Wednesday, 15 April 2009

History in your hands

I went to the souq the other day...Sifting through the old coins in various jewelry stores. Found a 1976 Liberty Dollar, with the inscription: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I found a lot of beautiful Chinese coins, with dragons entwined around characters, with a Junk sailing the ocean. I found a coin with Hitler's profile. Many old Omani coins clinked through my hands. And then there were the really tiny coins, banded with a siver frame and made into lockets, gone green with age, faded, bearing the face of a greek youth. I'd have liked to buy one of those. I really would have.
These coins, so big, how were they carried around, I wonder, would they fit in our slim little leather wallets? Or would we need to carry moneybags, fastened to our skirts at the waist?
How may times have those coins changed hands, I wonder, and whose hands have they been in?
If we chart the route of those coins....where would they take us?

1 comment:

Anuj said...

First of all answer me can you chart the route of those coins? How?

No offense to you but I am a bit confused. The thing is that money itself is nothing but a means to an end. This what these coins were, simply a means to an end. Hence they can't have a route with an end, can they? I really liked your post but honestly I'm confused how can you trace the history of an artifact that is faceless in nature? Something which did not have any value except for the fact that it was a means to an end.

You do hold history in your hands, but not in the way you're thinking history was made using them not by them. I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

At the end does any of this truly matter? The owners of the coins came and went some obsessed over them, some were cavalier about them, but no matter what they were didn't they disappear all the same? So what is history? Is it our deeds or the mechanisms that created those deeds in the first place? Or is it when the why, the how and the when converge to give you something that stands out from the pages of time. I wish I knew.

This is just my interpretation to this. You may be right, I might be wrong after all there is nothing absolute in this stuff. So go ahead think about it all.