I dont fancy funky digital watches - love those awesome dials and pieces in a swiss chrono. I dont like smooth, silent electric stuff - but love the sound and heavy metal inside a diesel engine. (Electronics is an exception - I wouldnt want my mobile phone to be coaled, watered and the ash emptied every two hours, not would I feed my MP3 player diesel everyday)
Coming to the case in point - I detest exotic ballpoint pens which run on refills. Refills that are simply not available in any part of the wide world. On the contrary, I love the fine craftsmanship of an ink-pen --> from the local ten-rupee nibber to the Hero or the Parker Beta.
My kid sister Ju (her shortened name is Anju, but the lazy ass I am - further shortened it to Ju) had just entered the pen-era in school - fifth standard. Entering pen-era in my school days was marked by all our impeccably white shirts turning blue in the evening, more ink having gone into the shirt than onto any paper. By the time we entered home, our shirts would be a fine specimen of chromatography, what with the sweat and the ink all over. We blamed it on the absorptive nature of the fabric. It was no wonder how we managed with just one pack of Ujala for one whole year.
Well, the pest (Ju) had grandly started off the pen-era in school with a couple of cello ballpoints and one Add-gel, much to my scorn. I wanted her to start off the way I did, so in the evening I treated her to my repertoire. Running up to the room, I dusted the top of the shelf and slowly, carefully exhumed the carcasses of a silver Hero and a red Parker. Both the specimens were working fine after some kickstarting and liberal doses of ink. I showed her how awesome an ink-pen was and how smooth it got once you got started with one. She was impressed.
Scene: The next evening. Venue: My room. Enter me.
Me: (to nobody in particular) Alright lets get the box running. *gasp*
A Parker lies cruelly disembodied on the floor. Its cap is nowhere to be seen and its royal blood is sprayed all over the floor. For a moment, it looks like it's too late. Not wanting to disturb the evidence, I step gingerly over the ink spills and examine the nib with trepidation. Murphy again. It's undoubtedly broken.
I rush down, and the pest is nowhere to be seen. I take a couple of shots of the crime scene and clean up the mess myself. The pen is dead. Ju arrives and I charge her under Section 302. After venting my anger, I decide to buy her an ink pen of her own. As long as she's breaking them, it makes sense to be breaking her own pens, I savagely thought.
Next evening, I took her to the nearby stationery shop and bought her a Camlin for twenty bucks. Pleased with my big-brotherly-care I proceed to fill it. It doesnt write. I rip the damn thing open and clean whatever I can and fill it again.. fortunately it works.
"Try it now - it works beautifully... no no, the other way. NO! nib forward, facing straight. You'll get the smoothness best that way. JU! Oh fff...flush!" I euphemise the expletive.
Five minutes later, the training is complete(with a lot of muffled language). Knowing her well, I warn her repeatedly not to open the ink tank. Job done. I head back to the computer.
Fifteen minutes into the internet, I catch a lot of shouting in "Wherever I may roam" playing over the headphone... weird. It continues even after I switch off the song. I curse loudly and head downstairs.
Disembodied Camlin. Blood all over the floor.
Grandpa's clean white dhoti now dotted blue.
The pest nowhere to be seen.
And I to blame.