Delhiites stamp their love for philately

By Priyanka Sahay, IANS
Monday, February 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Here’s an airmail from Indipex 2011 - the sixth World Philatelic Exhibition, a sprawling seven-day showcase of stamps spanning history, culture and ethos in the capital.

Stamps and collectors have a world of their own and, true to the lure of the postage, collectors and visitors from across the world are thronging the Feb 12-18 fair for a glimpse of heritage and also to flaunt their stamps.

The fair has another reason to smile. It is a tribute to the airmail, which has completed 100 years. Some vignettes:

Journey from US to India

Once a collector, now an exhibitor, US citizen Sandeep Jaiswal proudly showed off his collection of over 3,000 stamps from across the globe. The stall by India Post, known as Indian Feudatory States, put on sale stamps and postal stationery.

We have managed to bring the entire collection under one roof. The collection includes stamps from India under British Raj, stamps by the East India Company, post-independence, and even the rarest-of-rare Queen Elizabeth stamps, Jaiswal told IANS.

The childhood fascination for collecting postage stamps for the real estate agent based in the US has brought him back to his country. Stamps reflect everything - history, geography, integrity. One just needs to spot the passion for philately, the philatelist said.


Charkha goes 3-D

After struggling through a huge crowd fighting for space at Korea’s philately stall, one comes across children asking for three-dimensional Mahatma Gandhi stamps with his charkha (spinning wheel). The magic stamp merged and morphed to convey a multi-dimensional image. The stamp was released Feb 5.

“We did not expect this overwhelming response from the visitors, especially children. This is just the first day and we have sold almost 200 stamps,” said Pyo Hyok Chol, Korean exhibitor and a philatelist. The stamps are priced at Rs.40 each.

“The idea was to fuse history with technology. Mahatma Gandhi is known as the father of the Indian nation here, and to have his postmark even on a 3-D stamp is an USP indeed,” Chol said.


Religious postmark

The Malaysia counter was a big draw, particularly for its stamps on Indian festivals. Enthusiasts queued up to see - and buy.

Eid, known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia, and Deepawali are celebrated in a big way in the Southeast Asian country. “Indian festival stamps are selling like hot cakes and it is likely that we will run out of stocks in a day,” said Haidan Abdul Rahman.


Stamped destiny

A businessman from Singapore of Indian origin showcased a rare collection of Chinese zodiac stamps that were arranged in chronological sequence to depict the significance of the order.

The vend wore a rather hippy look with people sporting rudraksh beads and khadi kurtas figuring out the complex pattern. “I am an astrology enthusiast and for me this is the best thing I could get at such a reasonable price,” said Madadev Verma, a visitor. Each stamp was priced at Rs.1,600 each.

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