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Hurray! for the simple, reliable pencil.

Summary: For over four centuries, the classic wooden pencil has defied obsolescence -- a feat that generations of laptops and palm devices cannot match.

For over four centuries, the classic wooden pencil has defied obsolescence -- a feat that generations of laptops and palm devices cannot match.

The reasons may seem obvious enough. The world's most-used writing implement happens to be the least expensive. It never crashes or dries out. It works in outer space, underwater and everywhere in between. Technical support consists only of a sharpener.

At the recently held World Kids Colouring Day Competition at the Kindergarten Starters, the joy of holding a pencil could be seen in

children from Grade 1 to 5. They happily filled and created works of art using a variety of colour pencils and paints.

The competition was held under the theme 'Our Earth Our Universe'. Over 600 children from 23 schools participated in the event.

Youstina Wagih, from Grade 5 of the Al Diyafah High School said: "The competition is interesting as we can use lots of colours to express ourselves. I drew an earth that is sneezing to make people aware about the damage we cause everyday."

The little tots from Grades 1 and 2 could be seen filling in the outlines with eagerness and paid attention to small details.

Apeksha Lulla, brand manager, Staedtler said: "Though the push is towards digital, the need for pens and pencils is still the same. The sales have not been affected and there is no declining trend."

She added that pencil manufacturers were inclined to incorporate new technology in pencils in order to make them more reliable.

"Triangular pencils are the choice of the day as they are ergonomic and easy to old. Jumbo pencils give a better grip. Pencils are manufactured keeping the environment in mind and natural materials are used in the manufacturing process," said Apeksha.

Today's pencils also have the Anti-Breaking System, which results in longer lasting lead and eliminates the need to buy a pencil every second day.

Pencil is a simple tool. You do not need electricity, it is cheap and when you write in your own handwriting, it becomes an imprint of who you are, unlike a computer, which reduces us all to a couple of fonts. It travels everywhere. And it is not in a big hurry all the time. The first step in a child's life is holding a pencil. They love it instantly because it allows them to play. The different colours and sizes available are also part of the attraction but at the end of the day, it's the simplicity that makes it an important part of everyone's lives.

Copyright 2011 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 9, 2011
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