16 January, 2021

Johnny Come Philately

Funkier Indian stamps take the 'dak' people out of that post-box red

Johnny Come Philately
If you are a philatelist who'd given up on Indian stamps, maybe you should drop into your musty neighbourhood post office one of these days. Check out the stamps with corals, sea shells, musical instruments, presidential bodyguards, the Panchatantra, Konkan Railway and the neem tree that make for some of the new ideas and themes. Printed in sophisticated shades of teal with saintly red haloes, on glossy and matte paper, flat or embossed, Indian stamps these days are looking good and flying fast.

Thumbnail to palm-sized: our stamps have turned funkier and classier. Gone are the coarse-papered, cracked-around-the-edges, badly-designed and largely boring stamps. Now, for everyday people, local and foreign receivers to collectors, the top right corner on envelopes is becoming India's smallest and most-riveting design hotspot. Check out the Gandhiji set (four stamps for Rs 27), a biographical pictorama that recreates the life of the Mahatma more evocatively than the old brown one-rupee bust of Gandhi we all used to buy. Or the gems and jewellery collection released last year that...


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