Inks in myriad hues – quality at unbelievable prices!
Finding the right ink has always been a daunting task – most often fruitless, even frustrating. Gone are the ubiquitous Chelparks and Sulekhas of childhood and the inks that are available in the net, often come with price-tags that are enough to scare the daylights out of ordinary pen pushers like me. As one wag put it, these inks often cost more than the pens they are used to write with, a classic case of the end not justifying the means.
My apologies upfront for comparing apples to pears, as these expensive inks are also expansive in quality– their sheen surviving the close – and often come backed by brands that are revered to cult statuses, apart from being examples of impeccable craftsmanship that are aimed to address specific needs of connoisseurs.
But one surely missed the“regular” stuff – plain, affordable, no-nonsense inks in a variety of colours that one, even serious fountain pen and ink aficionados, could use daily to write. And this is exactly the void that the Chennai based Penhouse has addressed. Brainchild of a fountain pen obsessed husband-wife team of Kovai and Padmavati Chandru, the relatively new entrant into the world of e-commerce has, to the sheer delight of ink lovers, put on offer a rainbow of eighteen hues!
Dye based, the inks are everything that a writer would expect – they retain their depth and luminosity; do not bleed usually; have a fairly high saturation; are just wet enough for the feeling, that is to say that they dry reasonably fast; they did not feather on most of the decent papers I tried them on. However, like all dye-based inks,they are do bleed if they are rubbed with water. But then again, who in his right mind would douse notebooks with water and would therefore need water-proof inks? Beats me.
Now for the colours – Kovai Chandru has already got on the shelf more exotic colours than any wielder of the pen would normally want for daily use and the grapevine has it that experiments are on to introduce more hues. Suffice to say, the colours match the romance of their names – Laila Rose, Mystic Green – with some shattering the spectrum like UV Blue. All the inks, and I tried seventeen of them, not only lived up to the expectation, but performed well with my pens and on a variety of paper surfaces. Yes, they do have their individual quirks, but I guess, that is to be expected,considering the sheer variety of the spread. At the bargain basement pricing that these inks are made available, they sure are a manna from heaven, especially to those of us who write miles and still prefer to see the world of the written word in colour.
A note of caution. I have not used the inks long enough to remark on tendencies to clog or jam the nib or the feed unit of your prized pens. However, it is always advisable to remain on the right side of prudence and clean the pens after use.
It was a pleasure dealing with the people at penhouse.in. The ordering process was a breeze and the effort they took to keep me personally informed about the dispatch and delivery was touching to put things mildly. They may be pricing their products reasonably, but that did not deter them from treating the customer as a million dollars. Some big names would surely do well to learn a thing or two from the team led by Padmavathi Chandru, especially the passion with which they approach the customer, whatever the size of the actual order.
Penhouse.in also has on offer fountain pens at extremely tempting price points. Mind you, nothing fancy, just the regular stuff that one would buy for a student’s daily use or for the use in the office to record the mundane. Even pens for the would-be collector, to break into the fascinating world of fountain pens, at prices reminiscent of a time when they were almost de rigueur. Oh yes, I have also bought a handful.
Kovai and Padmavathi Chandru are not content with merely making inks – they are now busy taking the next logical step of turning their signature fountain pens. An engineer by profession, Kovai Chandru already has the necessary machines in place and has been quietly working on his barrel and nib, honing his art to perfection. I for one, will not be surprised if the Chandrus were to jolt the fountain community out of its slumber with their trademark conversation pieces early next year.
Watch this space.
For more information: