Modelled to perfection

Modelled to perfection

A chance discovery at a car service shop turned into a huge passion for this anaesthesist at Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, who has a huge collection of model vehicles. Back in 1996, Dr Shashikiran had purchased a car and gone to a shop to get its glasses done. When he saw the smaller models of various vehicles over there, he was amazed! “I ended up purchasing my first model there. It was that of a BMW,” he recalls. In a year’s time, Shashikiran had bought around six to eight models of various cars. “I also used to ride a two-wheeler. Once when it was giving problems, I had gone to a repair shop to get it serviced. The mechanic said he would take an hour to repair my bike so I was just exploring the area when I came across a shop with over 100 models! It was a Chinese brand called Maestro and had metal models of all vehicles,” he exclaims.

And Shashikiran took to it like a kid in a candy store! It’s been 18 years now and he has a vast collection of cars, bikes and planes and looks for a new model with as much enthusiasm as he did when he first started pursuing the hobby. “Those days, I would buy the really small models. They were 4.5 inches in size and the ratio of an actual vehicle to them was 1:42,” he notes. Soon, he had 80-90 of them and had bought all the available models in the market. “Soon I started purchasing models of war planes. I also bought cars and two wheelers in slightly bigger sizes (with a ratio of 1:24). In fact, whatever was available in the store, I slowly bought it,” he says. By 2003-04, the doctor had around 250 models in his collection! “Post that, I started going for even bigger models with the ratio of 1:18. Whatever money I could save at that time, I would use it towards the collection,” he adds.

Today, his collection boasts of 450 pieces including 200 odd cars, 50 two wheelers, 60 planes and he cherishes each of them equally. “Initially, my family members were hesitant about my hobby as there were space constraints and it was tough to maintain the collection,” he recalls. But now, even his family is proud of his passion. “My son helps me clean the pieces once in six months,” he adds. Dr Shashikiran has even created a showcase solely for the models. “On Sundays, I like to change the order of the display in the showcase,” he exclaims with pride.

Being a doctor, he doesn’t have the time to pursue his hobby everyday. “I go once or twice a month to the stores to check out the latest models. In fact, I have a catalogue about each of the pieces on my phone so that I don’t buy what I have already bought,” he says. One of his favourite haunts of late is Forum Mall. “There is a store that sells these models over there which is really good. I go there whenever I find the time and it’s close to my hospital too,” he adds. And of course his old shop owners never fail to update him of a new piece in the market.

Having pursued one hobby for 18 years now, Shashikiran has had some wonderful memories associated with it. “I was 32 when I started my collection and my son was not even born. Today, I am 50 and my son is in college and we both enjoy taking care of the collection,” he smiles. Does he have any advice to the young hobbyists in the City? “Unless they are interested in the hobby that they are pursuing, they will not be able to sustain it. You can collect just about anything as a hobby. But you should treat your collection as a prized possession and pass it on to the next generation,” he sums up.

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