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An Etiolated Flair

Words running into my veins sprout out as ink of my pens
-Ziya Noor

Recently, I visited a Pen expo held at Ahmedabad and I was mesmerized to see the varieties of pens and its accessories displayed there. Majority of them were fountain pens along with the range of inks and pen nibs. The purpose of displaying fountain pens was to spread knowledge and use of fountain pens as they are losing its existence due to easy and comfortable use of roller and ball pens. I was enthralled looking at the variety of pens like crystal pens, metal pens, wooden pens with carvings of Hanuman and Ganesh, paint brush pens, drawing pens, calligraphy pens and many more. Pens for range of purposes and collection of pens for each purpose were available there. The free calligraphy workshop attracted and engaged children while parents made their choice of pens. The objective of such expo was to spread awareness and bring back the faded passion of writing with pen which I feel is true.

The art or the ability to write with a pen is slowly and gradually declining with rise in the use of technology. Nowadays writing has converted to typing, people have not stopped expressing their feelings, thoughts, emotions in words but they have nearly stopped using a pen to express it. Most of the people from millennial and generation z age group have not acquired this proficiency to write with a pen. For them typing on desktop or mobile phone is more convenient than writing on paper as their penning down skill is not well flourished. Being a teacher it is easy to make out from their handwriting the amount of practice they have of writing on a paper. The writing is very shabby, uneven, with the use of short forms just the way they type messages. It is essential to understand the important of writing with pen as it holds much of value from overall developmental and health perspective. Naveed Idress encourages children to write with a pen/pencil as she expresses that “You never know what an A is unless you’ve physically drawn it.”

 According to Angela Webb, a psychologist and chair of the National Handwriting Association, engagement with the physical environment stimulate certain areas of the brain and activate cognitive development, therefore writing with a pen not just positively impacts literacy but also impacts on other disciplines. Strass also emphasizes on writing with pen and she supports it with an example that it helps to develop the muscles required to sit at a desk for long periods. She also added that learning to write by hand facilitate physical coordination, rhythm, stamina and posture. The pen expo might bring a positive change in attitude towards writing and people might understand the benefits of writing with pen. It seems hopeful that such expos will encourage people to hold the pen and transfer the words on paper.

Photo credits: Pen Expo, Ahmedabad

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