In a world of frogs and tortoises

In a world of frogs and tortoises

Rajeev Chavan, a resident of Vasanthapura, has a passion for collecting items related to frogs and tortoises. His collection is 10 years old and includes keychains, door and wall hangings, soft toys etc in a variety of colours and shapes.

“My collection consists of different items, which I have stored in a suitcase,” says
Rajeev. Ask him why it isn’t displayed across the house, and he says that apart from some soft toys and hangings, nothing has been displayed  because he wants to buy a proper showcase for them before putting them out for everyone’s eye.

More than 70 pieces of frog-themed items and 100 pieces of tortoise-themed items are a part of his collection. About what inspires him, he shares, “Whenever I watch the television or read the newspaper, I would read about people having different interests and I wanted to have a hobby too.” Rajeev used to visit the KR Market a lot, especially the Sunday markets, and that is what triggered this hobby. “On my first visit there, I found an old frog-based item and I bought it from there. Since then, I have been strolling through the markets looking for such low-budget items,” he says.

Rajeev adds that he has strict rules about not spending too much on this hobby. “Most of my collection consists of items in the range of Rs 10 to 200. I don’t want to invest more into the hobby at the moment,” he says.

“Besides, the rates of better looking and unique items have gone up to almost Rs 150,”
Rajeev says, adding that he tries not to cross the limit.

With items in ceramic, wood, stone, granite, metal, glass, mud and clay, Rajeev’s collection is a colourful palette of unique pieces. Most of them are from KR Market and Jayanagar while some are from Nigeria, Singapore and Pakistan. “Of the few unique items that I have is a tortoise family that I bought from Nigeria,” he says. The other unique ones in his collection include the coconut husk-based tortoise and frog.

The smallest item that he owns is a tortoise stone pendant from Chennai and the biggest are soft toys from a shopping mall in the City. “Most of the items are keychains. Almost all of them can be placed on any surface,” he says.

Rajeev doesn’t talk about or showcase his collection to his guests and family as he wants to show it once it has become bigger. “I am very careful with my collection. I preserve them in a suitcase and have placed them into separate boxes and wrapped them in different cloth bits for cushioning so that they don’t get affected by friction,” he details.
Of his collection, Rajeev’s favourite pieces include a
tortoise candle that he hasn’t used and was gifted to him by his sister. Talking about the support from the family, he says, “My wife also looks out for me when we go shopping. In the past, when we have gone to KR Market, she has spotted unique items for me.”

Rajeev adds, “My daughter also seems to be interested in the collection although she’s too young. I bring out my collection and show it to her often and then stack it away safely.”

Of the many items that Rajeev has seen around, ask him if there is one particular item that he wanted to include in his collection and couldn’t, and he says, “In the duty-free gift shop at BIAL, I saw a tortoise carved inside a glass cube, which was almost Rs 600. I didn’t want to buy such a costly item for the collection.” “But, the next time I go there, if I still spot it, I just might end up buying it,” he wraps up with a smile.

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