Here is a blog post by my neighbor. She was a small little girl with bright eyes when she first stepped into our house. 15 years later, when she came up to me one day and expressed her interest in writing an article about my antique collection for my blog, I was really happy. Here’s her take on my antique collection. Hope you enjoy reading it. I certainly did! If you too have anything to share about antiques or any memories associated with ones used at your home, I would be glad to have your article on my blog.
What do we do with heirlooms? You know those things that are too precious to part with and too old to come out of the box. We cannot give them away, they are heirlooms. I never thought anything could be made of them; they never match any of the interiors. At our place, they always sat boxed up, in the darkest corner of the attic. I was of the belief that nothing good would ever come out them. But my perspective changed once I stepped into my neighbors newly constructed home for the very first time. I was about 7 then. The first thought that came to my mind was “Woah! I can totally sit inside the dining table.” I was so captivated; it was nothing like any other dining table I had ever seen. It was a huge water storage brass pot with a glass top. I mean, who could have thought that you can convert something of such great importance and history into something so basic, efficient and fascinating while retaining its cultural value. The front door of their house was a big traditional door with a chain latch and was locked from inside using a wooden log.
The next thing that hit me like a deer in head lights was the living area. I was gob smacked, everything that we would have thought as useless was sitting right there in the living room with pride. Another brass pot was converted into a coffee table and two big ones sat on either side of the arm chairs. I was transported into another dimension. Every artifact had its own story. I could not think of a place to sit, how difficult is that? You pick a seat and you sit, simple isn’t it? I could not decide whether it would be the Victorian bed with drapes, that served as a contemporary substitute to that traditional dewan; or that exquisite looking floral recliner, or those dark wooden arm chairs that made you feel important.
Let’s face it, all of us have a tick for beds with drapes, but the chairs looked so inviting and the brass pots next to it had water in it. At least that’s what I thought, until I took my seat on the chair and discovered that it was not actually water but glass that created an illusion of water. Sheer genius if you ask me. The whole living room had an aura of a King or Queen’s private parlor. The best part was that there were two huge windows covered with drapes. When pulled apart, they filled the room with abundant sunlight.
There was never an instance when I got bored during any of my visits there. Looking at the artifacts itself was intriguing. Every showpiece was an artifact and every artifact had a story and history. Not until recently did I know that all these were more than artifacts, they have an immense cultural importance. Every piece of antique collected depicts the way of life of the people. The betel box, torches and the ink pot were etched in my memory. Tumblers! Who could’ve thought that tumblers that we drink from can be used for decorative purposes? The staircase that led to the terrace had been decorated with brass pots of different sizes on either side.
The door to the pooja room was a compilation of different sizes and designs of block prints. I am still in awe of how many articles have been collected by Y.K. uncle (as I fondly call him). This beautiful house felt like a home from the moment I stepped into it. One reason being the beautiful people that make it a home and the other being because of the cultural reminiscences of our great ancestors who have taught us all that we know about family and life. This is not a mere house or a home, it is on par with any cultural museum you will come across with an ‘in-house curator.’
It has been almost been 15 years now and every time I enter the house, it still feels the same. Nothing has changed since then. Everything is still in place, the brass antiques are still shining, and over the years I have seen many more new items added to the collection. I strongly encourage you to take a look at Y.K. uncle’s collection via the blog. The blog is a great place to start, but nothing would beat the experience of seeing and feeling the antiques personally at the house. So why don’t you come experience it for yourself?
Vyshnavi Gopalakrishnan (An utterly amused neighbor)