Ladakh stole, iconic pen

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted German Chancellor Angela Merkel an exquisite handloom woollen khadi stole from Ladakh and a Ratnam pen. The stole, known as “Call of Ladakh”, has an intricate traditional Ladakhi border pattern and four corner motifs, in dark wool. The yarn is hand-spun using the finest sheep wool, on a traditional charkha, by native Ladakhi women, in the harsh winter months. The Ratnam Pen, named after K.V. Ratnam (originally from a family of goldsmiths in Rajahmundry), was made iconic by Mahatma Gandhi. It is produced even today in its original form by K.V. Ratnam and Sons — Ratnam Ballpen Works, owned by Ratnam’s descendants. Even today, it has a barrel for filling ink using a dropper and the Genius Iridium Nib from Germany.

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