Kolkata, India

TIPS 3 – a roundup

TIPS 3 – a roundup

The 3rd India Pen Show (TIPS III) in Mumbai was exciting for various reasons. Dr. Bibek Debroy, author, academic, penophile, who unveiled the show was so erudite in his talk, and he spoke so passionately about pens that the others on the dais – Kabir Bedi and Dipti Naval included – were seen to be visibly impressed, latching on to his words, though the overall discourse was a lively one.  

More than 30 brands from around the world displayed their products. 5000 plus visitors rolled in and interacted with some of the most respected collectors, academics, calligraphers, and pen, ink, and ephemera historians. Members of different fountain pen communities, FPAI to name one, were present. The 3-day extravaganza also featured several side events like handwriting, lettering, and calligraphy workshops; talks and presentations on fountain pen collecting; ink testing ceremonies; and the like. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the 3rd India Pen Show (TIPS III), acknowledged as the biggest event of its kind in these parts of the world, did shatter all previous records in terms of quality, content, and participation this year.


The who’s-who of Indian pen manufacturing were there from Click and Lotus to V’sign and Vazir as were important antique and vintage dealers like Sayak Adhya, Rahul Gupta, and Dhruva Jain. Major importers across the spectrum from Tejura Overseas to Pen Specials had their stalls, among them spreading out some of the biggest names from the world of fountain pens, accessories, and inks. There were two exhibitions that ran concurrently and must be mentioned – one by architect-artist- collector of Ink, pen and nibs Eranna Yekbote on vintage ink bottles, nothing that none of us had seen before, and the second one by researcher-scholar Dr. Manohar Desai titled “Bharatiya Lekhan Samagri” which charted the journey of Indian Writing Tools.

The third part of the three-hall TIPS extravaganza held a number of workshops primarily on handwriting, lettering and calligraphy, which drew a constant crowd of eager participants but also broached the exotic, in the form of Amruta Ponkshe talking poems!


However, if one were to ask me, I would talk about three stalls that I found extremely interesting and want to highlight in this piece.  The first one was Ahnitol – this young gentleman from Japan who had exhibited his pen holders – the of-so-cute crabs! I tried a couple of times, but could still not decipher the name of the gentleman, so forgive me if I leave it at that. But the stand-alone crabs were just far out and he also had slightly bigger crabs with Bluetooth speakers built in for the added effect. There were other small items as well, everything that doubled up as pen holders and it was but natural that his counter was an early sell-out.

The second stall that I want to write about is Likhit which was manned by the entire family (speaking of families, Urushi Studio, Stex, Vazir, V’Sign, Lotus, Magna Carta, and Amaan too had members of the family helping out, which goes to communicate some very striking things about the state of the Indian industry). Likhit deserves a special mention because they are relatively new in the game and had brought some pretty attractive, not to mention, well-made pens that are priced very competitively. The fact that they had bought a special edition fountain pen to commemorate Shivaji Maharaj was another reason that got them so many thumbs-ups.


The third stall that deserves a shoutout was by Amaan Enterprises which was manned by the husband-wife duo of Musadiq Md. Hussain and Zainab Musadiq. They were helped by Musadiq’s father and son, making it a three-generation affair. But that is not what floored me – their products did. They had on show some of the most well-crafted, hand-made leather pen cases that I have come across. The choice they offered was also eclectic and one must also mention the exquisite ink pots made of glass that they had for sale. It is a pity that they don’t have an e-commerce site, for their products are certainly such that will fire the imagination of the world.

In the end, I must thank the organizers – the first couple of India’s fountain pen fraternity, Nisha and Vishal Singhi who made the impossible possible without letting the smiles ever leave their faces. Credit also goes to their two beautiful daughters – ladies who added the touch that transformed. Both Mango Stationery, the title sponsor of the event, and LivTek India, the Associate Sponsor, deserve a round of applause.      


List of exhibitors:

Online Mantra; Mahavir Stationery; Paper and Pen; Vazir; Pinnacle Ventures; Amaan Enterprise; Staedtler; Tejura Overseas; Excellent Stationers; Makoba; The Ink and Pen; Urushi Studio; Vintage World ; Bharti Stores; Faces and Places; Lotus; Likhit; Magna Carta; Pen Specials (Kaweco); Stex; Shukla and Co; Click; Ahnitol; Epitome; Numic; Jitendra Jain; V’sign; and Libra fountain pens.

For More information visit: https://theindiapenshow.com/


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