I remember the excitement when I was told I will have to start using pens to write in class and exams. I was fascinated to watch the ink come out when the pen was pressed on paper. It felt magical to me as I didn’t comprehend the science behind it. A decade later, the magic behind it has evaporated. I have replaced the pen with the dependable pencil I had earlier rejected. The shades of black that it creates as I scribble in my notebook comfort me. A dull grey when the nib is blunt and a pure black when the lead is pointed.
Today, I have many pencils in my stationery set. Some bright coloured, some black on the outside, some short, some very long. But all of them, unanimously, remind me of innocent times. The times when a rubber could be used to fix the errors on the page. The pen made it all finite. Even when there was a mistake, the eraser didn’t clean it up without leaving an abrasion. Using the whitener was out of the question. How can one not notice that extra white patch? This aversion to spotting the errors had forced me to tearing the pages and throwing it. (Something that I found myself doing extensively.)
However, times have changed. There is no longer the need for a pencil, pen or paper. The quick fix method of the computer and typing seems to be the alternative I am offered. Though I have to admit, scribbling on a book with my pencil gives me a strange kind of comfort. The sound of the keys, the smell of ink, the pile of crumpled paper or even the numerous draft word documents, just don’t meet the standards. Or I am just sentimentally holding onto the past?