One afternoon, after class hours, as I was about to leave, I happened to look into one of the classrooms to find a Std. XII student absorbed into a pile of certificates at the teacher’s table. Curious to learn what was this loner doing after school, I ventured into the nearly empty classroom and watched the lad do his penmanship with utmost concentration.
I was impressed at the first sight. With an ink pen which had a broken nib, I saw him write something in Old Roman style, which was new to my eye. “This is Gothic, Sir !” he smilingly informed me. My question immediately popped out, “Will you teach me?”
Twenty five years back, calligraphy pens weren’t in demand at stationery stores. Hence, my young teacher used a new nail cutter to clip the nib of a cheap fountain pen, scribbled it several times on the floor until the stub now wore a smooth look and handing it over to me, with a xerox copy of a few letters from A – Z in small and capital, I was asked to practise a page of each letter daily.
It was nearly a month of regular practice that my hand was set to a totally new font. The writing appeared royal and elegant.
Abhishek Pandey, batch 1995, passed out from Xavier’s, Jaipur leaving me with the legacy of writing certificates for Sports Day, Annual Prize Distribution Day, Swimming Meet, Graduation Day and all other school events.
From that day on, it’s been nearly 22 years, I feel great pride and honour in calligraphing hundreds of certificates and citations for deserving achievers of the school. Not just that, I transfer this skill to nearly fifty students every year in the summer workshops which I have been conducting over the past many years.
Thanks to Facebook, I tracked down my teacher, who is an architect based in Singapore and thanked him for what he taught me a long time ago…
I wonder whether I had thanked him then…