Teal is a reserved, introverted, even intuitive colour. It is also a tad bit unconventional; though it is cautious, as opposed to one that is impulsive and does not go for unnecessary, uncalled for adventures. The colour has a shade of the artistic in it, is creative and open minded, unlikely to pass judgements on either people or situations without mulling deeply about the pro’s and the con’s. It is not exactly a colour that suits the impulsive, garrulous, spontaneous combustion me.
Yet, when I saw the ASA Maya in its near tactile teal splendour, I knew I had to have it. ASA is one brand I can trust with my eyes closed being a proud owner of almost their entire range of offerings; the Maya is a surprisingly attractive piece of chunky handsomeness and the colour was that of the Blue Lagoon, just before the break of dawn. In short, a package that is just irresistible. So much for the influence of colours on personalities.
And now I have it in my hand – the Ebonite is of just the right texture to blend into your fingers, the balance is that of a trapeze artist and the weight (when fully inked) is enough to make writing with it the pleasure that writing should be – smooth and effortless, without being a burden on the nerves, even after extensive, extended bouts. Capped, the pen is a 150 mm in length, while for those who prefer to use theirs posted it is 180 mm. Not a puny pen that is meant to be carried in a lady’s purse, but certainly not a huge one in terms of length and girth either.
It is a typical three in one pen, which means that it can be used either as an eyedropper or with a cartridge or converter. Mine came replete with a Schmidt K5 Converter, which is more or less the globally accepted norm for quality writing instruments, obviating the necessity to sing the paeans that have been sung umpteen times before.
The Nib is a threaded in Dual Tone, iridium tipped, JoWo 1.5, which too needs no introduction to the discerning. Suffice to say, the screw-in part is a big plus as it allows not only for easy dismantling (for cleaning) but also for the change of nibs for those who are more adventurous than the average teal guy. The pen sports a mind-boggling number of options so far as the choice of the nibs go, enough (eleven options to be precise) to make any dedicated penophile wring his / her hands in anticipation. As for the feed it is the Indian ebonite – long, well channelled and highly finned, perfect for ensuring the controlled, yet perennial flow of ink.
The sheer love and affection with which the pen has been crafted – not to mention the obvious pains that have gone into the perfecting of the design of the pen – are obvious on the very look (and feel) of the Maya. The naming is certainly apt – neither in the South American, nor in the animation or modelling sense, but in pure Sanskrit – meaning an illusion, sheer magic. For, despite the serenity of the colour or the obviously feminine name, the pen is all muscles. One destined to curve out its place in the Sun.
As for the embellishments, a clip that tapers to a ball and bears the ASA name in proud defiance and the two chrome trims on the cap complement the clip perfectly, as if frozen in time. That the clip is built into the cap adds to the elegance of the matt finished ebonite beauty. The finial, with its understated diamond cap delivering the final visual coup d’etat.
This one is certainly a conversation piece – pull it out to put on paper and the people are guaranteed to stop and look at it. That it is functionally perfect and writes like a dream goes without saying and I will not take the liberty of posting pictures of me trying to write something witty in cursive, bolstered with random lines to prove how knowledgeable I am about the use of fountain pens. I will omit details about the diameter of the cap for the same reason too. Besides, these details are all available in the manufacturer’s website.
In these days of web dependence, the fountain pen is certainly not the principal implement of writing. The very fact that you are reading this means that either you are a dedicated lover of the implement or are one who wants to pick one up as a part of your digital detox programme. The chance that you are a fashionista wanting to make a statement with a retro instrument is also a real one. In either of the cases, I do not think that the size of the pens’ cap or such minute technical details will sway your purchase decision. If it is music for the soul that you seek, you will pick up this teal beauty armed with the knowledge that as far as sheer performance goes it is undoubtedly a champion.
As for the cost of the pen, it is a steal if you weigh in all that it has to offer.
I must thank ASA for another reason – the subtle, unobtrusive way they have etched my name on the pen, linking our destinies Qayamat se Qayamat tak, for, in the final analysis, this pen is built to last kind of, forever!
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NOTE: As usual, I bought the pen with hard earned money. Money that I could have otherwise used, as my wife puts it, for “more gainful purposes”. It was neither provided by the makers nor were any other financial inducements offered to do the review.