My grandfather presented this little golden fish watch to my aunt when she qualified as the first Muslim woman doctor from the Madras Medical College in 1937; in turn she gave it to me when I qualified as an Architect from Madras University in 1969.
It is my Grandfather's history and my Aunt's that would be of interest, as this little fish saw the changes in South India during the last days of British Rule followed by Indian Independence. A much gentler transition than the one witnessed by the struggle in the north and partition. It is also the story of a Muslim family in South India, where the women carried on a legacy of being educated, leading to careers as doctors, teachers, scientists, and today - even a pilot!
Though it has not escaped completely unscathed by its long journey back from where it started, it still remains an object of great beauty, reflecting an age of elegance at a time when designs like this were much influenced by oriental art.
The little golden fish, set with pearls and precious stones will now remain in English waters as I intend to donate it to a London museum, where I hope it would be enjoyed by others who get to hear about its history.