Saturday, May 3, 2008

On taking up the cello.....again

Before those who know me throw up, fall down, pass out..(you get the drift):
Please read through the entire post.

        I have always been a bit of a connoisseur (read snob) of pens. High school instances include my firm insistence on using only only my cherished Parker ink pen(despite the fact that the said instrument was like a municipality pipe-leaking precociously and drying up at the most inconvenient intervals) to fill up my diary. An earlier instance was an immense fascination with a "fountain" pen apparently manufactured from a buffalo's skin(I still don't know how I believed that one). A couple of years' stint with the Rs.2 Stik Easy(the ink was very dark and smudgy--I loved it) and some "phoreign" Stadetler and Reynolds pens and I was all ready to meet the love of my life.

        It happened many years ago(somewhere in 2003-4). I was having the worst time of my life in a college everyone loved and I found damn boring. In search of an implement to take down irrelevant notes on lectures(often delivered to empty classrooms by teachers staring at the roof),I chanced upon that divine artcifact-The Cello Maxriter. It always used to annoy me that the pens most comfortable to write with were pretty bland -looking (The Stik Easy) or were murderously expensive(Rs 20). But I had, at last, found the ideal solution. At Rs. 10, the maxriter was a great bargain and had all the looks of genteel solidness that my heart craved for. I associated it with Ashley Wilkes' house in "Gone With the Wind"-grand, elegant and reassuring. We hung together for almost five years-through the dreary and academically unimpressive years in college to Hyderabad with a million new options and possibilities. Then, I got a job.

        My new company, energetic, america-based-indian-founded-software-corporate came up with a pair of T-shirts which were given to all employees. They looked nice and more importantly provided fresh additions to a starved wardrobe. We were also given a pair of executive looking pens.Of course there was the slight inconvenience of being unable to flaunt one's new pens on one's new T-shirts(they didn't have pockets). But I happily and eagerly adopted the new format, especially the pens(they were for free after all). As all of our work was online, it was fitting that the pens were not the most free-flowing ones and instances abounded of friends borrowing them, admiring them and then looking at me with murderous expressions as the handsome ones would stop functioning in the middle of taking down a phone number. But since I was generally a lenient task-master, the pens and I had a very comfortable working relationship.

        But as all know, brands can be a bit heavy on the pocket. Over the past couple of weeks, both my pens slipped out of my shirt and were declared MIA. Attempts to procure clones proved futile. In a fascinating example of history repeating itself, all the pens made in India had been taken to the head office in America(they were too costly to make there). I remembered my 7th standard history lessons.

        So it was with great joy that I realised that I had to buy a pen. Of course Cello had come up with some new brands but they were quickly considered and dismissed as a vision from the past appeared briefly on the horizon. Rs. 10 and it was all over. We were together again. Of course i don't use it at all but anyway.

Write on again Cello..for old times sakes.

(Trivia--The cello maxriter ad in which it was claimed that the pen could write for 4 km. as opposed to certain 'rivals' was stopped after the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Commission accepted a complaint by the makers of Reynolds that the rival pen in the ad resembled a Reynolds brand. The article)

1 comment:

anwesha said...

a hearty rendition, indeed
worthy of being sold to the not-so-gifted cello makers...also close to my heart as yet another cello lover

also, a post of immense sensibilities...after all, we do share amazing love for these things "mightier than swords" :)