PAUPER WHO OWNS ANTIQUES WORTH LAKHS
Once a traveler from
Middle East came to Kappekkadan Beerankutty’s house at Mannasseri,
Malappuram to see his private collection of antiques.
The Arab was particularly impressed with the miniature copy of the
Quran that would fit into the palm of one’s hand.
the visitor was willing to spend Rs.5 lakhs to own the rare book that can
be read only with the help of a lens, Beerankutty was reluctant to part
with it. This, despite the
fact that he, as the father of 7 children, could have solved many pressing
financial problems – including the marriage of 3 daughters – with that
is Beerankutty who has spent 40 years of his life collecting antiques.
These include palanquins of the 19th century, old coins
of Malabar, Kochi, Nizam’s Hyderabad, Portugal and France, currency
notes of 150 countries including 100-year-old notes, utensils more than
200 years old, old measuring vessels, palm-leaf manuscripts, 150-year-old gramophone,
air gun of the Portugese period etc.
he gained during 17 years of work in the forests of Wayanad, he spent in
acquiring antiques. And
finally when he came down to the plains, he was a virtual pauper –
except for the invaluable articles he had collected.
sons are automobile mechanics. “It is because of them that the house is not sunk in
poverty”, says Beerankutty without any guilt.
only earning is the voluntary contributions given by occasional visitors
to his house-cum-private gallery.
Beerankutty and family amidst antiques
Courtesy: V.R.Jyotish, Vanitha, March 1-14, 2002
Contributed by: Administrator
"He laughs best who laughs last. "