Nilkamal Maheshwari collected 200 autographs last year

CHENNAI: Nilkamal Maheshwari is a 27-year-old businessman, numismatist and philatelist. One would think that all these activities would keep him occupied. Not quite. He has yet another interesting hobby. Last year he collected 200 autographs.

"Usually autographs are taken in books or notebooks, but I chose to get the autographs on photographs I have clicked of the celebrity," he says, displaying his collection. Once he finds that a celebrity is coming to town, he fixes up an appointment with them, clicks a photograph of the person, develops it, goes back to the celebrity and gets his autograph on the picture.

Gems in collection

He has got the autograph of Bill Gates, Vivek Oberoi, Vijayanthi Mala Bali, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Pandit Jasraj, Durga Jasraj, Elizabeth Taylor, S.P. Balasubramaniam, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, actors Mithun Chakraborty, Rajnikant, Kamal Hassan, Sneha, Kushboo and Rambha, singer T.M. Soundararajan, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, Leander Paes, T.N. Seshan and Kiran Bedi, to name a few.

Mr. Nilkamal Maheshwari held an exhibition of his autograph collection at Gwalior on March 2, his birthday. He plans to hold another exhibition in Chennai soon.

The latest addition to his collection is the autograph of Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan.