An ode to God of Cricket in currency notes

An ode to God of Cricket in currency notes

An ode to God of Cricket in currency notes

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar the “God of Cricket”, is having a large number of fans and admirers all over the world. However, this Bhubaneswar-based fan is different.

Raj Kishore Mahanta, a business management student, has done something for his favourite cricketer, which has fetched him (Mahanta) a place in the Limca Book of Records.

When Tendulkar decided to hang up his boots from all formats of cricket last year, Mahanta came out with a unique idea to pay tribute to the cricket legend.

A collector of rare coins and currency notes from the age of eight, the 20-year-old decided to gather Rs 10 notes that carried the serial numbers matching the date, month and year on which the little master scored all his hundred international centuries.

“Collecting rare coins and  currency notes has been a hobby for me right from my childhood. Therefore, I thought it will be the best way to pay tribute to my favo­urite sports personality,” Mahanta said.

However, it was certainly not an easy job. He had to struggle for eight months from January to August 2013 to see his unique idea through. “During that eight months , I must have visited at least 45 private and PSU banks,” he said.

Elaborating on how he collected those “precious” Rs 10 notes, Mahanta said he searched the internet and first collected dates, months and years in which Sachin had scored his hundred international centuries.

Once the information was collected, he began his visits to banks. Everytime, he would seek Rs 10 notes for at least Rs 5,000. On occasions, he had taken Rs 10 for to Rs 10,000 also. Son of a businessman in the mineral-rich Odisha district of Koenjhar, he used the savings from his pocket money for achieving his feat.  

Then, he will spend hours scrutinising and scanning those notes to get the numbers he wanted. “It was very tiring. In fact, many of my friends thought that I will never be able to achieve my goal. Even my family members and relatives thought that I was simply wasting my time and energy. Finally, I did it. It was definitely very satisfactory feeling at the end of it,” said the management student with a broad smile.

Mahanta is now the proud owner of 100 Rs 10 notes with “Sachin numbers”. For example, the master blaster scored his maiden Test century at Old Trafford in England on August 9, 1990. He (Maha­nta) is having a Rs 10 note which carries the serial number 090890.

Similarly, Sachin scored his last Test ton in Bangladesh on March 16, 2012. The Rs 10 note collected by the young boy carries the number 160312.

The coin collector had approached the Limca Book of Records in September last year to include his unique effort and achievement in their record book. And after the due process and formalities, the record book authorities accepted his feat. He received the certificate a couple of months back.

Mahanta now wants to meet Sachin in person and show him his rare collection. “I do not know how and when I will get that opportunity. But, I want him to see my rare collection at least once,” he said, adding that he had already begun making efforts in this regard.
He is also having a desire to have an exhibition of all his collections. Besides, the “Rs 10 Tendulkar notes”, he has nearly 90,000 coins and currency notes of different sizes and colours from 163 countries. They include some coins of the Mogul period and the British era.

“I am trying to organise an exhibition of my collection, preferably in Bhuba­neswar. I am sure it will be a big hit,” Mahanta said. 

After the success of his “Tendulkar story”, he is already into a new venture now-- collecting “erroneous notes and currencies”.

According to Mahanta, sometimes one gets a note without the serial number on it. “The digits do not get printed on notes. People seldom notice it. I have now
begun a search for these error oneousnotes as well as 25 paisa coins which have vanished from the market”, he said.

Mahanta had a piece of advice for young and new coin collectors. “I will advice the new coin collectors to go for quality and not quantity. They can create a name and identity for themselves if their collection is qualitatively rich ,” he maintained.

He further felt that coin collection could also prove to be a profitable business. “An out of circulation coin or currency note can fetch a good amount of money after some years,” the student said. Many people have made good money through their wise collection of old coins and currency notes.