Swadeshi, Swaraj and Swadhin - three new lines of ink from Sulekha are now ready.
During the peak of Corona-infused-lockdown, fountain pen lovers from different parts of India had contacted me to help them organise a "group buy" of Sulekha Inks. To cut a long story short, despite my best efforts, the initiative had failed as the logistics could not be mustered. To set things right and meet the demands of the Fountain Pen and Ink fanatics, Sulekha has not only launched the Collector's Edition Swadeshi line, but is also in the process of giving final touches to the packaging of the Swaraj and the Swadhin lines. These lines will be offered progressively over the next two months.
Kaushik Maitra with the Swadeshi Inks. The Punjabi he is sporting is his grandfather's - hand spun by his grand mother - those were the days!
Kaushik Maitra, the Managing Director, while launching the Swadeshi line of inks said, "Sulekha was more than an ink that etched the history of the freedom struggle - it was the life blood of Swadeshi. Born out of a compulsion to serve the desire of the Mahatma to empower the people with the pen, Sulekha is the story of sacrifice: of the indomitable spirit of self-sufficiency, of a way of life that did not cower before the might of injustice, even as it sought to economically empower the people by creating a product that not only substituted costly imported inks but was also globally competitive in its own right."
"Today Sulekha pays tribute to those halcyon days when Swadeshi was a way of life and Nationalism was represented even in the ink that was used to write the words that spewed fire against the foreign yoke. Swadeshi was the soul of Swaraj and to be Swadhin was the goal of our forefathers to whom we pay our humble tribute" he said. "The naming is deliberate: the terms used, chosen to represent a value system that we continue to believe in and espouse".
The Sulekha Swadeshi, Swaraj and Swadhin ranges have been created using the same ingredients and incorporating the same processes that the torchbearers of this swadeshi enterprise had perfected. Yes, the inks still go through the time-consuming double filtration under the watchful eyes of trained supervisors and are hand made by local ladies who have formed themselves into groups, following the time-tested principles of Khadi and Gram Udyog set down by Gandhiji. The packaging has also been made to highlight the sustainability of the product and the spirit that had given birth to it.
Swadeshi - a Limited Edition line has been painfully recreated using the same exacting standards and mostly the same ingredients with which the first inks were made by Sulekha for use by none other than the Father of the Nation. Available only in Royal Blue, Executive Black and Scarlet Red colours, the carafes are packed in a handmade pouch that has been specially recreated for the line and come from Shantiniketan, Gurudev's Abode of Peace. "We are blending each batch of Swadeshi Ink with inks that were made by us in the last century and were retained in our factory. Naturally, these vintage-blended inks will be unique - one of their kind and therefore truly a class apart" beamed Kaushik Maitra.
The Swaraj line will comprise of inks in 10 colours to cater to the needs of the ink aficionados - a testimonial of the time when Sulekha inks were one of the major export items of the Nation. It will not be out of place to mention here that Sulekha was invited to set up by the United Nations, two ink factories in Africa, which it had, as a proud Indian enterprise, successfully done.
The Swadhin line will comprise of the two essential colours - black and blue - which Sulekha's founding fathers had vowed to make easily available for the common man at the least possible price so that the Mahatma's dream of a knowledge empowered India could be achieved. The pricing of this range will therefore remain true to the commitments made.
Sulekha Inks. For, when the mind is without fear and the head is held high, knowledge is free and the words come out from the depths of truth!
Editor's Note: The Swadeshi line of Inks are now available at INR 1250 for a pack of three bottles. As a special gesture to Fountain Pen lovers, the Sulekha Management has agreed to waive the Courier Charges within India for fountain pen lovers for a period of three months from November 15th 2020 to February 15th 2021. An undisclosed number of Swadeshi ink bottles are also being earmarked for export to Bangladesh as a homage to Rajshahi where the Sulekha journey had begun and to honour the local fountain pen and ink loving community.
Please Note: This line of inks is not being sold through the distributors network and is available exclusively for the Collectors / Fountain Pen Lovers, only through this route.
Kindly post your requirement to firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com along with proof of payment.
The amount to be deposited at:
SULEKHA WORKS LIMITED,
Bank of India, Garia Branch, Kolkata 700084
IFS Code BKID0004265