Saturday, August 1, 2009

Marut and his Pens - Story 1

While I enjoy a very high degree of freedom with regard to indulging in my passion for fountain pens…an occasional warning (from you know who!) suffices to douse my ardour for quite some time till temptation strikes again…but I have been remarkably successful in recent times in resisting fountain pen temptation…more so because I now have my grail pen, Montblanc Meisterstuck 149, with me and the other pens in my wish-list are quite high priced too…so I don’t want to venture too far…but some heavy discount offered on Parker Sonnet pens left we weak kneed and I dissolved into ink…and bought 2 Sonnets…see, I am running away with my pens…I have to link up somewhere near the second line and continue with what I wanted to say initially…I will come back with another post on the Parker Sonnets…god promise…

My colleague Marut is a fountain pen enthusiast too…but he doesn’t enjoy a great deal of freedom to nurture his hobby…his missus lays down the rule…but Marut is a clever fellow…I have so many stories to tell…well, at least three good ones about Marut and his pens and his missus…she was once a colleague as well, for only a brief while though… and sometimes this ‘everybody knowing everybody’ leads to tricky situations as narrated below…

This happened almost a year ago…I had to make some pen purchases at Deccan Pen Stores, Abids and I thought I’d alight at the last stop, Koti, instead of my usual Secunderabad stop, and go to Abids from Koti…Marut also travelled in the same bus and gets down at Koti…when I told him about my plan to visit Deccan Pen Stores, he was tempted and decided to accompany me there… and while on our way to Abids from Koti, he switched off his mobile phone…I didn’t know why…I asked him and he smiled…at that time I didn’t know about his travails…it was later that I understood it as a strategic move…I had already informed home that I’d be late…but Marut had just impulsively joined me and no information to missus!!!

Going to a pen shop is not a brief affair for a pen freak…we were there for almost 45 minutes when my mobile phone rang…Marut looked at me and smiled and said, ‘must be my missus’... I looked at the number…it was not a ‘saved’ number, so no name…I read out the number to Marut…he said, ‘yes…that’s my missus …’ and smiled again…he was enjoying my discomfiture…I now had to answer the call… I pressed the ‘speak’ button…and there she was asking me about Marut’s whereabouts …I wondered how she knew that her dear hubby was with me… Marut would have reached home by now and he was now missing for more than 20 minutes from the scheduled time of arrival…she must have dialed her way around some of our bus-mates and somebody would have said innocently that Marut was seen with me last at Koti…Marut had purchased 4 pens by that time and the total cost came to Rs.280/- or so…I wanted to buy something in a higher range, but didn’t find anything within my limit…so I generally chewed the air for some time with the knowledgeable people there…strange fountain pen lingo…feeder, section, aerometric, eye dropper, cap lip, piston…anyway, coming back to the phone call…I told her that it is true that Marut had come with me, but he dropped me at Deccan Pen Stores and went home… how long ago was this…about half an hour ago…he hasn’t yet reached home…must have been stuck in a traffic jam, don’t worry, he’ll reach soon…and all this time Marut was grinning like a cat which had stolen, eaten, and digested the cream…I didn’t know that I could lie like this…must have sounded convincing…she said thanks and closed the conversation…Marut and I decided to make a move…it was now close to an hour since we entered the shop…I wanted some empty pen boxes to store my pens…I got some…Marut paid for his pens and we went out…Marut then told me to take his pens with me and give it to him the next day in the college…I was surprised…why?…you don’t know, saar, I will be interrogated and searched, pockets, bag, everything, now that I have come from a pen shop…we were now together in this pen-spiracy…he had unwittingly made me a partner in this caper… I had to play along…I took the pens he had bought and put them in my bag…

We went our separate ways…it must have wrenched his heart to see his newly bought pens going with me…that too with his approval and consent!! I hopped on to a rick and was winding my way home when my mobile rang…the number seemed familiar…I pressed the ‘speak’ button…and whose voice do I hear? Shouldn’t have surprised me…Marut’s missus…where is he? Why, what happened? He hasn’t reached home yet…he must be riding, can’t say with traffic these days, don’t worry, he must be close to home…when did he leave the shop (very tenacious, this lady!)…around 45 minutes back (I had to do a quick calculation, look at my watch, guess the time she called me when we were in the shop…and bingo! 45 minutes)… he hasn’t reached yet…(oh god!)…I then started weaving around some pointless sentences like traffic, potholes, time he left, time he’d reach, etc., intending to confuse her…I think she got the drift and closed the talk…Marut must have reached home soon enough as I didn’t get any more calls from his missus…

The next day Marut said he got an earful…in fact, two earfuls…for more than an hour…I said he got away lightly…because his pens were with me…imagine what would have happened if the pens were found on his person or in his bag…I shudder to think!! I then handed over his pens…she promptly discovered the pens that evening when Marut reached home (because she is a very tenacious lady…I told you so!)…and interrogated him…Marut told her that all these pens cost only Rs.80/- (!!!) … and self-pedestalled himself by telling her that I had bought a pen worth Rs.600/- or so… What? Oh my god! So expensive!…Don’t be too friendly with him…ok?

(Haaen!! I helped him cover his tracks and this is what he does to me...discredits me?? Traitor!!!...but as a fellow fountain pen enthusiast...you understand...and know how one feels...!!!)

3 comments:

The Sai Family said...

Marut...Hmmmm, it does not take long to guess who this alias is for. Guess it takes more than just a liking to indulge in one's hobby. Courage and bravery for one! :-)

Anonymous said...

Waiting for further episodes...

lively lawry said...

Hi Jayasrinivas,
quite a fascinating thought on the lost art of writing letters in fountain pens! infact, i recently had the pleasure of writing in such a pen since i was about to gift it to a friend. i hope you vaguely remember one levine from shimoga whom you used to meet at quiz and debate events. please do mail me your contacts.
regards
levine