Isn’t that the ugliest fountain pen you’ve ever seen in your life? It looks like something that just came out of the workshop of a Japanese inventor who has had one too many cups of ‘sake’. For one thing, the nib is on the wrong side of the pen – it’s on the same side of the clip! And secondly, it’s got no cap: The nib is retractable like a ballpoint’s (ugh)! The fountain pen snob that I am, I took an instant dislike to the wretched thing – wrong-sided clip and all!
On a whim, I tried the Vanishing Point (VP) during one of my (many) visits to KS Gill’s. To be candid (if my pride would have allowed it) I could have sworn – albeit silently – that the VP was actually a good pen. But no, I didn’t buy it: it was inconceivable to me that something so ugly could write so well.
A few weeks later, I came across the VP again on one of my (many) visits to Pen Gallery. Daniel, being a world-class sales professional, managed to get me to try the VP. No, I didn’t buy the VP this time around either. However, I remember walking away with my newly acquired Laban Mento, but at the same time, feeling very much impressed with the VP. It’s very much like marrying one girl, but at the same time, hankering for another. Not a comfortable feeling at all (for some, at least).
Yesterday I was at MPH (Megamall). Lo and behold, there was the VP again. It sat in the glass display of the Pilot booth, shining in its full glory, beckoning to me (and only me) like a long lost lover. It was too much for a mere mortal like me to resist. I had to feel her in my hands once again and enjoy her quiet compliance as I put her through her paces. The sales clerk was obliging enough. Once again, I was caught in the throes of a very familiar pleasure – one so powerful that it left me breathless and begging for more.
The sales clerk had to pry the pen way from my hands with the help of a security guard. But that’s another story altogether. If I don’t get paid soon enough, I will have to resort to robbing a bank so that I will be able buy damned thing.
This, of course, brings me to my point: Whenever my initial feelings are excessively negative about anything (anything at all), it’ll just be a question of time before I become its most ardent advocate. It has happened over and over again. I remember once thinking that mountain bikes were perhaps the silliest bicycles ever conceived, but look what happened: I became the national mountain biking coach, no less. Then there was karate. I used to think it was an activity that attracted only the unruly and bloodthirsty. What happened next? I got so immersed in the practice and philosophy of the art that I eventually earned my second degree black belt and became an instructor at a dojo. My list of ‘stupid reversals’ is perhaps endless.
But what scares me is that I felt very strongly, too (I still do), when I first learnt of Khairi J and his exploits. Could it be that someday…
No! No! No! Please dear God – ‘No!’
From today onwards, I will adopt this daily mantra: “I like Khari! Khari is good!”