Effortlessly Antique

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Raghu has a weakness for antiques and the house is a bit overboard on old bric-a-brac, carpets, furniture, etc., which he has been collecting for 30 years now.  He used to scour antique shops, flea markets, craft shops, furniture shops and what not, spending enormous amounts of time. And much more money than we could afford.

But a few days ago, I looked around and wondered why he even made the effort! Just by sheer living and reaching the age of 60ish, even our most mundane belongings are antique!

My wedding saris are over 35 years old.

My own jewellery is 40 years old. But my mother and grandmother both gave me pieces of their jewellery over time. So some of it is close to 65 years old. And a few pieces close to 85 years old.

Raghu has his first watch, which was a hand-me-down from his father–easily 70 years old. Also, his father’s fountain pen, probably of the same vintage.

My silver kodam (water pot), was given to my grandmother from her mother’s time and is probably a century old, give or take.

The idols in the puja cabinet may again be a 100 years old, since some of them belonged to great-grandparents.

We did go out of our way to buy some old pieces of furniture, but some of the most mundane pieces like the kitchen cabinet, by growing old with us, are close to four decades old.

My ever-silver (stainless steel for the non-South Indians) vessels come down from my mother-in-law’s treasured hoard, and may well be over 60 years old.

I have dessert bowls that my parents bought when they were in the UK in 1962.

I have a doll that was bought during the same visit.

Our photographs rest in albums dating back to the ‘50s.

So whether or not you know it, whether you want to be or not, you are an antique collector. And your house is a museum. Because life happens…

–Meena

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