I was born in the early nineties (1990’s). I don’t remember my exact date or place of birth and never cared about those things. The first thing registered in my memory was a super market. Although it was an air conditioned supermarket, I felt very much suffocating there. I wasn’t alone; my friends were also lying beside me covered with thick plastic envelopes. We were different in colours, but we all wore the same golden cap. Even though I never acted in any movies, I was labelled as ‘Hero’ and called the Hero Pen despite of my baldness and black colour.
One day, an 8 year old lad with a beautiful smile came to see me. Like every other little child, he was also very much curious at the world around him. He looked at all the pens around me and finally took my packet. He opened the envelope and pulled me out. Then took off my cap, pressed my nib and tossed my cap for a few times in the air as if it’s a ball. For a moment, I felt like I got released from Prison. However my parole lasted only for a few minutes as he put me back in my case after inspecting my needle and body. He gave my packet to his mother and speedily I got thrown into a basket. Later many more things were bowled at me and I got sandwiched in between them, with no space to stretch, locked in the darkness that surrounded me.. Very soon I left that place, which was my home for three and a half months.
I got a new master, an 8 year old boy. On a no-moon night, he filled me with Blue ink and I started moving along with his small fingers on the first page of a notebook. When my nib touched the paper, ink came out and followed it like the pug dog in advertisement. He wrote English letters slanted towards right, Hindi letters hanging on straight lines and Malayalam letters with round edges. The world of letters was great. I felt really proud and happy. Unlike other fellow pens, he never used me for pen-fights as I had a disease of vomiting ink whenever I get hit with something or shaken quickly. This made me unfit for pen-fights. He always placed me in safe zones. On some days, the letters written by me appeared blurred and unreadable. I had to overwrite those letters again and again to make them more visible. Later I found that it wasn’t my mistake, the letters looked hazy as a result of water mixed with ink.
On a winter morning, he surprised me by loading Red ink. Thereafter, I got the VIP privilege. He rarely used me and I was operated mostly by his teachers. Once I wrote a big zero on my master’s answer sheet by one of his tutors and after that the red ink bottle never came into my sight. As he grew older, I became more important in his life. Prior to the exams, I was taken to temples and put in front of the idols for a few minutes. Then the priest murmurs some prayers and throws a handful of flowers over me. I very much loved that atmosphere and at the same time scared of fire too. But I still don’t have any idea, what was behind doing all these stuff to me as I cannot even move without him. May be they were praying to keep me damage-free during the exam hours.
As time went by he started recharging me with Black ink. Then I was not only used for writing but also for drawing. I became very busy on his history hours. Like a beautician, I went through the pictures of many great persons – giving them different looks and styles. The artist and some hidden talents in my master came into light on those periods. Majority of his works were published on the last pages of notebooks. I truly enjoyed the time I bled black.
August 14, 2008 – I still remember that day of exam on which I was very much afraid of getting stubborn during his exam time. He forgot to fill me on that morning. The exam was scheduled at 9:30 AM and I was also getting nervous. Too many thoughts went through my mind. However, he was aware of my status and took me to the exam hall as he always felt that I was lucky for him. Before opening the question paper, he prayed to God more earnestly than ever. Fortunately, the questions were very tough for him and I got survived. But sadly, at the end I rolled down from the table due to his carelessness and got hit on the cement floor. The incident left a scar on my left forehead.
Years passed by and he got a job in an IT firm. I became unnoticed by him. The ink in me got dried up. One day he bought a computer and I became aware of the fact that I got replaced by a keyboard. Yet I remained in the pen-holder on his table, watching all around me. I could see the words appearing on his monitor and realized that the world of letters got replaced by emails and some e-things, and I don’t have to or may not be able to bleed anymore in future.