Monday, April 11, 2016

H for Heroes

Who's your favorite hero? Batman, because he is the silent crusader? Superman, because he is from Krypton? Spiderman, because his hands and feet can spin webs? Or, Ironman, the flashy, rich, hot boy?

I never read comics as a kid, so I never had a favorite hero, or super hero. The first time I fell in love with a superhero was when Nolan introduced the spruced up, wise crack cracking, ‘baritoned’ Christian Bale on screen. 

But, this post ain't about my super heroes. Nor is it about yours.

It is, rather, something inked in my memory, from primary school. Fifth class was really the most exciting of all of primary school, and something all of us looked forward to as fourth standard kids, for solid reasons really.

The first day of fifth class, I swaggered into the classroom, with as much self-importance as a vain king walking to the battlefield for the first time, with a shiny, new sword in his sheath. In my case, the weapon was an ink pen, and the sheath, the good old pencil box. Yes, the day marked an important transition – from pencils, erasers and sharpners, to the revered ink pen. Class started and I unleashed my weapon on the notebook. Only then, the battle began. Ink blotting across sheets, ink not flowing through the pen, ink splattering on my bright new white shirt. Ink everywhere, blue as the sea, smouldering in the storm. The evening I went back home is when the actual fury unleashed. Apparently, my lips were blue, and so were my cheeks. My mother spent some quality time scrubbing my face and hands and giving me a few “must-be-heard” scoldings, and then devoted the rest of the evening to bleaching out the shirt. Anyway, I wasn’t smart enough to ask her then whether she had been an expert with ink pens from day one!

After this fiasco, we had to look for some quick workarounds. The traditional ink pen, you would know if you are from that era, can be filled up only through an ink filler. An ink filler is this small tube like contraption that first needs to be dipped into a huge bottle of ink (huge bottles that would leak when opened, leak when kept aside, leak in general) and then taken very slowly and shakily towards the ink pen. By the time filler goes from bottle to pen, around 50% would be lost to the table or floor beneath, which ink can be used to make beauty art with hands or feet, that will then stay on forever like a tattoo (exactly like a tattoo, in a few minutes time you will realize the folly and try to wipe it frantically with anything available around, before mom comes with a tirade fit for two ears full). And then, the pen itself would not shut properly, will leak from the sides, from the nib etc. which is what leads to a fiasco (similar to the one that happened on my first day at school with the ink pen).

Ball pens were strictly prohibited in school, as it apparently hampers learning to write well (perhaps, all doctors learnt to write in their fifth class with ball pens). So, our nearest workaround was this, the Hero pen.

Have you used a Hero pen? He is the king of the ink pen community, comes with his own ink filler, where the nib can be dunked into a bottle of ink, sucking ink into the filler till it can take no more. No messy drops, no leaks, no blue lips or splotchy shirts, no fiascos. He truly was the hero of my childhood. I, in fact, had him in all colors – brown, black and green. The black was my lucky one, my exam pen. The brown one was my every day pen, my go to boy for math and science, and English especially. The green was one I avoided, he was the ugly duckling that I took out for classes and teachers I did not like, as a sign of my rebellion against them.

Unfortunately, despite all this practicing with the ink pen, my handwriting is exactly like a doctor’s. And, I did not even end up a doctor! Even my hero couldn’t save my handwriting I guess!

P. S. This post is the eighth in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April. 


Yogesh said...

We never had to compulsorily write with ink pens. And my handwriting turned out all right :D

Kavity said...

Ah! Now I know what I should do with my child!