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A shell in time...

Rajitha Menon, DH News Service, Oct 15 2017, 21:16 IST
A glimpse of Yamini's shell collection.

A glimpse of Yamini's shell collection.

Yamini Nafde is quite vocal when it comes to talking about her hobby and for good reason. Few people can boast of such an extensive inventory of varied items. Bottles, shells, stones — all form part of her huge stockpile.

“I started picking up different things quite a few years ago and storing everything in boxes. But it is all just lying about the house,” says Yamini, who has done her masters in Statistics and was a teacher and MNC professional before taking a part-time job to look after her daughter.

She has picked up an interest in the arts and crafts from her mother who is still an active participant in creative competitions at the age of 79. “So right from childhood, I have been into the arts because of her. Now she has started teaching my daughter also, who is winning many competitions revolving around concepts such as ‘best of waste’, just like I do at supermarkets and exhibitions.”

Asked about some of the reactions she has got, Yamini says, “Most of them say ‘Wow, I don’t know how you get the time for this.’ They can’t imagine collecting things like these because it is perceived as junk. I have more than 200 bottles at home, sourced from friends, family and my travels abroad. Sometimes I have even picked out bottles from the big black garbage bags people leave on the road. The different shapes and colours are what attract me.”

“I also have two racks of shells, apart from boxes and boxes, as well as an array of interesting looking stones. Mostly these have been picked from beaches. In fact, when I come back from holidays, a good part of my luggage comprises of shells,” she adds.

But the hobby comes with its share of challenges too. Yamini says, “To me, everything is worth reusing so I pick up every single item I see. For that, I get royal shoutings at home because I am turning the whole house into a dustbin. People on the road also give me weird looks when they see me picking up stuff from the road.”

Now there is a problem of plenty and though Yamini has many ideas on what to do with her treasure, she hasn’t started working on anything yet. “I want to make a waterfall on the terrace with these stones and bottles around it. As of now, the stones are kept in boxes on the terrace. The rains have made it muddy and messy. Even the servants have started complaining now.”

“I don’t even know what I should do with this huge collection now. I don’t want to throw it; I wish someone will take it. For many it is junk but I am sure there are people like me who find beauty in everything we see,” she says.

(Yamini can be contacted on 25221993)

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