I am an old fountain pen now finding my place in a dark corner of a cupboard of my master Sri Rajan, who is no more. I belong to the family of 'Black Birds'. I was manufactured in England 55 years ago and was shipped to Madras for sale. Messrs Simpsons on the Mount Road, Madras was our wholesale dealer. From there I was sent to 'Pen Corner' in Georgetown, Madras. Mr. Rajan, then a young boy of 16 appearing for the matriculation examination, bought me for Rs. 3/-.
I felt happy that I got a new master, a brilliant young lad whom I am going to serve for some years. My color was black and my nib was gold-coated with a firm point. My writing was smooth and it was like sailing on calm waters. I preferred 'Swan' ink, blue or black. It was my master's choice to select the ink. My master first used me to take his matriculation examination. Whether it was due to his hand writing or my beautiful flow I cannot say, but he passed his examination with distinction. That helped me to gain the love of my master who then onwards considered me as a lucky possession. I was always his companion finding my place comfortably in the pocket of his neat shirts. We both developed an inseparable intimacy and he believed that his progress in education and getting a good executive job in government through direct recruitment as a Revenue Divisional Officer was all due to me.
Many pens costlier and more beautiful came his way. But I never lost my place of privilege on their account, from my master. They were also used. But for anything important or sacred, I was to be there for my master to write. I enjoyed the privilege of a Royal Queen.
Then came a change in the clan of pens. Ink pens gave place to ball point pens. Everyone preferred the new variety, as it avoids the need for frequent refilling with ink. As any other young man getting attracted to things new and fashionable, my master too preferred a ball point pen. Then he started ignoring me, which I never dreamt of. Still my attachment to my master was so sentimental that he never gave up my use altogether. On ceremonial occasions and personal matters, it was I who was preferred. It was I who wrote all his letters of love to his dear wife. It was I who wrote the news of his first born and still it was I who wrote the marriage invitations of his first boy. That was my great association with my master.
Time rolls on and the retirement of my boss and his exit from the beautiful world followed soon. With none to take care of me and none to recognize the important events in my life. I was pushed to the corner of my master's cupboard. Here I am living, but dead already for all purposes.