Not a passion to be easily 'rubbed' off

UNIQUE HOBBIES

proud Soumya with her collection.

Very few of them are able to take some time out to pursue something other than studies. Soumya Srivathsa, a second year BE (Electronics) student of M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, is one such person who has a unique fascination — with erasers. It’s been more than ten years since she started collecting them and now, she has over 250 erasers in all shapes, colours and sizes. “In school, one tends to use erasers quite often.

So I used to do the same. But as I started checking out erasers of different shapes and sizes, some were so beautiful that I never felt like using them,” she says. “I started collecting them and keeping them in the cupboard. Then my mother suggested that I start collecting erasers seriously,” she adds.

When her grandparents admired her collection for the first time, Soumya felt all the more motivated.

“I felt like adding more and more erasers to my collection,” she gushes. So today, she has over 250 erasers in the shapes of slippers, cellphone, fruits, vegetables, alphabets, tools, scooter, helmet to name a few. “Once my collection crossed 100, it was tough to find erasers that I did not have,” she reveals. “Now whenever I go to a stationery shop, the first thing I do is to check out if the place has erasers that are not there in my collection,” she laughs.

One of the first erasers of her collection was that in the shape of the alphabet ‘S’. She still remembers her experience of getting it.

“Since my name starts with ‘S’, I wanted an S-shaped eraser. So I went to a stationery shop and asked the shopkeeper for it. However, he could find erasers in the shapes of all alphabets but ‘S’,” she says. “But I insisted on ‘S’ and luckily, he managed to find one eraser in that shape.” Speaking of some unique erasers in her collection, she says, “I have an eraser shaped like a lipstick, which smells like lipstick too.” Another one she loves from her collection is that of a baby in a basket
holding a bottle.

Her aim is to collect 1,000 erasers. “All my friends and family members know about my hobby and try to help me with it. My father makes it a point to get some new erasers whenever he goes out of the city or country,” she notes. “And every time my friends come home, they are keen to check out my collection and see if I have added anything new to it. Sometimes, they even contribute to it,” she adds.

Soumya says she takes some time out every week to keep her collection brand new. “The erasers tend to get dull with time so I just clean them with a wet cloth. The entire collection is fixed on a thermocol.” Her advice to the collectors of any item is to be patient. “Once you have started collecting something, don’t stop at that. Be patient and continue with the hobby. Also, maintain the collection well.”

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