14 July 2012

Olympic Philately special…


Masterpieces from the Olympics

Megha Shenoy, July 9,2012


Creative The 2008 Olympic stamps of India


When one thinks of starting a hobby, the first items that come to mind are invariably stamps and coins. This is exactly what happened to Jagannath Mani when he was a young boy.
A childhood friend once gifted him a stamp book, which was the perfect start to his collection. What really got him going, however, was a visit to a philatelic exhibition in 1997 — it triggered his passion for collecting solely Olympic-themed stamps from all over the world. With the help of his friends, family and mentors, Jagannath got deeply involved with his collection and today, he has managed to collect over 10,000 stamps, dated from 1886 to 2012.

Ask him why he zeroed in on Olympic-themed stamps, and he says, “I have always been keenly interested in sports, especially athletics. Though I couldn’t take it up as a career, I felt I could channelise this passion into collecting stamps that revolve around sports. An exhibition I had gone to in ‘97 really inspired me and I knew it would be difficult to start something like this — but definitely not impossible.”

His collection includes some of the very first stamps of the Olympic Games, dated 1886 and with a picture of ancient gods and goddesses, athletic training and ancient runes.
Interestingly, there are only 12 of those stamps available in India and Jagannath has eight of them with him.
“These are my most prized and some of my favourites as well. Someday, I do wish to complete the collection by getting all 12 of those stamps,” he gushes.

Read More… in Deccan Herald


They win medals without sweating!

Cdr. U N Acharya, Jun 1, 2012

The scintillating designs on the Olympic stamps are inspiration enough for philatelists to choose the Games as a theme. Here’s how their fervour grows faster, higher and stronger .


Athens, Paris, St Louis, Stockholm, Antwerp, Paris, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome, Tokyo, Mexico, Munich, Montreal, Moscow, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing, London.

What do these cities have in common? The Olympics. Yes, these are the cities associated with the modern Olympic Games, which began in 1896.The world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system — the Penny Black — was issued in Great Britain on May 6, 1840. Since then, many countries have issued postage stamps, featuring the ruling monarch.

However, some countries became imaginative and released postage stamps bearing themes.
The first thematic stamp was released by Canada in 1856, featuring a beaver, a popular animal in that country. Till the turn of the century, thematic stamps were far and few, and stamp collectors generally adopted collections of stamps issued by a particular country. Such collectors are called traditional philatelists.

The opportunity to collect thematic stamps came by way of a set of stamps on Columbus, the man who is believed to have discovered America. The stamps were released during the New York Fair in 1893. During the first modern Olympic Games, at Athens in 1896, 12 stamps were issued by the host country. These stamps are considered to be the first stamps on the theme of sport.


: Published in  image

Jagannath Mani and Cdr UN Acharya are noted philatelists of Bangalore. They may be contacted at following email id :

Jag m Jagannath Mani - jagannath_mani7@yahoo.co.in

Cdr UN Acharya - nanasha@rediffmail.com


Lighter moments…

'About My Best Friend'

image - Cdr. G V Ramarao

While walking on a vast stretch of a meadow, I found a range of mountains covered with inviting tall trees and green foliage on my left and beautiful lakes on my right. As I moved closer, I could see the jagged rocks would strip my clothes and rip my flesh. The lake, although serene with lotus and water lilies floating, looked no less intimidating than the mountain. I spotted several schools of piranhas waiting for their prey. Steering clear of the hazards, I trudged along a narrow footpath, which stretched to the horizon. During this long walk, I stumbled upon a rock; a smooth rock with no sharp edges. As I fell, it grew in size and caught me in its folds. “Thanks,” I said. “You’re welcome and let me walk beside you,” the rock spoke. A speaking and supportive rock with no rough edges-that is what I found on that day, and it has been keeping company with me all these years. It didn’t take me long to find out the rock could turn to be a pillar of strength when the occasion demanded.

I looked at the rock and wondered how I had been keeping company with it, for I have nothing in common with it. It speaks a different kind of lingo and sings a lilting song whenever it pleases. It provides a soothing effect with its magical powers, when my aging limbs feel weary and tired. It infuses additional energy and propels me forward. Now, I don’t want to leave the rock, nor does the rock wants to leave me. The rock and I are now inseparable.

Here, I am talking about my friend who has become an integral part of my life. I cannot say the precise moment when the friendship took shape. Nor can I say what formed the basis of our friendship. He and I are as diverse as a hard rock and a soft, vulnerable man; the greatest mismatch one can think of. While he is quick with his wit and smooth with his charm, I am an eternal dreamer and try to find humor-dark humor, in everything around.

His interests are far different from mine, and he works on a different frequency and sings a different tune in life. But, together, we resonate and produce a joyful note of friendship. We have one thing in common. We both sailed in ships, large and small, but found friendship as the best ship of all.

While I spend most of my time with words in racy prose or sweet verses, he sings words knowing full well I have no ear for music.

His songs, much appreciated by others, sound like cacophony to me. But, I sit in a trance and listen to him. He, as an ancient mariner, casts a spell on me, and I sit like a wedding guest and hear his account.

He calls himself a philatelist; I thought it meant a distant cousin of a terrorist. He takes out his bag and empties its contents on my long table. He goes aglow with delight looking at his collection of stamps from all corners of the world and sings paeans about the beauty, texture and specialty of each stamp. I look at him and wonder whether he had gone bananas. For me, a stamp is just a stamp used to affix to an envelope- a charge to be paid to the postal department. I don’t see any reason to make a song and dance of a tiny stamp of one inch square. He then speaks of the materials used in them, the themes of some stamps and high technology of some. He shows the trophies and medals he collected in various exhibitions for his display of First Day covers and stamps on the theme of music. I suffer all his talk with a wide grin. Fortunately, the grin comes of its own volition.

He also calls himself a numismatist- sounds to me a half wit. As if this were not bad enough, on some sunny days, he brings a bagful of coins dating from the sixteenth century and narrates his exploits in acquiring them. He sounds like an archeologist who had discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun. I look at the odd shaped metallic pieces covered in grime and wonder what the fuss is all about. When he said one coin of the sixteenth century would fetch a fortune to buy a palace today, I thought he had gone round the bend. But his zeal for collection of the stamps and coins is infectious, almost.

Fortunately, I have a thick skin and a healthy immune system. I am not swayed by his talk and indulge only in semantics, the beauty of the written word and its usage. I dream of seeing my name in print and laurels that follow. My friend, although not interested, shows immense interest in my writings and praises them more than what they are worth.

Our best moments together come in the evenings, for we share a common weakness or, liking if you will, for B/L. The amber fluid cements our friendship. Over a few rounds of drinks, we exchange stories of our salad days and our conquests in different fields including women. We both are in our seventies; I’m a few years older than him. He takes it up on himself to see I am comfortably tucked in for the night before he leaves.

We never thank each other for any acts done as we never felt the need for the word. Our friendship has been growing by the minute mainly because we never exploit each other. We help each other without expecting thanks.

It’s best to conclude this piece with the following poem.

“I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend."
-- H. W. Longfellow

Cdr GV Ramarao may be contacted at email :  rgarimella99@gmail.com


Louisette said...

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Likasi be said...

Links direct my friend for stamps

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