Odisha: Meet A Pen Collector Of Bhubaneswar

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17 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: What can you call a person having around 3000 pens, all in working condition in his possession? Balabhadra Rath, a journalist by profession, can be called a pen collector in the true sense. 

“I was gifted a pen when I was doing my intermediate course. I loved it a lot and had taken lot of care while using it. Slowly, my penchant for storing pens started. Whenever someone gifted me a beautiful pen I used to store it. It turned into a passion. When I came to Bhubaneswar, one of my teachers imbibed in me a liking of calligraphy. Then I started collecting calligraphy pens also,” said a visibly enthusiastic Balabhadra. 

When Balabhadra’s friends and relatives came to know about his passion of collecting pens, they contributed in their own way. 

“One of my cousins who live in Germany travels a lot across the world. He always makes it a point to get pens from different places. Many of my friends never forget to get a pen for me to contribute in my collection. I now have pens belonging to around 50-52 countries. Most of them belong to European countries, but I also have pen from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China and South Korea, etc. 

There are some really enchanting pens in his collection. 

“I have a pen (not exactly a pen) like a brush which was used in earlier days when they used to dip in the ink and write. It may be around 300-400 years old. I have a pen from Australia which is 70 years old. Though only a few are antique-type pens, most of my pens range from 40-50 years old,” he said providing an insight to his collection. 

Though Balabhadra has not really planned out about how to go ahead in his passion, but two of his friends are making a pen-rack in which he can proudly display his collection. 

Apart from pen collection, Balabhadra also has a keen interest in playing flute and reciting Sanskrit slokas from ancient scriptures. 

“I always feel that it is our duty to uphold and strengthen our cultural identity and I love our tradition and values. The Odia culture is vast and ancient and we should preserve it,” he proudly said. 

We can really hope that he will hold a pen show soon.

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Balabhadra Rath in conversation with OMMCOM NEWS Correspondent