When I was young, from about age 10, we had to use fountain pens in school. That began a love affair with fountains pens, it is still something I cannot resist buying. My prized possession is the pen that belonged to my father. It was a Parker and he wrote his Matriculation examination with it. When I was going to sit for my Madhyamiks (as the Class X board exams of the West Bengal board is called), he gave it to me. I was over the moon with delight.
Then one day, he took me to a quaint little shop just off Chowringhee. The Pen Hospital. I couldn’t believe that place existed. Not only did it fix all broken or damaged pens, they had am amazing collection for sale too! Nearby was another shop called Latif’s that fixed cameras. The last time I visited Latif’s he was telling me how business was bad what with digital cameras and big brands and shops taking over the market. Same with the pen hospital, they were saying collectors were few, this was a new world of use and throw! True that, my daughters never had to write with fountain pens in school, it was gel pens that they used, use and throw alright!
Before I sat to write this, I looked online to see if either shop still exists! I’m please to say that they do!