In Depth

Of dying pen: Why we need to revive the beautiful bond

Pen in our pocket seems like a dream now.

We’ve always heard about the importance of a pen. If we haven’t, then we’ve certainly observed it in pockets, wallets, or bags. Pockets looked more justified or genuine when they held that single pen within. The presence of pens there had its importance.

Anywhere or anytime if anything was to be written, that pen did its job. The presence of a pen in every pocket spoke about the writer within an individual. A writer who could write anything from as small as a ten-digit contact number to some essays or prose and much more.

This pen was even accompanied by a small diary, which acted as a wordpad for mundane things that one would want to pen down. The act of penning down in itself stimulated curiosity. Besides, it indirectly refreshed one’s mind and increased our memory power.

According to research published by the CTV News on 04 October 2020, “Handwriting and drawing engage the brain far more than typing on a keyboard.”

In a piece titled, “How writing changes your brain?”, the author writes, “Writing helps us remember information. Experts consider that writing by hand is more effective for retaining information than using word processors, as it engages more senses and motor neurons than using computers.”

Knowing the reality of the situation, we’re either completely lost, or are on the verge of losing ourselves to digital mediums.

But while adults have become willful targets of this havoc, our coming younger generations are bearing the more brunt of it. Their mind needs stimulating agents that can activate curiosity and not diminish it. The latter is being prioritized at the cost of curiosity. None of our body organs or humane tendencies is pointless. Curiosity is integral to the formation of a healthy child both mentally and physically.

According to research published by The Cell Press Journal, ‘Curiosity creates more effective learning experiences.’ But what we find now is not only a worrying but dangerous trend as well.

Hardly would we find kids nowadays who remember 20-30 phone numbers in a go. We’ve become so used to ‘typing’ than ‘writing’ that our brain is functioning not in an open manner but in a restricted way.

Alarms have become integral to wake-up. Memory is so short-lived that we constantly keep ourselves ‘phonic’ reminders to do this and that task. We want reminders from people if we’re asked to do any work later in time. The essence of emotion and empathy is lost. A person sends a ‘crying’ or ‘sad’ emoji as a reaction to some text but in person, we would not find that fellow crying or for that matter giggling.

Texts are typed mostly for the sake of it. When letters were written in earlier times they not only aroused excitement (because of the period) but also released a person’s more productive (happier) hormones. They made one feel worthy because after all someone spared time, then collected his/her thoughts (a powerful mind exercise), and finally put forth his/her words for you. All this was made possible by this powerful stationary item called ‘pen’. The pen which is dying now.

It’s hardly seen in pockets. Our mobile phones have replaced them. Earlier it was integral, now it’s peripheral.

They’re found on our tables mainly during exams. When something profound is detached it hurts. Knowledge is what we are constantly asked to acquire through contemplation and other means. And means of that, especially which preserve writing, are certainly not to be left.

Our scholars have for ages toiled hard to give us what we have. They would spend hours and days searching for papers in the woods and pens to write.

So, there’s a need to revive the ‘writing culture’. It has emotional, mental, physical, and other benefits. At home, we need to spare a few hours with our kids. Ask them to hold a pen, and provide them with paper. Let them write beautiful letters addressing their parents, siblings, friends or just writing to themselves.

At least we have to reduce the digital reliance, one that can be easily done should be done. Prioritize discussion at home on the benefits of it. Prefer writing in innovative ways, on colorful papers with colorful pens. It will also enhance aesthetic tastes among all of us along with kids.

Our educational system especially after the pandemic has relied more on digital methods, a necessity of the hour, and the fact to be accepted. However, this has not to be relied upon completely. Rather more focus should be on methods that encapsulate every aspect of a student’s mind. This will increase our horizons of thinking and the mind will regain what it has lost or is losing.

The pen has to be saved from the corpse of a digital attack. It is not just the question of saving a pen. But saving one who can hold the pen.

We can’t afford to lose this skill. If a pen can become a weapon, then it needs in the first place a skilled holder. Hence adopting such measures would enhance our real human potential rather than the artificial ones. After all, those pockets have lost a partner, and we need to revive this beautiful relationship.


Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position and policy of Free Press Kashmir. Feedback and counter-views are welcome at [email protected]

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