New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS): Nothing can define the passion, it could be towards anybody or anything, and sometimes it becomes the only reason to dedicate the whole life. Syed Rumanul Faizi Yusuf's has a passion for collecting rare coins. Today, he has a collection of over 7,000 coins that includes currency from recent to ancient times.
Yusuf, a retired government official and a resident of Patna, tries to find traces of history behind these coins. By doing this, he says he is trying to preserve history.
He diligently notes all the details about the coins, like when the coin came into circulation or got demonetised along with the metal used in it. These rare coins refresh the memories of rulers, emperors and nawabs of Indian History, he says.
Actually, everyone wants to keep the old currency, but Yusuf also loves to buy notes and coins. If he finds any old or some different coin, he bids for it.
All the coins from the time of Queen Victoria to the present day are in his collection. He is always on the lookout for old coins to expand his collection.
In around 50 years of his coin collection journey, he has preserved coins from Chandragupta Emperor, Modern to Mughal Shivaji, British period, Roman Empire, Indo-Greek, Indian Princely States, Indo-French, Indo-Dutch, rare collection of Portuguese and Ottoman Empire coins and a set of 20, 25, 50, 60, 75, 100, 125, 150, 200, 250, 350, 500, 550, 1,000 rupees coins.
"So far, there is a total collection of more than 7,000 rare coins, while I have about 2,500 coins from 200 countries and a collection of notes from 125 countries," he said.
"Except for the few notes, I have all the notes that bear Governor's signature along with different designs of one rupee notes that the Finance Secretary extracts," Yusuf added.
There is an interesting story behind his hobby. Yusuf's elder brother was fond of collecting old coins. One day Yusuf bought a candy from one of those coins. His brother got so upset with this and handed over his entire collection to Yusuf. This was the beginning of his coin collection journey and his doing this with a responsibility.
Yusuf explains that, "In the 70s, my brother had a small box in which he used to keep these coins. I have such a fondness of collecting these coins. I closely observe every coin that comes to my house from various sources. Also, whenever I go anywhere, I keep a close watch on the coins."
The dedication of collecting coins is so much that once Yusuf came out from the mosque after offering namaz, he saw a coin of Rs 5 in the bowl of fakir which he did not have, and when he looked at it, he gave the fakir a note of Rs 10 and picked it up.
In fact, Yusuf retired from the post of deputy director engineer in Doordarshan channel in 2019, after which he has given all his time to accumulate these coins.
According to Yusuf, this is his life now, if I do not do anything after retirement, I may have been ill, but I gave all my time to gather them, this is a medicine for me and also the support of living.
Around 1,000 people are connected with Yusuf who give him information about rare coins. He also buys coins through dealers.
Despite the collection of so many coins and notes, Yusuf is not satisfied. According to him, there are many people all over the country who have more rare coins than me.
Yusuf's hobbies are also liked by his family members, although he says that if my children want to continue the process of collection, they can keep it.
In addition, Yusuf also has a collection of postage stamps and old documents. Yusuf also writes poetry, ghazals and stories in his spare time.