When I was in school, my English teachers considered my handwriting very graceful and fluent. With a lot of passion, I learnt both calligraphy and cursive writing and practised the exercise for hours together. I used to take pride in my handwriting when it was appreciated. Writing with a Parker or fountain pen gave me a feeling of high, when the tip of its nib smoothly traversed the intricately arranged thin fibres of the paper.

As I wrote poetic odes calligraphically, I sensed that the loquacious movement of my pen was akin to a ripple on the surface of water. It felt like beautiful thoughts oozing out of my heart and slipping down through the ink of my pen only to be etched elegantly on the wafer-thin pages of my book. But before I got to the final version of my poem on the book, I used to write and re-write on piles and piles of papers to get its sense and essence right. To this day, I preserve those papers. For, they remind me of my passion for writing. There was an unknown psychic connection between my soul, the pen and the paper.

But now after all these years, I do not remember what my handwriting looks like on a paper any more. Anybody who wants to study my personality through my handwriting might have a tough time. For, I do not write with the same authority and frequency as before. My handwriting has become wobbly, flowing uncertainly underneath my unsteady fingers. This is not as a result of any injury or accident. It's just that I do not have the same need to use a pen anymore.

The days of pocket diary

There was a time when I had a pocket diary and a pen wherever I went. But now I have a laptop and an iPhone accompanying me, instead. I still use a pen but its purpose has been restricted to signing on a cheque or scribbling a few words here and there. Even a signature seems to have become electronic.

MS-Word or a notepad on my laptop (even on an iPhone or an iPad) is doing the job a notebook did some years ago. The only difference is that instead of my holding a pen for support, my fingers are at work all by themselves typing on the keyboard of the laptop or the touch screen of my iPhone. Now, I feel that beautiful thoughts ooze out of my heart to slip down, not through the ink of my pen but through the typing fingers only to be edited later on to the flat LCD screens of my laptop. The only advantage is saving paper as I can edit innumerable times that don't cost a thing to get to my final version. While writing and typing have almost become synonymous because of technology, it has made writing no more writing in its truest sense.

The advent of technology has brought in so many changes that we can hardly fathom the effects on further generations. There might come a time when our future generations laugh at the very idea that their ex-generations were using a pen to write. They may also come to know about pens — like Dinosaurs — that existed once upon a time in the history until they were extinct (useless).

Certainly, a bleak future awaits those legendary Parker and fountain pens.

(The writer's email id is: kiranb.999@gmail.com)

Keywords: calligraphy

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