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The vision thing

india Updated: Feb 19, 2009 22:19 IST

So if you had Rs 20 lakh gathering dust in your bottom drawer, would you put it (and quite a bit more for taxes) down on a pair of Gandhi glasses? We’re not talking about the round, metal-rimmed style of ‘granny glasses’ sported by the likes of John Lennon. We’re talking about the actual pair sported by the Mahatma himself and presented to a nawab in search of inspiration.

The vision thing didn’t exactly work though. Colonel His Highness Sri Diwan Nawab Sir Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III Rasul Khanji, Nawab Sahib of Junagadh, fled to Pakistan in 1947, preferring the company of his 300 dogs to his erstwhile subjects. Maybe the glasses have improved with age and anyone who picks them up at an auction might, by peering at them, come into possession of some of the Mahatma’s exalted worldview. But a word of caution to the collector from the visually challenged. This particular pair was gifted in the 1930s. For the next decade and a half, the Father of the Nation had another one perched on his nose. Ageing aside, the lathi charges, travels throughout

India in third-class compartments, occasional visits to His Majesty’s prisons and sea journeys to and from England must have claimed their share of the Mahatma’s ocular aides.

If you are looking for an exclusive item, we do not recommend Gandhi’s glasses. The abiding mystery in the auction house circuit is why more of them have not surfaced yet.