'Pradarshini' at Kisan mela draws crowd

passion

The three-day convention of farmers organised by Bharath Kisan Sangh on February 3, 4 and 5 was flooded with representatives from all parts of the country amidst which ‘Pradarsihni’ was attracting the crowd for its unique collection by Thimmashetty Gowda and N J Ramakrishna.

Thimmashetty Gowda, 82, a retired teacher from Mulukatte, Nagamangala taluk, Mandya district, has the hobby of collecting old and rare coins along with foreign currencies. Students’ curiosity about coins and currency notes encouraged him to collect more of the.

His collection contains coins of Mysore Wadiyars, Vijayanagara dynasty, Maurya dynasty, Delhi Sultans and other emperors, Indira Gandhi commemorative coins of 1985, Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru centenary uncirculated coins along with the coins of Palegars.

He is proud of his collection and says, “While teaching history to students I would show it to them, which later became my hobby and encouraged to have a large collection. The new generation is neither interested in history nor about coins. They learn things just for the sake of completing their part of studies and avail degrees. Even teachers are not interested in making the children aware of all these things.”

N J Ramakrishna, a former town municipal council member, has in his collection most of the rare items which are not used by the present generation. He was not so keen in his hobby before, as he says, “It was only after I realised that many of the things my ancestors used do not exist, I started collecting items that are rarely found elsewhere.”

Old teakwood cradles, cane baskets, clocks of olden days, lanterns that are almost 100 years old, gramophones, old radios, brass measuring units (seru, paavu, chataku), gangala — a plate used for eating, kalase (used for collecting and storing grains) and many other cooking and storing utensils of the bygone era. He even has cannon balls of different sizes in his collection.

Out of all these collections, he is proud of the newspapers he has collected. ‘Prajamatha’ (1959-1990), ‘Prajavani’ of 1940s, 1950s and so on, ‘Kannada Prabha’ and ‘Indian Express’ of 1980s, ‘Samyuktha Karnataka’ and ‘Thayinaadu’ of 1980s and a few local newspapers, whose cost was not more than one, two and three annas and some paisas.

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