While sitting in one of the meetings, I had run out of ink while jotting down notes. Thankfully after a harried search in my bag, I found a small pencil and my note taking went undisturbed. Later that day, I was reminiscing about the last time I had used a pencil. For the regular sketchers, designers and artists, that question is pretty irrelevant. But for occasional writers, poets, businessmen, office workers, software engineers and the like, it is a moot point as a pen holds the same role as the pencil. Ironically though many of us had started off our learning with the pencil.
Even today, I still remember the entire procedure of packing my bag the night before school. Along with the notebooks, till primary school it was the pencil box with my assorted selection of pencils which had a prominent role in the calligraphy and drawing lessons . As time progressed, we had switched over to pens and along the way, our writing had changed. All the same, there is a special feel while holding the pencil in hand. In fact it brings to memory, the pencil’s tale.
The pencil’s tale: An old pencil maker took his newest pencil aside, just before he was about to pack him into a box. Imagining the little fellow as a person he recalled a few things about the pencil.“There are five things you need to know,” he said to his pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember these five things – never forget them – and you will become the best pencil you can be!
“The first thing is to remember that you will be able to do many great things, but only if you put yourself in someone else’s hands.
“From time to time you will experience a painful sharpening, but remember that this will make you a better pencil.
“Also, keep in mind that you will be able to correct any mistakes you might make along the way.
“And the most important part of you is what’s on the inside.
“And remember this, as well, upon every surface that you are used, you must leave your mark. No matter what else happens, you must continue to write.”
It seemed the pencil listened to him and promised he would remember these five things so that he could live his life with heart and purpose.
Although applying the finer aspects of this tale might not always be possible all the time. Somewhere along the journey, when we get lost; the five lessons of the pencil would bring us back to the days where life was fun and meaningful. For by sharpening the pencil (graphite or charcoal), the artisans, craftsmen and even carpenters begin or continue their work to create their masterpieces.