Sunday, February 1, 2015

A FOUNTAIN PEN AND A LOVE STORY

It was my English exam.  After I had finished reading the whole question paper, I opened my costliest Parker pen and started writing. Omg! I forgot to fill ink in my pen. What I was going to do? I was shocked, perplexed and at last relaxed. For a few minutes, I scolded my bad luck and then I thought to get a pen from my nearby friends.
  With an idea of getting a pen without the knowledge of the invigilator, I looked on to the easy possible ways.  In the corner of my bench, the newly joined girl had almost finished a page of the main sheet.  I saw her.  She also saw me that I was seeing her.  The way I looked at her would have surely made her to understand that I was in need of something desperately.  My heart craved to ask a pen from her, perhaps, my male ego didn’t permit me to do that. Meanwhile, she put her head down and started writing as it was English exam and so, the time duration would not be sufficient.
   We realize how worse we were and the real side of us only during the times of our desperate needs.  I shut my male ego inside a tight sack and I hissed towards that newly joined girl.  I showed my pen and gestured her to give her extra pen to me.
“This is the pen I write for a long time, if I give it to you my hand-writing will change,” she whispered it to me.
I keenly saw in her pencil box, she had another fountain pen made of wood. I pointed it and asked, “What about that pen?”
“This is the first pen my daddy brought for me. I am having it for seven years and I don’t give this to anyone. I am sorry,” she whispered in a very low voice and gave me a helpless look. 
“It’s fine. I will manage,” I told her and asked her to continue her writing.  Some of my friends had told me that she was arrogant and cunning.
 “They were right,” I thought so by cursing her in my mind, “Hell with your foolish sentiments.” 
Then our invigilator gave me a pen with a last warning.
   The next day after sitting in my spot, I realized that I forgot to fill ink in my pen that day also.   I forgot that neither distant friends nor the nearby foes would be able to give me a pen and save me.  My mind all of sudden went as blank as a last bench student’s exam paper.
  The question paper was a difficult one and I comprehended, many of my classmates were going to be flunked. So, I closed my lifeless-pen and started looking at the people and every other small and big thing of the hall curiously.  A minute later, the newly joined girl dragged her wooden fountain pen towards me and signalled me to start writing.  I expressed my gratitude of choking happiness with my smile and I began writing. The pen was smooth to write.  After I finished a page, I couldn’t believe, was my handwriting so elegant! My desired heart started to love that pen and wished to own it. I always had craze for pens.  I would fight with my parents and remain adamant without eating for one night to get new pens.  Perhaps, this pen attracted me more than any other pen I ever had.
  In the afternoon, after the lunch break, I was sitting along with a group of my friends, she came near me, and I was astonished.  She asked me to give her pen back.  Then I looked on to my pocket, it was there luckily. “I am sorry. I forgot to give,” I said this, smiled and gave the pen to her.  She went without saying anything.  After she went my friends mocked me.  “Arey! What’s happening here? What is going on with you” one of my friends asked.  “A fountain pen and a love story,” other replied.  Many of my friends had told me earlier that she was much beautiful, I felt they were right.
   After a month, our exam papers were corrected and given.  In Physics, most got flunked, but I passed.  Newly joined girl failed in the borders and so, she asked my papers.  I gave it to her and told her thanks because had she not given her pen then the scenario might be different.  She smiled and said, “No sorry and no thanks and no mentioning of anything in between friends.” 
   As days went, we started talking to each other more often, more frequent and more than necessary. She told me about many things, many stories behind every little thing she possessed. She had innumerable stories behind her wooden fountain pen and by the time partial stories of that pen got over, I was the one who wrote with it mostly.  She would give the pen to me in the morning and wouldn’t forget to get it back in the evening, for she loved it that much.
  On that day during the recess, I was walking near the cycle-stand. I saw a wooden pen in the ground. I took it. It was her pen. Cunningly, I thought if I could keep it with myself. Then I scolded myself for thinking like that and then I went to the class. She appeared so dull and her eyes too seemed to be watered by tears just some minutes before and I knew the reason. I went near her and told, “I have a gift for you,” and showed her fountain pen. Immediately, she grabbed it away from my hands and told, “Thanks, thank you Krishna, thank you so much.” 
Kissing her pen, she told thanks again and again with tears and smiles. I wondered was she the same girl, who told me that there should be no thanks and sorry in between the friends. This incident increased the strength of our bond. I understood the importance of this pen to her. I spoke with her, sat near her, played with her against my other friends’ agony and jealousy.
