Globally acclaimed hand made swadeshi Ratnamson pen is aiming for an entry into the Limca book of Records soon. Rajahmundry’s K.V. Ratnam and Sons which is a pioneer in pen industry in India since 1932 is planning to get an entry for its two diminutive ink pens.
One of the pens measures 4.2 cms weighs five gm and is made of 22 carat gold and has a nib of 14 carat gold. The other one is even smaller measuring 3.5 cm and weighing just 1.7 gm.
The second generation expert pen maker K V Ramana Murthy inherited the legacy from his father. Kosuri Venkata Ratnam who was a gold smith and dice engraver by profession. In 1930’s when the Swadeshi Movement was at its peak. Ratnam met Gandhiji at Wardah in 1921. When he asked gandhiji what he should make he was told “something that has high utility for commonrs any thing from pens to pins.”
Following Gandhiji’s advice Ratnam learnt the craft of making pens from several experts. But when Ratnam gifted a pen to Gandhiji in 1933 the latter did not accept as it was made using foreign components. Later the then secretary of All India Village Industries Association . J C Kumarappa visited Rajahmundry and saw how Ratnam was making pens. Ratnam gave him two pens that were made right in front of him. One was for him and the other one for Gandhiji. This time Gandhiji accepted it.
Ramana Murthy still makes pens out of the residence cum workshop that his father had left behind near Kotagummam in Main Road in Rajahmundry. Now Ramana Murthy’s sons have also learnt the skills.
Over the decades several presidents and prime ministers in the history of India have used these pens. Even US President Elsenhower Russian President Bulganin and several statesmen of international fame have endorsed those fountain pens.
COURTESY HYDERABAD CHRONICLE