This day was a day of reminiscing the past. We were to visit the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum at Kamal Kunj today. After a heavy late breakfast of eggs and toast, my cousin and I set out for Kamal Kunj. It was not very hard to find the museum, it happened to be a very popular tourist hub in Pune.
Outside the museum at its entrance, were granite slabs that served as plaques of information regarding the story behind the museum’s existence. Apparently, the museum houses the personal collection of Dr. Dinkar G Kelkar, who dedicated the entire collection to the fond memory of his son Raja, who had died tragically an untimely death.The entrance of the museum alone was testament to its strong roots in history: the ornate stone archway bespoke much of what lay beyond.
It is a three storey building that houses collectibles dating all the way back to the 14th century, including sculptures and statues, ornaments made of precious metals like silver and gold, as well as ivory pieces, vessels, and weapons used in war. Upto 21,000 priceless artefacts are housed under this one roof, with the collective theme being everyday life in India.
The collections of the museum varied from everyday articles to more specialized sections, and boasted a splendid collection of musical instruments. A section was dedicated to Mastani paintings, which Dr. Dinkar took special pride in. After his death, the care of the museum fell to his wife and daughter, who did a grand job.
Dr. Dinkar was fondly called ‘kaka’, and he was accepted to be a man on a mission by the ones near and dear to him. He was a poet under a pseudonym as well, and it was his single-minded zeal that brought together this wonderful collection of priceless articles under one roof at the museum.
We got to see a lot of interesting articles, and it brought back to mind all the old times we used to keep listening to our parents talk about, and now it seemed we too would be able to understand and commiserate the loss of the ‘good old days’ with the previous generation.