March 31, 2003 

Inspiration for the day

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Dr.V.K.Ramachandran, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram

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Mending minds is his profession and mending antiques his hobby.  Dr.V.K.Ramachandran, senior psychiatrist, has transformed his residence at Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram into a treasure house for antiques.  Vintage cars and clocks, record players, chairs, teapoys, furniture, lamp shades, show pieces, mirrors and doors all display a touch of the ancient in his house.

He started collecting antiques way back in 1972 when his ancestral home was demolished.  It was from the wreckages of such demolitions that he built his antique collection.  “What you see around are all waste products that one will not even give a second look.  I work on them, repair them to make them presentable and bring them back to working condition,” he says. 

Thus, for example, broken pieces of huge cupboards and the carved legs of old teak and rose wood chairs are used to make sofas with a majestic look. The teeny-weeny showpieces could be seen in all parts of the house.  The kennel too has an antique touch with a ‘ranthalvilakku’ for lighting, carved wood for doors and a chiming calling bell.

He has a collection of 14 vintage cars and most of them are in good working condition.  “I read a lot about old clocks and cars.  That is how I repair them,” says Ramachandran, proudly claiming that all are in working condition.

Perhaps his meticulous care to generate value out of waste does have a parallel in his treatment room also.

Ramachandran with 2 vintage beauties

Courtesy: Manu Vipin (text), P.K.Gopinath (photo), New Indian Express, February 15, 2003

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