How to keep family heirlooms

My maternal grandfather's mother came from a very wealthy family. Her father was the "king" of Nashipur, basically a landowner with lots of land. When she got married to my great-grandfather, she came in a very ornate palanquin ornamented with, amongst other things, ivory accents. My grandfather was quite attached to that palanquin, perhaps due to the fact that both his parents passed away when he was a teenager. Anyways, many years down the road, a collector of Indian artifacts, Raja Dinkar Kelkar, found out that this palanquin was with my grandfather. Being a true collector, he pestered my grandfather to give him this palanquin so that he can put it in his museum. Mr. Kelkar felt that such a palanquin is part of Indian history and more people should be able to see it. My grandfather refused.

As a result, I have dim memories of that palanquin sitting in a corner of my grandfather's gigantic house. As it sat there over the years, termite got the better of it and some 30 years ago, it was sent to the trash-heap, never to be seen again.

Many years later, my mother told me about Mr. Kelkar and his trip to my grandfather and ever since, I have wondered what would have happened if that palanquin was sitting not in my grandfather's home but in Pune at the Kelkar museum. Perhaps I could appreciate its beauty and boast to my friends that my ancestors once owned and used this particular palanquin.

But it is not to be. Therefore, at times it is better to let go and still have access to the heirlooms than to mistreat them and lose them forever.

Just food for thought...

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