Once upon a time when I was binging through my collection of Tinkle Digest, there was this sweet story about the true worth of a gift. It was the story a young girl who was holding her birthday party and expecting expensive gifts from her classmates. She receives Dolls with beautiful golden hair, chocolates from the best bakeries, digital watch, exotic lamps, and a ball pen of ten rupees. As she safe keeps her gifts, she snorts about the inexpensive ball pen and the girl’s mother warns her, to not become a selfish and arrogant kid, as the classmate who had gifted the ball pen, came from a humble home. But little girl pays no heed, she displays her expensive gifts on her study and drops her ball pen in the black hole of the school bag. So came the exam day when our little selfish girl runs out of ink in her pen and she is on the verge of tears, as asking pen from fellow classmates meant you lose ten marks. Now no Indian Kid will sacrifice her ten marks, she brainstorms and recalls the ball pen gifted to her six months back. With her teacher’s permission, she ransacks her school sack and finds that tiny skinny blue instrument. After the exam is over the girl rushes out and thanks her classmate and realizes that the true worth of a gift is the thought and not the price tag.
Gifting we have been, my best friends and me, we have been in this circle of picking things for our ladies. Be it a mirror of hundred bucks or earrings of ten bucks, it’s the thought and idea of the girl smiling that motivates my friends and me. Gifting is our way of showing love, respect, and gratitude. Sometimes I even extracted gifts out of elder sister and my mentor, all I have to do is nag and beg like a baby until they agree to buy me the books I absolutely need. Sometimes you have to beg for love and my love is, books. I also have a knack of picking up books for my friends, which I think is an absolutely necessary read for them, Mr. Crush has been its biggest victim followed by my Soul Sister. Though hardly a pen, I gift books which I feel is must for my friends, old or new a book is a gift with never dying worth.
But I have already spoken about gifting, many a times, so why again? A few months back my new and senior friend from Indian Army gifted me a fountain pen. Now my grandfather and elder sister are in love with the idea of the fountain pen, my sister loves it more as her beautiful handwriting becomes an example of pure calligraphy. I am blessed with terrible handwriting and over the years my attempt to improve my lettering has been futile and I have come to accept it. When this golden capped pen rolled towards me I looked up to my respected friend and squinted my four eyes wondering why to gift me something that is so elegant. Grace and Elegance are not my friends. In return, sir smirks and I ask “Aab ink pot bhi gift karo aap” [Now gift me the ink pot as well]. Since I am a bookworm and I love writing a fountain pen was gift apt for me, but was I apt for the pen?
I have almost given up the use of the pen for writing, it's only in my classes and exam where I use my pens to write, in general, I use my pens to doodle. With the shiny pen in my hand, I start wondering if I could doodle with Ink Pen? The inner soul cries ‘NO’ so I don’t start doodling. Hence I start regretting instantly that my new possession would go waste. I hate it when my gifts are not utilized for their true purpose. Yet in the black hole of my study bag went my shiny pen.
For two months it made cameo appearances with my other black pens, sometimes the cap went missing, sometimes the body. Other moments it vanished into an alternate universe to return after two days with orange thread stuck between the nib! It peeped in and out reminding me that it had a purpose, it was gifted to me with intention.
Few days back I read an interview of my the favourite Neil Gaiman, the interview took place in Australia where he was advance signing books with a fountain pen. When asked if he had any exclusive element to his pen, he told he has customized inks! The present ink was blue with a violet tinge. The way he described the whole process of autographing, instantly I wanted my own ink pot, and a tinge of gray left by the arcs of my letters. Then I again realized I have a terrible handwriting, but the desire to whisk my fountain pen like a wand had already seized me, be it I have terrible writing sense.
Hence finally with a black inkpot in my bag, I returned home.
And since the day before yesterday, the poor instrument of change has been cursing me, write I did not, scribble I could not, doodle I can! Doodle I have, sharp, blotted and meaningless. I have burrowed holes in the paper, given birth to two-dimensional black holes and wormholes and distorted images have been floating on the pure white pages and I have never felt so satisfied doodling things around me.
P.S- Sometimes the true purpose of a gift is to keep you happy and I have become nibbler.
thanking you to bear with me