  It was my birthday.  I gave much of the special chocolates to her.  She was so pleased and told me, “You can ask any of my things, I will give it to you surely.”
Without any hesitation, I asked, “Give me your fountain pen then,”
I asked her fountain pen this time not because I loved that pen but I wanted to know how much I mean to her.  
Her face dulled, “Ask me anything other than it; you know I can’t give that to anyone, not even to my papa. Moreover, my friends used tell that when we give fountain pen to our friends, the friendship bond would be broken and they would separate or quarrel.”
I didn’t force her to give her pen because I too was a little afraid of the story that friendship may eventually break when one gifts a pen to his/her friend.
   It was the last day of our Ninth standard.  After we finished our examination, I met her in the canteen.  She asked me whether I would be studying in the same school.  I told her yes.  I asked her the same question.
She replied, “I won’t miss you. I won't go anywhere away from you. I will study in this same school sitting next to you up to my twelfth standard provided the teachers here don’t flunk me very often.”  I laughed and felt so relieved. And then we both were about to depart.  Suddenly, she called my name and gave me her wooden fountain pen and asked me to keep it safely. I hugged her immediately and told how much happy I was.
 Giving her pen back, I told her, “I know how much this means to me. You keep it safely with yourself.”
“You are more important than it. Whenever you remember me, write with it. Whenever you write with it, remember me,” she told.
Then her father’s car arrived and she went. 
 After this, we, boys, kept a cycle race in between ourselves in the school road.  We rushed our cycles as fast as we could.  I came third in the race. Then we all went to our home chirpily.  In home, I excitedly looked on my bag for her wooden fountain pen.  I didn’t find it there. I last remembered of keeping her pen safely in my bag only but I didn't find it there. I went in the same road in my cycle and searched for the pen, I didn’t find it anywhere. It made me to cry. Earlier I had lost many of the costliest pens and many other costliest things but I have never cried. But losing this pen caused me a great sadness and regret that I couldn’t console. I felt sad day after days. I felt missing it. It wasn’t merely her gift.  It was her legacy and my promise too - a legacy she gave me and my promise that I would keep it safe - but now my promise was broken and her legacy was lost.  I wanted to say to her that I had lost her dad’s first bought pen, and get apologized from her. I couldn’t forgive myself for my carelessness when I felt how much that pen meant to her and how much she was attached to it.  I believed I would forgive myself only if I was forgiven by her.  All of a sudden, I wanted to meet her and tell how much hurt I was by losing her fountain pen.  I felt missing her so much for I knew if she were my near she would have consoled me.
 I begged to God to end my vacations soon.  Luckily, the two months’ vacation passed soon.  I hoped to bring that non-stop talking sunshine back into my miserable rooms of heart. I went to my school in the earliest and eagerly waited for her arrival.  She didn’t come for a long time. I waited and panicked. She didn’t come for the whole day. I was much worried, thinking what was wrong with her.  I asked many of my friends none knew about it. She didn’t come for the whole week. I asked about her to everyone who was acquainted to her.  None knew where she was and what happened to her.  This made me to feel weak about myself and I ended up in the principal room to inquire the details about her.  They didn't have any idea of her.  I went in her school bus and asked a girl from our school, who was near her home.  She told me that her father’s finance company was attacked by people and the whole family fled to an unknown place. I went to her home.  It was now occupied by another. 
That’s the end of the fountain pen and the love story.
   I studied in the same school up to my twelfth standard. She didn’t come thereafter.  I used go to the places where we used to share our stories and thought about her, sometimes feeling sad and sometimes smiling.  I missed her so much.  I couldn’t believe that she had gone and I couldn’t hope that I would meet her again. Many a times, I used to wonder whether she too missed me like I did. Many a times I would be confused asking myself, “Is this feeling love?” I never got an answer and I knew I would never get one.
   Years passed.  Presently I am in a book store to buy the first fountain pen for my daughter, Sandhiya.  I know how much it means to a girl, especially to a daddy’s girl.  My daughter pointed a costliest Parker pen and asked me to buy it for her.  Suddenly my eyes caught a wooden pen that is similar to that fountain pen, the girl on my school days gave me.  I brought it for me and brought the costliest Parker for Sandhiya.  The shop keeper filled ink in both the pens and gave me to check them.  I took the wooden pen and wrote the name, “Sandhiya”.  The first name I write whenever I buy a pen, the name of the girl - who stayed in my life for a short time during my school days but took a permanent place in my heart.  Her beautiful name it is.  


#NostalgicPen