Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
When I was young I desired a million things but had no money to buy them with.
Now when I am old, I have more money but very few things I desire….
There were weeks when I pined for a bright yellow shirt that was selling for Rs. 15 and every day as I passed the shop all I could do was look at it lovingly, sigh and move on as I did not have the Rs. 15 to spare.
Today I stroll through the well-stocked malls of Singapore, with enough Rs. 15s in the bank and yet I come away with zero purchases.
Maybe the items around me have changed. Or maybe my tastes have changed. Or maybe my mindset has changed. Maybe I have lost interest in worldly things. Or maybe I am just dead? For, how is it possible for a living person to have no desire?
And as I am on the way to getting convinced that I have arrived at some higher plane of existence in which I have attained control over my mind – suddenly I see something that makes my heart skip a beat …
and the illusion of my evolution into a sage comes crashing down.
It seems I am alive still. For, I do have desires!
The mind is now in a state of pursuit … I cannot get enough of the visuals of the object … I cannot wait for replies to emails …. I cannot wait for the other side of the world to wake up…. I cannot sleep … I must know more!
THIS is happiness.
The blandness of a desireless existence has been dispelled by the intense lure of an object!
Whoever said material things cannot make one happy has not discovered antique art yet!!
Now the challenge is to prolong that longing for a bit … allow it to turn into some kind of ‘nasha’.
But for now I am happy ….. am relishing this state of longing.
Here are the objects of my desire….
Objects that I can someday have in my possession but whose soul I can never own.
Am reminded of the song lyrics:
“Jinke Sar Ho Ishq Ki Chhanv
Paaon Ke Neeche Jaanat Hogi”
When above one’s head, one has the shade of “Ishq” (closest translation is romance / love / passion) Then one’s feet are walking in heaven.
How wonderful it is to desire things!
View more photos of this exquisite antique textile in the ‘Personal Collection’ on