just that little bit, we have been talking to the village elders, seeking guidance of the masters not only to cope, but also to seek their direction to embrace the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, which is centred around the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Life is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete – Wabi-Sabi tell us, teaching us to learn, to enjoy the very act of being as we wield our fountain pens in search of an eternity in the elusiveness of the moment.
In this, the second part of our ongoing series, we talk to Anuj Poddar, owner of AP Limited Editions and winner of the coveted Fountain Pen of the Year Award and Dr Sougata Halder Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with an eye for moments that need digital freezing for eternity and a fountainhead of love for the fountain pen. Here goes:
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?
Anuj Poddar: Being alone with yourself is, in itself, a blessing. You have your delightful pens, put them to use… clean them … introspect within and use your friends, your inky companions to communicate your thoughts… put those unadulterated thoughts from within on to paper and share them with your loved ones, your near and dear ones by sending photographic images of your hand written notes…a great new way to communicate without losing heart…
Dr Sougata Halder: Almost everyone is using Social Media. Instead of using the keyboard, write your comment with a fountain pen and post the picture.
Inked Happiness. How can fountain pen lovers better utilise the lockdown to care for their loved pens? Any tip?
Anuj Poddar: Some of your loved ones (humans and animals, not pens) may be near you… share your space and time with them… talk to them, play games … pranks with them. Put this ‘me’ time which has become a rare possibility these days to good use… say the things you wanted to but just never did.. make a difference… if talking is not your thing… pass hand written notes to each other… share … love… think and feel…
Dr Sougata Halder: Follow answer to Q1 and use different pens with different ink shades every time. Voila! Lock-down time spent well!
Inked Happiness. Three words from you that will help us all keep the spirits high, to meet on the other side of the pandemic?
Anuj Poddar: Patience, Tolerance, Compassion!
Dr Sougata Halder: Pen palliates pain!
You can learn more about Anuj Poddar and AP Limited Editions here:
For more on Dr Sougata Halder, you can check out his Facebook page here: