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Outstanding collection of out-of-the-way objects



Medley of memories.

UNIQUE ARE the hobbies pursued by people. They differ from individual to individual depending on their interests. The list ranges from collecting pebbles to computer peripherals, and postages to precious stones.

Nagarajan alias Rajathasan, a 40-year-old resident of Theni, has a unique fad. He is fond of collecting memorablia associated with the late Chief Minister, M.G. Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR.

Mr. Rajathasan, who had collected articles such as pictures of MGR in his maiden film, first-day covers put out by the postal department, key chains and pens carrying the late leader's figure, and news clips that have appeared in various publications and magazines, says, "MGR is my role model. I like his noble principles and respect for women and motherhood."

Mr. Rajathasan calls his collections, `MGR Ninaivu Kalanjiyam'. He has a similar collection on Swami Vivekananda.

It all started as a pastime, roughly 30 years ago. But, later, the collection grew to include objects such as pens used in different periods, key chains obtained from different countries, currencies, coins and stamps of various nations.

"I was inspired to start this hobby after watching a film during my school days in which a small boy wins prizes for collecting several rare articles. I too decided to follow suit and today my collections are worth a few lakhs of rupees," says Mr. Rajathasan.

The latest additions to his general collection are damaged, soiled and defaced currencies. He has a number of currencies that have been damaged and disfigured. There are even some with printing mistakes. He pursues this hobby not only for personal satisfaction. He shares the information obtained through his collection by organising exhibitions in various cities across the State, including Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore. He wants to showcase his collection in every city in the State.

"The only support I expect from the Government is for it to allot a stall in trade exhibitions organised in the State. My collections will help future generations know about MGR and provide other info-bits. It will be a knowledge-building exercise for youths as well," says Mr. Rajathasan, who is also a stage artiste.

From M.R. Aravindan

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