On recently moving to a new building, the first thing I did was raid the copy room to check out office supplies. My pen had disappeared mysteriously during the move and since I was kinda thinking of getting rid of it myself without feeling guilty about the more-than-half refill left in it, I was not too displeased about it. Well, on entering the copy room I was surprised to see it so ill-equipped. While I was used to seeing 10 different kinds of pens in different colors in my previous building, here there were less than 2 or 3. And the worst thing – there was no red!! A couple of days later, while returning from lunch in the cafeteria in a different building, I saw the sign pointing towards the copy room there. I decided to check it out and struck gold immediately. There were red pens aplenty there. Picking one, I returned triumphantly to my office to announce the discovery only to be told that it was common practice. Well, so much for my discovery.
As I sat in a meeting room, writing down every damn thing that was being discussed I looked at my own writing in red and started admiring it, and thought how less we have been writing or using pens since college. There used to be so much focus on something called ‘hand-writing’, it surprised me we use it so less on normal days. I wonder if we are seeing a massive decline in the art of writing and more importantly writing with a good hand.
Hand-writings of people have never ceased to amaze me since I was a kid. My mother writes in a beautiful hand with a well rounded cursive style. My dad himself has a stylish but pretty illegible-unless-you-concentrate-hard kind of hand which looks pretty on paper though. My brother’s, well it has got me into trouble quite a lot. Every time a teacher saw my writing in school, she would scream “Your brother writes so well, look at your hand-writing”… whack… whack… whack… you know the story. Then there was this cousin of mine who had a stylishly casual way of writing with which she used to write out debate material for competitions for me. Coupled with a severe lack of vocab those days, I used to struggle big time.
Among friends, its kinda nostalgic to remember some hand-writings. I guess I mostly remember that of those who were generous during internals and I happened to sit by them. There was Shankar who used to write pretty much like me, but in a much bigger scale, almost like 2X of mine, and with better consistency at keeping it neat and proper. I can remember pratibimbha‘s writing only vaguely. It had a forward slant, but slightly on the irregular side. Then there was Sumanth with his scribbly writing which used to kinda repel copiers away. manjunaths and Aswin (Kaatu) had distinctly refined scripts and they were pretty proud of it too. Other than that, there was Ruby with his massive script enabling everyone far and near to copy easily. Nikhil with his clear cursive writing, Raagu with his crawling-ants style are some I won’t forget in a hurry.
In school however, there was this teacher during my 7th who had a clear cursive way of writing where each letter used to be written the same way no matter where. And then there was the high school teacher who used to literally sculpt his letters, taking long hours for official write-ups on the board. They used to make for amazing reading though! But one hand-writing I still remember is that of a friend in school who studied with me from 1st Std to 5th or something by the name Tilak. It used to be distinct unconnected words with slightly rough edges. Wonder what he might be doing now.
As for my own writing, it has never been consistent. It varies with mood, position, pen used, position, etc. And the worst thing is I can’t recognize the way I write myself. Probably we spend more time with the words themselves than the way they are written. But yes have seem zeniths of neatness with my own hand, and nadirs that make me puke too. I still remember the 2nd PU Maths exam where I derived the formula for the area of an ellipse, using a leaking Spanish fountain pen and then took a couple of minutes staring at the result. There was not a word or letter out of place. Somehow I guess fountain pens and pencils are better suited for good hand-writing.
Well, if you are reading this, guess I have only one thing to say. Spend sometime everyday writing. Might be work related, might be just your name scribbled many times. Use a pen you like and write with flourish. Am not sure if its a de-stressing thing, but it’ll definitely make you happy looking at your own writing. If you have a bad hand, well learn Calligraphy I guess 🙂