Prakash has collected many models of radios over three decades
Bangalore: An unusual collection at an appropriate venue... the golden jubilee celebrations of All India Radio held at Jnanajyothi auditorium of Bangalore University includes a display of close to 150 radio sets. Many of them hardly look that.
These are just a part of what M. Prakash has collected over three decades. The Guinness Book of Records has certified his collection of 625 types of radios and so has the Limca Book of Records. If there was more space at the auditorium's lobby, he may have displayed more of them.
"I started the hobby during my colleges days in the 1970s and it grew over the next decade or so till cable TV came... radio seemed to be vanishing then and my collection got stalled. Then came FM and a revival in radio listening and more types of radio sets and my collection grew in pace,'' he says.
One of the oldest radios in his collection is shaped like a globe; something you are shown at geography lessons in school. It has multiple switches, attractive illumination and four bands with facilities for tone control. Made in 1950 in Japan, the oldest on display on Wednesday was what looked like a miniature stereo record player of the kind popular when music albums came as long-play records, complete with turntable and two speakers.
The latest radio Praksh has looks like a computer, with monitor, keyboard and mouse. This radio has features such as display of world time, monthly and annual calendar, temperature and a calculator.
The radio circuit has been assembled inside a scaled down CPU and the radio comes from China.
The smallest he has is just the size of a cola bottle cap and needs earphones for listening to. The most expensive radio he has is a portable FM/AM radio with stereo sound, CD and TV with 30 channels. It was made in China and cost him nearly $ 150. There are also some antique radios; some shaped as piano, cars and gramophones, those early record players.
"Earlier I used to ask friends going overseas to get me unusual radios, now many are available here itself. I also keep close contacts with shops repairing old radios; some are almost thrown away as junk and I collect and carefully restore them,'' says Prakash. A man who can listen to the same song from over 600 radio sets at the same time, if he wants to.