Stained fingers and a lot of nostalgia: Desi Twitter users remember the joys of using fountain pens in school – Commentary

They say the feather is mightier than the sword, but which feather? For many calligraphy enthusiasts and old school writers on Twitter, the fountain pen reigns supreme.

A conversation began when Dr Katherine Schofield, a music and listening historian in Mughal India and the Paracolonial Indian Ocean, asked her UK Twitter followers if they remembered using pens pen at school and if they still used them.

Well we’re not British but in the subcontinent we used fountain pens in school as well. Writer Sadanand Dhume remembered using fountain pens from sixth grade and many other projects did too.

In fact, many people have noted that using a fountain pen isn’t exactly a choice.

In Pakistan, using Piano pens was almost a ritual, one user said. He also claimed that they were better at writing Urdu writing which we cannot confirm or deny.

A Nepalese user had a similar experience. Our uniforms were also perpetually stained with navy blue ink.

It is also a shared experience that transcends borders. Why did our teachers hate ballpoint pens with such passion?

One user believes there was a theory behind the use of fountain pens. We don’t know if we buy it.

People have started to share photos of their pens on the wire.

We don’t know about you, but using a fountain pen was a rite of passage when we were in school and Dollar was the most popular pen of choice. Ink pots were very common initially until the introduction of the more expensive but certainly more practical ink cartridges. Then came the fancy pens – those that were available in a variety of colors and patterns and were unnecessarily expensive – and the even more conflicted colored ink cartridges.

Using fountain pens (or ink pens as we called them) was something exciting for us as students, despite the fact that they left our fingers and clothes perpetually stained with blue. How do you remember using fountain pens at school?


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