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This Gurgaon antique collector has stamps, coins, bank notes from over 100 countries

Gurgaon resident Vivek Kumar’s love for antiques goes beyond collecting old postage stamps, coins and bank notes.

gurgaon Updated: Sep 15, 2017 18:38 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Vivek Kumar even has stamps dating back to the 19th century.(Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Discovering old coins and letters in the house showed nine-year-old Vivek Kumar the path to unearth his passion for antiques. Soon, this Gurgaon resident started collecting stamps, letters and coins, and today at 35 years of age, Vivek’s collection includes postage stamps, coins and bank notes from more than a 100 countries.

Narrating an anecdote, Vivek says it all started during an interaction with his principal. “It changed my life forever. My principal told me how he used to collect currencies, and asked if we had any historical currencies to share. I went home and began looking in my house for stamps and currencies. I got so excited that instead of sharing it with, I started my own collection. Earlier, I used to collect used stamps or cancelled stamps. But after a few years, I came to know of the place I could buy new (mint stamps), which was the post office. Now, I even have stamps dating back to the 19th century.”

An over view of Vivek’s collection that encompasses stamps, coins and letters. (Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Always on a lookout to expand his collection, Vivek would often collect postage stamps from relatives living abroad who would send letter to their families in India, and even ask friends visiting from abroad for stamps. And he went to various post offices in Delhi to collect stamps in person, which also helped him expand his knowledge in philately. “Jo stamps Delhi mein milega, woh Hyderabad mein bilkul different hoga (The stamps that you find in Delhi will be completely different from what’s available in Hyderabad). My work gave me the opportunity to explore various cities, which enhanced my knowledge. I try to visit those places in a city or country where people often don’t visit. And, I ensure that I visit the post office wherever I go. I started purchasing them and investing money for my passion. This is how my collection grew,” says Vivek who has also participated in quite a few exhibitions.

“In 2002, I got chance to display my collection of postage stamps in a post office in Hisar. After that, I was invited to exhibit in a number of cities in Haryana including Hisar, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Gurgaon, Srinagar,” he says with a sense of pride in his voice.

Antique locks from Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. (Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Vivek’s fondness isn’t just restricted to stamps and currencies, he also collects miniature sheets (Stamps of India) and antique locks from countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. “Mujhe puraani cheezon se lagav hai (I am fond of antiques). I keep collecting old statues, locks and paper weights. Most people understood my love for collecting old things, and offered me articles that have now been added to my collection. Kayi log nayi samjhe. Vo mere rishtedar hi sahi par koi baat nahi (Some people didn’t understand my passion for old things. They were by relatives but I didn’t mind their reaction),” he says, continuing is quest for antiques.

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First Published: Sep 15, 2017 18:33 IST