Pelikan Hubs Day Celebrated in Kolkata
September 20th is a special day in any pen lover’s calendar, for this date is celebrated as the Pelikan Hubs Day around the world. In 2018, the special day was celebrated in as many as 181 cities, spread across 46 countries as almost 5000 aficionados congregated to revel in their one common passion – the fascination for Pelikan writing instruments. This year, naturally, the global numbers were much higher as the movement, which was originally started in 2014, has really started to roll.
Kolkata was no different – as many as seventy lovers of the writing instruments trooped into the YMCA Conference Hall on Chowringee and spent the evening discussing their passion apart from indulging in their favourite pastime – that of playing with pens. The credit of organising the event to make it into the resounding success that it was, goes to Sukla Roy who was designated this year’s hub-master. We will fail in our effort if we do not mention, in the same breath, the name of Shrimonti Roy, who handled the registration desk with the same unfailing dedication that Pelikan I known to accord to its pens.
Yusuf Mansoor, collector, historian and restorer of fountain pens graced the occasion with his inky presence as were noted collectors like Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Shyamal Sarkar. Samit Dutta who was the Kolkata hub master last year was also present on the occasion.
The highlight of the year’s event was the remarkable presence of young aficionados who not only electrified the evening with their unbridled energies, but also had the old, time tested collectors swoon, as the presence of the young refurbished their love for the writing instruments. “I am so happy to see so many new, young faces in the crowd” said Yusuf Mansoor with a glint in his eyes, “their presence means that our hard work is bearing fruits – that the young are willing to take up the fountain pen to express their thoughts with, to take up fountain pen collecting as a hobby. I am so glad that I am here today to witness this resurgence – may their numbers grow”.
The event witnessed the launch of Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year – Star Ruby – which was lapped up by the fountain pen (and ink) fanatics. Lotus Pens of Mumbai, ASA pens of Chennai, Krishna Inks and Acriv also used the occasion to present to the assembled enthusiasts their latest offerings which were appreciated by the devotees who doodled and scribbled to their heart’s content. The goody-bag from Pelikan with a bottle of Star Ruby Ink, a copy of the latest edition of the Pelikan Passion magazine and a Pelikan hubs writing pad to commemorate the day, was literally, the icing on the cake. The candle was a little Welcome Note from the Hub Master, hand written and signed in Star Ruby with a Pelikan perched in its nest motif on the cover. Touché!
Pelikan, for the uninitiated, is one of the most revered brands and has, over the years built up a following that can challenge any cult. Pelikan dates itself back to 1838, when it had started its journey in Hanover, Germany and has created all-time classics like the 100N which along with its different variants are not only examples of man’s ascent to the summit of creativity, but also, as Pelikan zealots swear, creations that defy time. Pelikan is also credited with the invention of the differential-piston filling method, which needs no elaboration.
Debjani Basu, a known name in the local fountain pen collector’s circuit was as candid as she was precise, when she spoke on behalf of the community, “collecting fountain pens as a hobby, is neither easy on the psyche, nor on the pocket. The ordinary pen collector has to face a lot derisiveness, especially from their near and dear ones, who view the hobby as a sheer waste of time and money. Viewed in this backdrop, the Pelikan Hubs day is a kind of a vindication of our passion, that too from one of the most revered brands in the world, which more than anything else, helps refurbish our faith in ourselves and our passion.”
Sukla Roy, lover of fountain pens extraordinaire and collector, who had organised the event single-handed , was ecstatic with the turnout, “our primary objective is to get more and more people to write with fountain pens, to help foster its love in as many hearts as possible. From this angle itself, the success of the Pelikan Hub in Kolkata is a vindication of the fact that our hard work has not been in vain. I would like to thank Pelikan on behalf of the fountain pen community in Kolkata for giving us the opportunity to come together and share our passion. Thank You Pelikan, I am sure we will have an even bigger meet in 2020”.
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- all pictures, except that of the Pelikan Star Ruby bottle, courtesy pen lover, photographer and big time Kolkattan, Amitabha Mukherjee