Mohan's mind is full of ideas relating to fancy ballpoint pens and calendars, finds out G. RAVIKIRAN
Ballpoint pens script his daily life, which otherwise would witness a halt at regular intervals. Y. Venkata Mohan carries with him ballpoint pens not only for writing purpose but to keep his life going. From his scooter key to watch to the focus light, most of his must-haves are not stand-along objects but are embedded in different fancy pens that he has been collecting for over three decades.Mohan's passion for pens began when he was just 13. He bought a ballpoint pen from a shop near SRR and CVR College. The pen popped its ballpoint only when its nozzle was pressed and fascinated the boy to no end. He then began to think on the lines of going on a collection-spree to make a mark for himself by possessing maximum number of pens.A regular customer to the city's pen shops, Mohan acknowledges support from friends like Mahesh of Sangam Pen Corner in Gandhinagar. So obsessive he is about pens that he would remain in constant touch with shop owners and staff and ask them to bring latest ballpoint pens during their visits to Chennai or other cities for buying stocks.
Mohan displayed his collection at several forums and engaged school children by giving them puzzles. His hobby earned him the appreciation of former Krishna district Collector R.P. Meena and former Commissioner of Police K.S.N. Murthy. Encouraged by friends and well-wishers, Mohan wrote to the Limca Book of World Records for enrolment of his name. But he was informed that another person named Dr. A. Koteswara Rao from Jind in Haryana had surpassed him by collecting 1,841 ballpoint pens, without duplicates. Not willing to give up, he once again represented his case explaining to the people concerned that his collection did not just include simple ballpoint pens, but the ink used in them contained 200 shades of colours. He also sent to them a separate chart providing evidence of the varieties of shades. His efforts bore fruits and Mohan's unique achievement was enlisted in the Limca Book of Records, 2000. He improved upon his record the very next year by registering a collection of 1,200 shades of colours.Mohan has a special collection of Reynolds ballpoint pens. "This is just a hobby. Ballpoint pens in different shapes like snakes, lizards and everyday articles fascinate me," he says.
He now has 3,000 pens in 1,000 different shapes and 2,000 varying shades. Among the bright hues, some 800 are varieties in blue and 350 are shades of red. A fancy ballpoint pen is all he would ask his friends and relatives to bring for him whenever they visited other cities. His father brought him novel pens when he worked at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation in Tamil Nadu. Mohan spent his childhood with his grandparents at Kankipadu. He, however, could not fulfil his aim to become a technocrat like his father and settled in textile business.Besides ballpoint pens, the man has a great fascination for calendars. He has prepared a calendar for one crore years, which can help one find out a specific date of the specific week in a span of next one crore years. As explaining this to everybody became difficult, Mohan prepared a calendar for 300 years and distributed 3,000 copies of it. The palm-size calendar contains information about the period from 1901 to 2,200. "The calendar acts as a ready guide for people," says Mohan.