Monday, March 15, 2010
The lost legacy
I want to be born again. Born not in future but many years behind to live what will never come again and what shall be remembered till eternity. Indian heritage and legacy is by far the most richest one that i know of. And I am really proud of it. But it gives me immense pain to see this heritage trapped only in books and fading from our memories (only if we have some left).
I would really want a re-run telecast of yester years to experience the richness of our culture and royalty. With the loss of RAJ we lost what we stood for and imbibed the new. The regal mansions, places, the royal sawaari are all nothing but fairy tales that we all visualize differently. The monochromatic images of royal India are just the worn out pages of our history books.
I have been fascinated by this fairy tale. A tale that I would like to live once, only to be able to see "The Maharaja of Patiala, Maharaja Yadwindra Singh adorning this exquisite piece on his neck. The Grand Necklace of the Maharaja of Patiala. This is one of the most precious possessions that India had. This opulent piece was made especially for the Maharaja in 1920s and is encrusted with 2930 diamonds in platinum chains. The centerpiece in this necklace is the famous De Beers diamond, a cushion-cut pale yellow diamond weighing 234.69 carats that is said to be the seventh largest polished diamond in the world and is nearly as big as a golf ball. The Maharaja was often seen wearing this neck piece for his photo shoots, paintings and his royal ceremonies. This beautiful piece can now be seen only in historic photographs. We Lost It.
It was last seen in 1948 during the lost of RAJ. It disappeared. The splendor of Maharaja was also dissolving. Nobody had an account of where the neck piece had gone.
Later in 1998, some one came up with the remnants of the piece in second hand market in London. All the sparkling stones were gone. Cartier acquired the remain of it and took 4 yrs restoring it and re-created it, replacing the stones with new ones. The estimated cost of this necklace, today is $25 Million.
So exquisite was the piece that it had to seek permission from Maharaja to exhibit it. India's legacy is now the re-created pride of some body else. The piece has been replicated but it's royalty could never be. Only if I could be re-born many years ago, to see it and feel pride to have it in our own country adorned by The Maharaja of Patiala