29 March 2018

Beautiful words from Agha Bismil…

… rendered unforgettable by Ghulam Ali

“Unke jamaal-e-rukh pe
Unhi ka jamaal tha
Woh chal diye to
Raunak-e-shaam-o-sahar gai…”

Roughly translated… improvements always welcome..

Her face was resplendent with
Her own lustrous glow
And when she got going
So did the beauty of the sunrise and sunset

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19 March 2018

Those indelible ink marks – another new one from China

This is a heavy set pen. Like many fountain pen lovers, I like the pens to be heavy set. The nibs one the other hand needs to be fine for me. One thing I am realizing is that the Chinese medium nibs are not as broad as in America or Europe. But they are not as fine as in Japan either. (Clearly a medium in Japan is a fine in Europe or US).

Thanks to Raji and Karthik for letting me borrow one of their plates when we went for dinner at their place a few days back. I thought it would make for a good composition for a picture of the pen.

17 March 2018

Why do we call this bird a cardinal?

Sitting in the patio, sipping some hot coffee, on this cool and rainy morning, it was a sheer pleasure watching all the cardinal couples flying around from branch to branch and the bird feeders. This particular one was sitting in the wet branch about ten yards away from me.

That got me wondering whether there is a reason we call this pretty red bird a cardinal. This is what I found – and this goes back to the days when the European settlers came to this country. This bright colored bird was new to them and it apparently reminded them of the bright red robes worn by Catholic Cardinals back home when they performed their religious duties. Further, the pronounced plumage on the head reminded them of the high headgear worn by the same Cardinals.

And that is how they named this bird a cardinal … and it has stuck…

13 March 2018

Those indelible ink marks – newest in my collection

A couple of years back, I was looking for a Wingsung Hero pen. It was a pen I used to use in the early eighties. Eventually, after not being able to source it from anywhere in India (or for that matter US), I had eventually found somebody in China to send it to me. For all of two dollars and thirteen cents.

Ever since then, I have become a big fan of some of the pens from China. I am finding out about new brands and boy, they are inexpensive. Of course, shipping takes a lot of time but it is worth it. I have not made friends with some of those folks in China.

This pen had caught my eye in of those emails from them for the bright fiery colors of red and black. I finally have it in my hand as of today. But I will have to wait for some time before I can use it. It has a medium nib and now I have to find out a fine one to retrofit it.

What should I use – red ink or black ink?