Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Fountain

It was, quite easily, a month from today, when I opened my old stationary closet to look for my black-ink bottle. I was half hoping it to have dried up for not using it for a couple of years. But to my surprise it was still half full. I dipped the delicate metallic tip into the bottle, barely touching the surface & it inhaled the dark liquid. I could feel it energizing itself with every drop until it was full & there was no more room left but just for the occasional air bubble. It dripped of the dark fluid & looked like a vampire coming back to life after its first prey in a thousand years.

The silver metallic surface slipped against my forefinger & positioned itself for its first flick in a long time. It traced my name with my usual strokes, but it felt oddly unfamiliar since it was slower than I would have usually moved my wrist, yet with better grace & determination. Its silver tip scrapped through the rough paper surface taking tiny, microscopic layers away with it, thus smoothening the next letter. I had to move my hand away from the surface for a short while noticing the watery black impression I made on the paper, just like I would have if I would’ve held a feather tip 200 years ago. The slight blot, the occasional dark ink pools at the beginning of each letter & those long, laborious strokes to reach the last word, all made me feel like I was able to stop time; just for a second.

I had almost forgotten the joy of writing with my fountain pen, my beloved partner in thought, when we used to spend long vacation afternoons sketching on a diary whose pages immediately went to the trash can. I remembered how much I used to love the long stretches of time taken to finish a simple wire sketch, just lines connecting each other trying to depict some form or the other. I remembered how much I had loved it when I used it to write that letter which never went to her. Every word unconsciously, yet precisely calculated to serve the impact of each word. I knew it then & I know it now as I clutch the cold steel surface in the grip of my fingers to drive it across the page just to get that boost again.

In a conversation with a friend, he was saying something about how meditation helps us slow down our reference of time & make us evaluate a situation in ‘bullet time’ when the whole world whizzes past us & we think about it in slow motion. It is a popular yet ancient technique to channelize our intuition & instinctive responses towards the situation at hand by slowing down the speed of the world from our frame of reference & objectively analyze the situation. I think that’s how a fireman’s brain works, he sees blazing fire right in front of him & in a split second he knows where to aim the hose & calm the flames.

The fountain pen works like a time capsule for me, which diverts me to this slower lane of time & makes me think of the next thought I am about to think in gradual motion instead of the regular synaptic speed, thus giving me a moment’s lead over what I am going to think & consecutively note it on the paper. It gives me that extra boost of time to re-think my thought.

It is therefore, probably, a bad tool for a university exam, but an excellent one for self reflection.

1 comment:

yashada said...

very good post.
loved the description of the pen moving on paper :)