28 May 2012

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Bicycles and waterfalls this philatelist’s forte

- Naveen Kalia, TNN | May 24, 2012, 05.48AM IST

LUDHIANA: It was in the 70s when the trend of exchanging letters with pen friends was common among people that Suraj Jaitly gathered inspiration to collect stamps. One of his pen friends from abroad requested Jaitly to send him Indian stamps and while collecting these for him, Jaitly found the exercise interesting.

image In 1975, Jaitly took his first steps in philately and started collecting stamps of various countries. At the age of 52 today, he boasts of a vast collection with indefinite stamps, but a large chunk of his collection is based on bicycles and waterfalls, which he has sourced from various venues.
''I wasn't well aware about philately when I started, gradually I learned about theme based philately, as most philatelists collected stamps of national leaders, birds and animals. But, I wanted to collect something different,'' says Jaitly.
After his graduation, Jaitly landed a job at a bicycle manufacturing company in Ludhiana and that gave him the idea to collect stamps related to bicycles. The Dugri resident even has four artist proof stamps (design samples given to postal departments before release) in his collection.

While Jaitly was busy collecting the bicycle stamps of every prominent country, the stamps related to waterfalls attracted him as well and he collected many of these too. He earlier had his philately account in general post office Ludhiana, which he has moved to Mumbai and New Delhi now.
General secretary of
Indian Thematic Society, Jaitly says other philatelists working on the same themes in India and abroad help him get the stamps he needs. ''I am in constant touch with philatelists from across the world through internet with whom I share philatelic knowledge.
A system analyzer in a private firm now, Jaitly says his interest takes him to different corners of the country and he has attended many philately exhibitions in India. A member of the prominent body of philatelists American Topical Association, he has also won prizes for his collection at many national and international philately exhibitions, says Jaitly.
But, like other philatelists, even Jaitly is disappointed with the dying interest among youngsters regarding philately and urges them to learn more about this ''interesting hobby''.

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Mr Suraj Jaitly may be contacted at email : surajjaitly@hotmail.com 


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