We have heard of various kinds of hospitals but have you ever come across a pen hospital? If we go down the Town Hall Road from the Round of Thrissur district, Kerala we will find a small, 78-year-old pen repair shop with the signboard, ‘Honest Pen Hospital’.
There is a painting on the wall adjacent to the shop which is of a fractured pen being carried on a stretcher by two fountain pens with the caption, ‘Hurry up to Pen Hospital and get complete cure.’ Coming to the doctor, 58-year-old Nazar is the pen doctor who has been repairing pens for the past 36 years.
Nazar’s father, Kaalathodu Koluthu Parambil Abdulla used to work as a fountain pen mechanic in Bengal. Swan, Blackbird, Pilot, etc. were the popular fountain pens that were then available in India then and were also costly. “My father’s fingers had some magic and he knew pens so well that he would diagnose the problem even before the owner explains. He could successfully cure all pen ailments,” said Nazar.
Nazar also repaired former president Abdul Kalam’s pen when Kalam visited the city for an event. “When he was placing the sapling in the pit, his pen fell into it and the top got stuck. He wanted to repair the pen and his secretary suggested this hospital to him. I repaired the pen.” said Nazar proudly. Most of Nazar’s customers include important people like judges of the High Court of Kerala, advocates, doctors, or document writers. Nazar sees his work as a service and says that it is not all about money.