DILIP BASAK, AN INSTITUTION OF PEN REPAIR
What I about to relate occurred in 2018, if I remember right.
This little tale is about a pen. Not just a pen. A Parker pen. Not just any Parker pen. A solid gold Parker pen. A priceless solid gold Parker pen that is actually more valuable to me than its gold content multiplied by ten. It is an heirloom that came into my possession after my father’s death in 2015. It had come into his hands from his father—my grandfather--Dr Ananada Chandra Bhattacharjya, who practiced and prescribed for his patients during the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
I held on to that pen—my greatest possession—with great affection and bestowed the greatest of care on it. I held it secure in in a leather bag in an almirah. Sometime in 2018, I happened to take out the pen from its nest in my leather bag and found, to my utter dismay, that it was not working. It had suffered what to me appeared to be irreparable damage. I haunted every pen repairing house in Agartala, but all of them, after an initial look over followed by a more scrupulous examination, said with a sigh, “Sir, it is not within our capabilities to repair this pen. You may have to send it to London.”
Once I had exhausted all avenues in Agartala, I was devastated. It was as if I had lost all expectations of any further happiness in life. I became an insomniac—I could not sleep.
I brought myself back to my senses and decided not to give up. I expanded my horizons and contacted every pen repairing enterprise of repute I could trace in every nook and corner of India. I could not take the pen around the country physically, and so, the pen repairers I contacted could only examine the pen on video. The verdict was unanimous: my precious Parker pen was not repairable.
I did receive a faint inkling of hope from a pen shop owner in Delhi, who told me that there was only one man in all of India who could repair this pen. This man’s family had a remarkable history: they had repaired the pens of all men of fame and might, men such as Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose. Unfortunately, the pen shop owner in Delhi didn’t recollect this genius pen repairer’s name and location.
I redoubled my efforts. I was unrelentingly determined that if this pen genius Vishwakarma and his family still lived in any part of India, I would trace them. I contacted every single possibility—even the most remotely promising.
And finally, I struck gold. One pen specialist, after seeing my video of the Parker pen, said, “Yes, I can repair it easily. Send it to me. “
I had found the Bhagwan of Pens. His name is Shri Dilip Basak, Electromach. His establishment is at 21, Devendra Ghosh Road, Bhawanipur, Kolkata 700 025., Cell No 98308 28769/62915 74348
I lost no time in rushing the pen to him. After about seven days, he called me to tell me, “Sir, your pen is ready “. The news made me wild with joy, a joy that mushroomed like a nuclear blast when I actually received the pen and found that he had not only done a perfect job of the repairs, but he had also obliterated the minor scratches that age had etched into the pen. Dilip Basak is Shilpi, he is Vishwakarma, he is a perfectionist to whom even the tiniest of defects is an abomination!
In the course of subsequent interactions with him, I learned that his father, Bhola Nath Basak, had repaired the pens of such luminaries as Dr Bidhan Chandra Ray, Siddhartha Shankar Roy, Atulya Ghosh and Prafulla Sen. Basak himself had restored the pens of Satyajit Ray, Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Somnath Banerjee and so many others.
May his tribe Of Shri Basak increase
I have a large array of pens, most of which were gifts from well-wishers, including Saumitra Bandyopadhyay, Arun Singhvi—the Chairman of famous ASG Eye Care Hospital—and so many friends and colleagues, including my best friend Kazi Shah Alam. Saumitra and Dr Arun are connoisseurs of pens. Dr Arun writes by ink pen only. He has gifted me one rarest specimen of Sailor pens.
I love pens! I have in my possession pens that represent almost all big-time pen manufacturers: Lamy, Waterman, Cross, Safire, Sailor, Parker and others. My collection includes single use pens too.
Unfortunately, I have no Mont Blanc. Some of my friends, however, do have one or two Mont Blancs. I am sure some time in this life I will add a Mont Blanc to my collection, even if I have to climb the Alps for it.