This cop wields a mighty pen

Write Way

Delhi Police Assistant sub-inspector PP Syamalan is always in demand. Not because of his acts of bravery or leadership qualities but because of his ‘beautiful handwriting’.

Known within the force for his calligraphy skills, the cop is often called upon to write invitation cards issued by the police.

Currently posted at the control room at the Lieutenant Governor’s house in Civil Lines, Syamalan’s tryst with calligraphy started when he was in Class 4. His talent was first recognised in 2011, when he got into the Limca Book of Records for writing 80 calligraphy greeting cards with the message ‘Wish You All The Best’ in one hour and then again in 2013 for calligraphing 261 greeting cards with the words ‘Best Of Luck’ written in an hour.

Originally from Kerala, he is living in Delhi since 1982 after being recruited by the Delhi Police. The assistant sub inspector says he learnt the ‘art of writing’ from his mother. “Whatever I have learnt in calligraphy is because of my mother. She taught me this art and here I am today.

I have had no formal training...it is a God-given gift.” Syamalan initially started writing with pencils, but soon took to coloured ink pens, also called as calligraphy pens. In recognition of his talent and as support, his department now provides him with the crucial writing tools and calligraphy pens. Talking about the ornate art of calligraphy and the dedication it demands, Syamalan says, “All you need is patience. This art demands time, practise and a lot of concentration.”

Comparing interest in calligraphy and the current practice of using ball pens as opposed to the fountain pens, which seem to have lost their relevance, Syamalan, says, “Students are made to write with ball pens in their schools to increase their speed, but it is a deterrent for good handwriting. There is nothing like an ink pen to improve your handwriting.”

With justifiable pride in his work Syamalan says he can do calligraphy in a dozen fonts in English and also claims to have created a new English font, which he calls Leela, after his late mother. “She taught me to write artistically in Malayalam, my mother tongue. And I created this font in her name to honour her. This font can’t be found on the computer. It is my own creation.”

The cop who is all for spreading the good word about calligraphy and encouraging its practice also holds workshops and teaches the art of beautiful writing to enthusiasts and children of Delhi Police officers. His passion for writing can also be seen on official documents and invitation cards drafted in his department. “Seniors call me to write invitation cards and various other documents because of my good handwriting. I also write on wedding cards.”

The talented cop has a son who is pursuing BBA, but sadly not that interested in carrying forward his father’s passion for beautiful handwriting. “My son is not that keen on calligraphy, though he has tried his hand at the art. But, I would definitely love to see more and more people getting into this beautiful art,” hopes Syamalan.

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