Thursday, September 23

Maradona, Gandhi, Hitler under one roof in Kolkata

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From Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler’s autographs, Diego Maradona’s boots to Meghnad Saha’s signature on a cheque, an autograph exhibition in the city is displaying interesting traces left by the hands of notable historical figures and celebrities.

Autograph Collectors’ Club of India (eastern zone) is organising this exhibition of rare and historical autographs on paper and different memorabilia at Rotary Sadan that ends on Sunday. The exhibition features over 200 autographs collected by philographers, some of whom started collecting since they were in school.While some of the autographs evoke nostalgia there are others that can surprise. The oldest autograph in the exhibition is that of Adolf Hitler, an original and illegible scrawl, that G D Agarwal, who is the president of the club, got from an autograph book.

There are also signed letters by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, written to Agarwal’s father, who was associated with the Indian Railways in pre-independent India. “Whenever they would travel by rail they would write to my grandfather about their experience. I have over120 such letters,” said Agarwal. The exhibition also has handwritings of Satyajit Ray, painter MF Husain and Kishore Kumar.
“A person collects autographs in three ways. Some take autograph personally, some exchange with other collectors and some get them as gifts,” said Santosh Kumar Lahoti, founder president of the club, who was gifted an autograph of Gandhi by his neighbour.

Source: Times of India

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