Shot glasses from around the world

unique hobbies
Last Updated : 29 June 2014, 14:48 IST

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The world is in his showcase. There’s really no country that Niladri Mazumder, VP-India, Seiko, hasn’t visited and perhaps revisited.

This is evident as soon as you set foot into his house. You can’t help admire the rare collectibles that he has carefully picked up from every corner of the globe. 

Table tops, wall hangers, decorative pieces…you name it and he stocks them all. But you just can’t miss the carefully crafted wall-mounted cabinets of different sizes that house the shot glasses from different countries. He has managed to collect close to 370 of them. His wife Shraboni and a few of their friends have also generously contributed to his collection. 

Niladri recollects that he bought his first shot glass in 1995-96 when he went on a study exchange programme to the United States. “I visited about 42 towns across the United States and I wanted to take back something as a memory of my visit. As a student, shot glasses were the cheapest and best option to carry back home. That’s how I bought my first shot glass and I soon started looking out for more of them,” he states.

There are a few shot glasses that are indeed special to Niladri, especially those that are gold-plated. “It’s not always that one stumbles upon gold-plated shot glasses that are intricately designed,” he adds. 

Shraboni is also an avid traveller just like her husband and shares his passion for collecting shot glasses. 

The cabinets mounted on the wooden wall  were indeed Shraboni’s idea. “I saw these cabinets in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’, a BBC television show that we used to watch regularly when we were in London. I picked the design off that. The carved wooden frames have been added to give it an Indian slant,” she beams. 

Shraboni notes that shot glasses don’t come as cheap as they used to. “We don’t buy them off street corners. The classier ones come for a hefty price. There’s a great deal of monetary investment sunk into buying these glasses,” she avers. She also states that shot glasses are no longer just a tourist attraction.

 “We always pick up something that’s evocative and holds a unique value. We pick only those pieces that bring back strong memories of our stay and visit to that particular place,” she says. Niladri always gets asked by his guests if he uses the shot glasses or if they can drink from it. “We rarely use these shot glasses. I am an occasional drinker but whenever I do, we try not to disturb the setting of these glasses,” he smiles. 

His guests too seem to follow this unsaid rule. “People have always admired them but nobody, not even children, have tried to meddle with the setting. That’s one good thing,” he adds. Niladri soon hopes to travel to Russia, Holland and Northern Africa and add to his ever-growing collection. 

Published 29 June 2014, 14:48 IST

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