Sudhir Kalyanikar honoured for his peerless contribution to the fraternity of Fountain Pen Lovers, for steering the FPAI to its leadership status!
Two years. Today Inked Happiness is all of two. Thank You.
It has been a tumultuous two years. It has been an arduous, but thoroughly enjoyable journey. It has been physically draining but mentally exhilarating, as we learnt about pens, inks and shared the little knowledge that we gleaned – it has been pure bliss. But more than anything else, the journey has been a blessing of sorts as it were, a journey that introduced us to friends – people of extraordinary mettle who have not only made the journey worth its while, but enriched our lives with their passion and friendships.
The recipient of the Second Inked Happiness Lifetime Achievement Award is one such extra-ordinary person: Sudhir Kalyanikar. In a world of fountain pen aficionados, he is a fanatic. In a world of fountain pen hobbyists who face daily “grinds” to keep their passion-flames flickering, he grinds the nibs. In a world of individuals each pursuing a personal quest, he is the unifying force, often the lone voice of sanity. To Inked Happiness he is much more: he is our most strident critic and also the most treasured well-wisher. Truth be told, had he not rapped us on our knuckles, multiple-times, we would have easily strayed and erred on the wrong side of good intentions.
Sudhir Kalyanikar has not been unanimously selected for the award: not because he is one of the community’s most celebrated collectors with impeccable knowledge about his pens – extremely fine pens at that. He has not been selected for the tireless service that he has been providing to the community as a nib grinder per excellence – that too free of cost. He has not made it because of his sobering influence in the Fountain Pen Lovers groups where egos clash with monotonous regularity and vested interests try to hijack every initiative for pecuniary gains, either. He has also not been selected for his reluctance to be politically correct, but the speak his mind, often ruffling feathers by taking on the self-seekers for the sake for the overall good of fountain pen lovers.
He has been selected for his fraternal leadership to the community – as the spirit behind the Fountain Pen Association of India (FPAI) the only functioning body of its kind in these parts of the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Second Inked Happiness Lifetime Achievement Award goes, not to a lone wolf hunting in the pen, but to the leader of the pack of pen lovers: we honour ourselves by bestowing the Award on Sudhir Kalyanikar. Selfless and Self-Assured, Sudhir Kalyanikar’s achievement is not to be counted in the quality of the pens in his possession or the quantity of nibs he has ground– his true achievement is the number of hearts he has touched and transformed, drawing first ink: converts he has won for the cause!
We had big plans for the event. We had wanted to have the pleasure of handing of the trophy in person with luminaries from the fountain pen, ink, handwriting and accessories world in attendance. But then Corona happened and we were initially tempted to say “what the heck? If the pen is mightier that the sword, it will surely be strong enough to slash through social distancing!” Sure enough, in the end, the voice of sanity, read Sudhir Kalyanikar’s advice prevailed.
But we are not letting the adversities – read pandemic, lock-down, economic downturn, blah, blah, blah – bog us down. From this day on-wards, we are going commercial and are accepting advertisements from Fountain Pen, Ink, Paper and Accessory entities. The idea is not merely to provide a platform for entities to communicate with an absolutely targeted audience, but also to offer long term association opportunities, where we, Inked Happiness, provide complete branding and communication solutions to the entities we handle. I know it is a bit reckless, premature even, for a two-year old toddler to be saying this, but still, let me put it in black and white: we too have a dream. And our dream is to create at least one Indian brand and take it global.
I know this is the worst possible time to start anything commercial. I also know that the killing fields are littered with the bodies of the dead and the decaying. But then again, it is from the ashes that the phoenix rises. Yes, we are confident of doing the Phoenix for three reasons: one, our honest intentions are backed by proven capabilities; two, because of the faith we have in friends and well-wishers like you; and three, because we are making an offer that cannot be refused!
In three-year’s time, when we meet again to celebrate the fifth birthday of Inked Happiness we are confident that we would be in a position to show that the trust that you repose on us today was not in vain.
Keep Reading – that is what keeps our inks flowing,
Suvobrata Ganguly (Chawm)