COGNITIVE ANECDOTES

An effort to recapitulate and share my ideas,views and thoughts in words...


Dredging up the caliginous memories of those times, I find the day my father introduced me to the world of philately. I was a small kid then, just over 6 years old. As I had the habit of collecting any ken-speckle object which was small enough to keep in my shelf, I welcomed this offer whole-heartedly. Much to my delight, father presented me with a plastic box full of stamps. The beautiful colors, the various dimensions in which they came and their characteristic serrated contours made me fall in love with stamps.

As years passed by, I became more inclined towards collecting stamps. My father helped my collection robust. Initially, by presenting me with an inoculum of stamps and gradually he added more to the collection by bringing home stamps from the letters he encountered at his workplace. He also taught me the procedure to carefully peel off the stamps from their envelopes by dipping in water for sometime and finally drying them over a towel.




Stamps introduced the world to me. I would keenly study the names of countries and places which were imprinted on the sealed stamps. The European stamps attracted me the most. Their intricate designs and the portraits of good looking, pink colored people easily made them my favorites. Growing up in a very modest town, I had little opportunities to learn about the world. We had a television set with channels which were mostly indigenous and at those times, internet was totally alien for most people including me. However, each of the stamps i collected added a drop of knowledge in me. Stamps provided me with multifarious information. I learned about the countries, cultures, the flora and fauna endemic to a region and on occasions the capitals and even the famous personalities and events of a particular country. The stamps were actually a kaleidoscope through which I viewed the world.

One day, as I lay in my bed appreciating my stamps, a particular set of 'ugly' looking stamps in my collection caught my attention. They did not have the date on them but certainly appeared very old. Most of them had British Kings on them which suggested they might be those at the times of the British Empire. I was shocked to find that in one of them, the script was in Malayalam. I had never come across a stamp scripted in Malayalam. I inquired about these particular set of stamps to my father and learned that these were passed on to my father from my great grandfather. It was then I realized our family had a legacy of philately and what I possessed in my shelf was a treasure inherited from one generation to another. 

But I had found only a few of these uncanny, old stamps! "My great grandpa's collection could not be so meager" I reflected. The next time I visited my ancestral house, I was determined to explore my great grandpa's trunk. As I had severe dust allergy, I had a lot of trouble persuading my grandfather to allow me to access the old trunks. Owing to my persevering efforts, he finally gave in. Enthusiastically, I climbed up the narrow, rickety old stairs, and headed straight to Grandfathers room. As I explored the trunk, I was dumbfounded to find more of these small old, soiled stamps. So my mission was accomplished. But that was not all, to my surprise, I found a handful of brownish copper coins. In various coins I appreciated the embossed images of King George, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth and the bald figure of King Edward who interestingly didn't have a crown. I didn't know how to thank my late great grandpa. I was in sheer jubilation, in a state of mind that a pirate would have been in after unearthing a treasure. This event also helped me take an active interest in numismatics.


For few more years, the stamps came in nice and handsome into my big "stamp stock book".
I managed to establish trade with some of my friends and was able to build an impressive collection. As I entered my teens, for some strange reason, my collection ceased to grow. It would be the beginning of a crisis, father no longer brought stamps, I too started losing interest as I seldom got any stamps. "It's the couriers" father would reply to me whenever I asked him why the letters don't come. "Couriers!!" I cursed,  whatever that meant, I hated them. I wondered why the couriers didn't bear stamps. Later I found that the couriers were a faster means of sending information. By this time other means of written communication like e-mails, sms, faxes, etc had also become well established. I winced in these developments for they ruined my kingdom of philately. I felt like a powerless King in a democracy.


Today, as I browse through my priceless collections, I virtually find myself sailing through the chronicle of my life. Each stamp has a memory to go with it, a story to tell. I wonder what the present day kids will have to imbibe and preserve from the couriers and the e-mails other than the mere information that they carry. Still, it is a pleasure to see philately communities and actively trading enthusiasts in the internet. It would be the only ray of hope, for the perishing philatelist in me.








9 comments:

Ah the hobby, which now you discovered as a legacy. Its strange and wonderful at the same time :))

You'll surely have something worthwhile to give to the posterity... :)

Cheers,

You write so well... I read several posts.

Sonshine

@ Tanvi,

Yeah, I hope so, thanks for reading the post.

Cheers.

@ Sonshine

Thank you for visiting my blog,
I'm very happy that you like my posts, thanks for reading..

I have already mentioned it's a great thing you are doing through your blog and I really appreciate it.

Regards.

My dad had this hobby... until life happened and he got otherwise busy. I left home at a very young age, but I know that the heirloom has now passed on to my only sibling...

... makes me wonder if this is how he felt while he handed it over. Nice write up.

@ Reenie,

Thanks for reading the post, Yuh..I guess your dad must have felt the same way..

Regards..
Vaisakh.

hmm... its a great hobby, i too used to collect stamps and coins and currency notes...... its really interesting to know more about some old coins or stamps i get!! i once got a 500 year old coin... authentic!!

nice narration man... loved it!!!!!!

@ Suraj,

Thanks man, for reading the post and commenting, please do keep your collections going...

Nice to hear from you..

Cheers.

Dear Blogger,

Hope you are fine. We are Bloggers Mind, India's Post's social media
partners for the upcoming Indipex 2011 event to be held in Delhi between
February 12th to 18th. We are running a Facebook page
http://facebook.com/indipex2011 and Twitter http://twitter.com/indipex2011/.
We came across your blog and found it very engaging. As you are a philately
enthusiast we would like to join hands with you for promotions of Indipex
2011. We are doing a contest on our Facebook page and would like your
support on the same and we can conduct the same contest on your blog for
your followers.

Please give us your contact details so we can give you more details on the
activity.

Looking forward to your response and make philately an enjoyable experience.

Regards,
Aditya Vaidyanathan
aditya.vaidyanathan@bloggersmind.com

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