Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yesterday I was puttering around the house and ran into this old wooden box in my house. It sits in the corner of my living room. I know that it does not look very pretty. But I love it.
It belongs to my grandfather or great grand father. Not really sure whom. It is at least a hundred years old. It is a portable tiny desk. It is called an Iskotro.
Many many years ago, I fell in love with it. And asked my uncle to give it to me. He had many other heirlooms so he generously gave it to me. And I used it and cherished it for years.
Until I moved to USA. I had to leave it behind with my Mom.
A few years later, when I went back for a visit, I was shocked to find out that it had been gifted to my niece. That did not sit well with me. As much as I love my niece, that was my property. I wanted it back. My niece was probably 12 years old that time. And she was in boarding school. I could have let her keep it but when I saw the condition it was in, I was appalled and outraged.
It had tons of junk in it. Candy, trash, food, and junk. To make the matters worse, someone had used crayon marks on every inch of the box.
I told my Mom, "This is it. I am taking it with me. If anyone is upset about it, just blame me. I with deal with the consequences. I'll be happy to buy her a desk or anything she wants. But this is mine."
I had it cleaned by professionals in India. But they were probably a little reckless. Despite my instructions of "please don't make it look like a new box and only remove the crayon marks" they polished it up and did God knows what with it. But some crayon marks still remained.
I wasn't pleased with the results but brought it home with me. I don't even remember how I did it. Did I pack that huge thing in my suitcase? I certainly would have never shipped it.
And so it sits there in my living room with some crayon marks and a dark dye. I do want to get it refurbished but have no idea what to do about it. I don't trust the professionals.
Meanwhile I always look at it and marvel at what it was. A reminder of times before computers. A reminder of a time when the British ruled India. A reminder of the old times when men fought wars with pens rather than guns. It must have been a part of the Ahimsa movement somehow.
And today, it still sits in my living room.