Thursday, April 06, 2006

Of Antiques and Ghosts

I’ve always dreamt of being a collector of sorts…you know, antiques, arts, crystals…the good things in life. After spending years of putting up with cheap IKEA furniture, I have finally arrived! I have bought myself a few pieces of antique furniture.

I came to know the dealer Mr. Gupta about two years back. He has a small dusty shop full of goodies and does brisk business with people who know what they are looking for. Unfortunately the first time I walked in, I was totally clueless. Yet this man was very patient with me. He showed me around with great enthusiasm even after I told him that I was just looking! There were cupboards and four poster beds, easy chairs (that’s what they were called before the mechanical “recliners” came into the market) and chest of drawers, dowry chests with many hidden compartments, sofas upholstered in fraying brocades, dusty chandeliers, blackened silver tea-sets…it was a glimpse into an era gone by! I wanted every single piece in the store…only if I could afford them! Mr. Gupta also taught me to differentiate between real antiques and reproductions (he hates the word fake!) Each piece in his store was lovingly restored or faithfully reproduced!

Over last two years I have visited his store many times, some times to buy antiques for clients, sometimes to just browse…but never bought anything from there! Finally, I did it…I’m moving again and getting rid of ALL the IKEA furniture!! And I’m taking back some antique pieces with me. A entrance mirror cum hat and umbrella stand, a glass case which is at least half a century old, a wooden chest with beautiful brass inlay work and last but not the least, a beautiful rosewood desk at least 150 years old. All lovingly restored to its original glory.

I have heard about ghosts that stay with antique furniture. Why, just the other day I was reading about Robert of Spokane, WA who bought an antique roll-top desk and found a lock of hair and some hat pins in one of its secret compartments. In his own words:

One night I went into the den to catch up on some work. I turned on my desk lamp and on my desk were three rose petals. This rather confused me because I don't have any roses around the house and it was not the time of year roses would be in full bloom. No one else lives here besides me. I picked them up and put them in the waste basket next to my desk and started to do some work. About an hour later I had the strange feeling I was being watched and I am sure every one who has had that feeling know it is somewhat uncomfortable. I walked over to the window and closed the blinds and sat back down to do some more work. I was writing up some orders when I felt what I felt like a hand brush over my arm. I kind of jumped and just figured it was my nerves! I was tired and it has been a long day. So I stopped what I was doing and went on to bed. I read for a bit then turned the light off and went to sleep. I was awakend by what I thought was the smell of perfume in the room. It smelled like roses and was pungent.I turned the light on and did not see anything. But I did notice that the left side of the bead spread looked like some one was sitting on it. I moved to get out of bed and the indentation on the bedspread smoothed out as though what ever it was got up off the bed. Well I must say I was wide awake by now I was breaking out into a sweat at this point. I was not scared , but just could not understand what was going on.

The next day I was making a pot of coffee and some toast while reading the morning paper, when one of the hat pins that was in the roll top desk just all of a sudden fell on the table. The den is on the other side of the house how in the world did the hat pen get into the kitchen I thought. These events have been going on for a few years now. I have even seen the mystery ghost it is a young lady she stays in the den mainly. She has long hair down to the middle of her back I see here from time to time out of the corner of my eye. I have even started talking to her when in the den. I know this sounds crazy but I truly feel her spirit came with the Roll Top Desk. She is now a part of the house. She has never tried to scare me or hurt me but always makes things pleasant such as the perfume smells and trying to let me know she is around.

Just thought I would share this with people that there are more to antiques than just age. If it is an item that some one just loved and really liked, you never know that they may have a part of them embedded into it.

I’m hoping that there would be at least a ghost or two associated with my furniture, you know the bhatakti aatma types…at least with the desk; someone harmless of course…may be a writer, who can inspire me with words and expressions! I’m yet to sit at the desk and write, (I’m moving, remember? Everything is in transit!) But I’m so excited, that I even splurged on a bougainvillea pink raw silk covered chair to go with it! Can’t wait to set it up my new bedroom, in front of the window (that looks out to someone’s ugly backyard) and dream up intelligent blog posts and new plot lines for Ekta Kapoor’s serials!!


Lavanya said...

May your wishes come true! May you find a good ghost or two, say someone like CASPSER or Black Beard's Ghost:-) There...never thought I'd say that!!Definitely not Ajay Devgan from Kaal! And as for me I hope I never run into anything of that sort, in this lifetime:-)!Waiting for the intelligent posts and tag lines for EK's serials!

Nautilus said...

@Lavanya: Are you saying my posts aren't already intelligent enough? :-( *sniff*

As for Ekta Kapoor...I swear, one of these days I'll write something so bad that she'll be compelled to buy television rights for it by paying big bucks! :-)

indianpeppone said...

Ahhh, I have always been wondering abt the term 'ghost writing'... now i know.

But, how can u possibly trash IKEA???? I have every IKEA product from wodden photoframes to wardrobes...... and the collection grows every weekend.... IKEA, my home!

Nautilus said...

@Indianpeppone:Dude, 8 years later your IKEA furniture would also be worth less than enjoy it while it lasts (literally)And they don't come with ghosts either!!:-)

Lavanya said...

Hey no, your posts are awesome! gr8 work going on here!sorry. I'll re-phrase, "waiting for more such intelligent posts" that better?!