Visiting many a coin and stamp exhibitions since his childhood, he was inspired and motivated to collect coins and stamps of various hues and sizes from every country of this world. P K Gokula Babu has been a philatelist and a numismatist for the past four decades.
Hailing from Palghat and now settled in Bangalore, 54-year-old Babu continues with his hobby without a break. Elaborating on his passion, he said, “I have collected a wide-range of currency notes, coins and stamps, particularly when I was in Saudi Arabia from 1984 to 1990s. So far, I have collected three albums of stamps which includes both used and unused ones."
His unique collection includes scented stamps, Princess Diana stamps, President Clinton's trip to Barbados and also from countries like USA, UK, Poland, Great Britain, Maldives, Cuba, UAE, Bahrain, Iceland, Australia, Sweden, Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait. I have also added to my collection, first day covers of Rajiv Gandhi, Hamfest India 2009 and Roman post cards”.
In spite of leading a busy life, Gokula makes time for his passion and interest. This talented person is a LIC agent.
The enthusiastic numismatist further said, “The coins of Netherlands, Republic of Cuba, Australia, East Caribbean states, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Muscat, Finland, Scotland and Germany are very rare and unique. Each one of them vary in their shape, size and year of release. At present, I have 750 coins in all (three albums each containing 250 pieces). The Indian 5 rupee coins are of seventeen types and 10 rupee coins are of three types”," he explains.
After further prodding, he added, “The UAE Dirhams, Irish pound, Saudi Arabia and Qatar's riyal, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and Canadian dollars, Indonesia Rupiyah, Chinese yuans, Venezuelan Bolivars, Netherlands guilder and currencies of Argentina, Ghana and Vienna are very difficult to get as they are not much in circulation these days. For the past 40 years, I am into this wholeheartedly and I feel very proud to display, exhibit it before my family and friends”.
When asked about his efforts in collecting all this, he said, “My younger brother who is settled abroad and of course, my sisters helped me a lot in furthering my collection. My friends too supported me very much."
So what's the future for this dynamic person? “My quest for collecting stamps and coins is forever. I do not know whether my son will continue this hobby of mine. If not, I will donate this huge collection to one of the museums,” he concluded.