Shyamal Majumdar’s light measuring Ikophot

An ikophot is a handheld meter made in the 1950’s by Zeiss Ikon in Stuttgart, Germany. My grandfather Shyamal Kumar Majumdar  probably procured this in the 1960s from Fancy Market, Kidderpore, Kolkata. It has a bubble glass at the front that takes in the light, which then drives the meter needle. It is covered by a little black lid which can be removed while using the device.

The Ridges of a Thekua Mould

In the year of Madhubala’s Tarana, my great-grandfather bought an ornate wooden item for my great-grandmother from Madhubani. It was a Thekua mould made out of mango wood in the colour tan, lightweight and palm-size, the first gift purchased after their marriage.

The Foreman Sahib’s Whisky Glasses

My grandmother recalled how my grandfather had actually bought these glasses in the mid 1970s from a shop in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. At the time, there were two sets of six glasses each – of one set, now four remain and of the second set, there is only one left. Classically meant for brandy, my grandfather and great-grandfather used to drink whisky in them.

Sentiments, sofa sets and songs

This three-piece sofa set was bought by my great-grandfather, Dr. R. Krishnaswami in the late 1940s. My grandmother, seven or eight years old at the time, remembers accompanying her father on a walk to Mount Road, then home to various furniture stores. It was purchased for 175 rupees, a price considered extremely high for that time period, given the socio-economic conditions of the country post-Partition.

A dining table for the generations

There was literally nothing that Kiran Chandra Roy could do when the tenant fled from Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh, rather than pay months of outstanding rent. The silver lining was that he was a skilled carpenter and in his hurry to flee, had left quite a few pieces of furniture behind, which Capt. KC Roy, my dadu promptly confiscated and carted home. That is how this teakwood table came to our family in the late 50’s.

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