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Updated: September 9, 2009 15:45 IST

Going on record

NIKHIL VARMA
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TOWARDS WORLD RECORD Philatelist V.S.Yalvigi. Photo: Bhagya Prakash. K
TOWARDS WORLD RECORD Philatelist V.S.Yalvigi. Photo: Bhagya Prakash. K

V.S. Yalvigi has an unusual passion - he collects postal cancellation marks

Playing with dates and number combinations interests the 83-year old Professor V.S. Yalvigi a great deal.

He is a member of the Karnataka Phitalely society and has collected cancellation post marks on Palindrome dates, that is a number or other sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction (such as dates starting from 01-01-01 to 12-12-12).

He says: "The 09-09-09 combination is supposed to be a very lucky number, since it is a `Harshad' number and the product is also divisible by 3. The Chinese also consider this number and date combination to be very lucky."

He says: "The term `Harshad' number was coined by a mathematician and refers to dates that are divisible by the integer.

Yalvigi says: "I have collected the postal cancellation marks of these dates every year from 2001 and plan to do so till 2012. Postal cancellation stamps are accepted as an official mark of the date across the world. It will be a world record of sorts, since no other person has been involved in this exercise."

He adds: "It is a very rare occurrence and happens only once in a millennium and shall happen only once in a century. It will be a nice exhibit to show future generations and provide a record."

He also plans to exhibit these postmarks in an exhibition after the entire collection is completed in 2012.

Apart from his collection of the Palindrome dates, Yalvigi is also an avid collector of stamps and has presented a collection of stamps and minted coins featuring Mahatma Gandhi at various exhibitions across the world.