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A Kerala home with mini-museum of collectibles, old and new

G Rajendran has an array of collectibles, from old and new currency notes and coins to music players and utensils, reports K Krishnachand

Published: 27th February 2022 06:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2022 01:53 PM   |  A+A-

G Rajendran

G Rajendran

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: G Rajendran has turned the first floor of his residence at Avanakuzhi near Neyyattinkara into a “mini museum”. The 62-year-old, who retired from the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) as a sub-additional engineer, has a collection of rare currency notes and coins, some dating from the Gupta period. While not many would be fortunate to see prominent currencies of the world, like the pound, dollar, yen, and the euro, Rajendran has them all. His collection includes currency notes from around 40 countries, besides coins in silver, brass and copper that denote their evolution in India over the past few centuries.

He also has a spread of stamps, stamp paper documents, antique clocks, watches, cameras, projectors, music players (from old gramophone to various versions of radio), recorders, and still and motion projectors. Various utensils used in the kitchen during the previous centuries, along with pens and pencils, too find a place in his ‘museum’.

Rajendran grew passionate about collecting rare items from a young age as his father was a soldier who participated in World War II as part of the British army. It started off when he was 10, while residing at his village of Arumana in Kanyakumari district. His father’s background meant that the house had many items related to warfare, such as bullets and gunpowder, among others. But it was not until he turned 25, three years after joining BHEL, that Rajendran took up ‘collectibles’ seriously. 

“I don’t hesitate to spend huge amounts to secure these rare Indian rupee notes as soon as I receive information about their availability,” Rajendran says. A rare gold ‘muhr’ (seal) is among the pieces from the Mughal period. These coins have inscriptions in Persian and are made of silver and copper, he says. Equally fascinating is the large silver coin circulated in India before independence, introduced in 1911 with the images of British kings, George V and George VI.

“Besides traditional notes, I have the current polymer type notes issued in the US and other western countries. Efforts are on to collect more such valuables,” he says. He also has a collection of misprinted Indian currency notes, which is rare to find, in the denominations of `500, `100, `50, `10 and `5. Rajendran is a life member of the Vellore Fort Coin Association and the Philatelic and Numismatic Association, Thiruvananthapuram.


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