A post perfect world

A post perfect world

Unique hobbies

A post perfect world

One can saunter around the world in one day in Nagendra Nayak’s house. Simple pleasures of life evoke joy in this businessman. And one of them is collecting postcards from around the globe. Old habits surely die hard as Nagendra has been religiously traversing the world, since 1995, through these pocket-sized postcards.  

His passion was further ignited when he registered at ‘Postcrossing.com’, a social-networking site for postcard lovers, in 2006. Now, he has about 2,250 postcards which are stamped and sent to him from various countries and postcards from about 128 countries, which he has received from his family, friends and ‘postcard pals’ through ‘Postcrossing.com’.

Be it from popular places or rare corners, the vast lands or small-towns, his postcards pop into his house address from many places. The cherished ones are those from exotic islands; including the inhabited Antigua & Barbuda, evergreen Norfolk Islands, coral-lined Cayman Islands and ‘The Great Red’ Madagascar. “There are no dearth of postcards. One has to know the right places to find them,” he says. And in India, he cites a number of places where one can buy postcards, mainly  Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala and old bookstores. “Archeological offices also have postcards and a good quality postcard will cost about Rs 10.” 

A diligent deltiologist, Nagendra has neatly sorted them  into themes like rivers, capitals, world heritage sites, buildings, clock towers, mountains and nature. “There are about 1007 World Heritage sites inscribed by the UNESCO. I have received 630 postcards of different sites which are sent to my address, through friends or by people who I have met on the internet.”  Some of the unusual ones include those made of mulberry tree fibre from Japan, copper postcards from USA, 3D cards and seed cards. “A seed card is very special. Soak the card in water until it is soft. Place it on a seed raising mix in the pot or the ground. Lightly cover with more mix, water and keep it moist. It should germinate in about 10 days,” he says.

He also buys multiple postcards from a place just to exchange them. But all good things come with challenges. Nagendra is on the quest to receive exclusive postcards from Africa and complete the ‘World Heritage Site’ collection. His hobby is more than just a stress-buster or a symbol and memory of the place. He considers these cards as a source of knowledge. “Once someone sends a postcard and the office seals the stamp and cancels it, a date and time is inscribed on the stamp. The sender then, automatically becomes a part of history. I have a lot of ‘postcard pals’ and exchanging them is a way of making friends.”

 But what saddens him is the lack of interest among school children to collect postcards. “I ask kids how many postcards they receive in a month and nobody has an answer. But I ask them how many ‘whatsapp’ messages they receive in a day and everyone nods their heads.”  

This is why Nagendra wishes to promote his hobby in schools and hence recently conducted an event, ‘Sangharan-2015’, which was held at a college in Udupi. “My plan is to hold more exhibitions and educate the children about postcards and stamps. Yet this is difficult as I need a space of about 5, 000 square feet.” Every postcard of his has stories to share. “Postcards will never die out. The collectors have bloomed manifold because of the website. There are about 10 million collectors and as we speak, there are exchanges taking place.” These musty treasures have broken the barrier of time and space for him since 1995 and he hopes to build this collection. For details, visit www.namasteheritage.blogspot.in