Chennai: P.S. Seshadri looks like any other person in their sixties, but perhaps what sets him apart from others of his age is his passionate devotion to a hobby. Seshadri has been a philatelist for the last 51 years. He is also the holder of the Limca Record for having the largest collection of commemorative stamps of a single design in the country.
Speaking of the record he says, “I made it in 2010 and am all set to break it now. Currently, I have 1,70,071 stamps of the same design.” The year was 1962 at the Don Bosco School in Salem and Seshadri was then in Class 8. “I was in the principal’s office,” he recalls, “and glancing at his table when a stamp lying there below the glass triggered my interest. It was a rare Italian stamp. Father was more than happy to part with it, and quite unwittingly, this gesture of his made a stamp collector out of me in due course.”
Seshadri’s parents too were supportive of his hobby, and his father, especially, would return with a new and rare set for him every time he visited Chennai. He kept his hobby alive through the years even as he pursued his studies with equal diligence. He sought out pen pals who could be a source of stamps, a magazine providing the avenue of making friends with like-minded interests. “And that’s how I was able to collect stamps from other countries too,” he says.
He continued to collect stamps even after taking up a job, but he thinks that at that time he did not have sufficient guidance in his task. Then a Swiss friend whom he met through his work - introduced him formally to the world of philately, and then on, there was no looking back. Seshadri’s collection was on display on Saturday at the DAV school, Velachery.