Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In search of the nostalgic MISAK Fountain Pen (in Hyderabad, India)...PART 2

This was truly unreal...I had to hide my excitement... I tried to look nonchalant... I opened the caps one by one...the first FP had a gold band on the cap...the nib had Misak on it...wonderful...the second one had no cap band... this nib also had Misak on it...more wonderful...the third one with the arrow clip turned out to be a ball pen with an ‘ancient’ looking refill still in it...no harm... it is always nice to have a complete range of a pen brand, if possible...in fact, I did not want to leave any Misak behind...I then asked him some general questions about the Misak brand...he said it was a very popular brand in Hyderabad at one point of time and of course now it is closed and the owner has migrated to the US or Dubai, he was not sure... very casually, I asked him the price of these 3 pens...by now I think he realised that I was hooked...and told me that he is offering me these pens at cost price, although these are now antique pieces...and he can ask for more...I just smiled...and he offered me each pen at cost price...which was fabulous...

Now I had 3 Misaks...two FPs with custom Misak nibs, something I was searching for...the ball-pen added variety...and there was a tremendous sense of satisfaction...as if I had made the pens myself...

What is special about these pens? Nothing much...they are simple looking ebonite FPs with no frills or fuss...but for a whole generation of Hyderabadis...Misak meant ‘fountain pens’... 

And this happened around a year ago and I had wanted to write about my search and post pictures of my Misaks...and it never seemed to happen...a couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to create my Misak post...and as some kind of preparatory work, wanted to see if I can get some information on the Internet (though I have scoured the net many times earlier in search of information on Misak...)...and I found a piece of conversation (in a Hyderabadi forum chat) between two Hyderabadis...one living in Chicago and the other in Hyderabad...I have not mentioned their names here for obvious reasons...

The Hyderabadi living in Chicago writes in a nostalgic mood (in English transcribed Urdu) about how in the 1960s there was a shop in Putli Bawli called the Misak Pen Store and the pens sold here were inexpensive...Mr Kasim Husain was the owner of this pen store and that the name of pen was the reverse of his name...KASIM...MISAK...and because the pens were inexpensive, they were very popular and the owner used to repair pens for free in his shop...now I think the shop is closed...

The one in Hyderabad responds to this and writes in English that Misak Pens were popular in his school too... and that he was thankful for some of the useful details supplied by his compatriot in Chicago...he goes on to write that some samples of Misak could still be available in one of the book shops in Charminar area and that he wanted to buy one and keep it as a collectible... but had forgotten...and now this nostalgic reminiscence from Chicago has refreshed his memory and he offers to buy one and send it across to Chicago as a gift...

Well...after this very long narrative...here are the pictures...

The ‘original’ Misaks...2 FPs and 1 ball-pen...

This is the FP with Misak only on the clip...

Misak 1 – The one with the broad gold band on the cap...

The clip of the same pen...

Aha...the nib...with Misak on it...

Cap and nib
The Misak without the Misak nib...
Yeah...it has got an Ambitious nib...
This picture is lovely...the name is etched very cleanly on the clip...

Misak 2 – the one without the cap band..

Misak 2 - clip with brand name...
The Misak ball-pen...

The arrow clip with Misak on it...

The ancient looking refill...I bought this pen just for that...

Thanks for all the patience...I hope you liked reading this as much as I enjoyed recounting this search...

Ok...here endeth Part 2 (with photos) as promised in Part 1...but there is a surprise...there is going to be another post on Misak...a kind of Part 3...this is going to be a guest post...'soon' is all I can say to 'when?'

5 comments:

Vishki said...

Nice to find a post on Misak pens and I must say you are a lucky guy to get hold of these pens. I've been searching for them with no luck, :). I was Camlin guy, but I have used a few Misak pens that my father would give me. I was not a fan of Misaks back then, but now it is a nostalgic feeling. I had few Misaks stored, but I'm no more able to locate them after a few house moves.

My father must have used a few hundred Misak pens. He used to run a business and travel a lot. He would loose a pen every few days and then use a new one.

Back in those days, Misak used to have a big stall in the yearly January exhibition in Hyderabad(or may be a general pen stall with a seperate section for Misak, I do not remember). My dad used to buy a few boxes every year at the exhibition.

Now, I'm on hunt to find atleast one Misak. I should search more seriously like you did.

Hakeem said...

I Was just searching for Misak Pen on google and got your blog. Excellent Nostalgic moment!!
Hakeem

Anonymous said...

you are so lucky.
This used to be dream pen for us when we were in school.
It used to cost around Rs. 10 to 12 in late 80s and early 90s.
but yeah it was hell costly for us at that time.

Satish Kumar Rapeti said...

Well I'm a die hard fan of ink pens, used Parker, jinhao etc, I still use ink pens at an age of 49, meaning I've been using at least for about 35 and more years, but I still remember my first Misak pen, the smell, Style etc, are extraordinary, but after advent of Hero Chinese pens, slowly people shifted to them, but misak is misak, great pens at least prices, I still remember the genuine smile on the old man's face in Deccan pen store, Hyderabad when ever I would ask for a costly ink pen and turquoise blue ink, which I'm continually using till to date.Thankyou Sri, reminding childhood memories

B. Ram Mohan Reddy said...

I tried Misak which I used in late 1960s as high school kid at Deccan pen stores recently, but the children and grandchildren of grand oldman smiled at me exercising themselves. I am stll in search of Misak. I am 66. Those days, I was a regular visitor to Misak Pen Store, Putlibowli with low ceiling. I must have purchased at 5 Misak FPs. I still remember it's fragrance and touch. Several times I used to pull out the nib assembly and put it back. It is painfully nostalgic. - Ram Mohan Reddy, Hyderabad.