Numismatist by Stroke of Luck

I am not sure about the year, but it would probably be somewhere in 1992-93, I was playing cricket in an area which wasn’t our normal playing ground.I have blurred memory of that day and it was a nice cloudy day , mostly at the start of winter, perfect for playing. Boleng used to be a small hamlet surrounded by Himalayan Hills with distant constant burble of mighty Siang. I was probably fielding in the mid off area and as this one was not a regular playing pitch for us, there were patches of bushes everywhere. If you have lived in Hills you must know that it isn’t always easy to find a nice flat ground to play. Someone hits the ball towards my fielding position and ball must have hit hard as I was not able get hold of it and it went into bushes. We never had the luxury of having multiple balls and whenever it got lost there was a search mission until we found it. Sometimes it was found, sometimes we will find one that was lost long back and sometimes game stops with search abandoned for another lucky day. Boleng at that time did not had a shop selling these cricket balls and if we don’t have backup will have to wait for Dad to go to Pasighat or Along which were nearby towns.Thinking of those days and writing about it today makes me go into a different world, for those who cannot think of this scenario can watch the movie “The Blue Umbrella” , a Bollywood movie where Pankaj Kapoor plays brilliantly a shop keeper in a small hilly village.

Anyways lets get back to our story, as I was searching the ball suddenly I saw a soiled corroded plastic sac full of coins. It was like finding a hidden treasure. I picked it up and it did not belong to anybody by the look of the sac and coins that the sac had. I was not sure what should I do with these coins but then as there was no claimers to that and I took it home. My mom was very angry and asked me to throw all as it may be the grave goods which is a custom with the local folks in Arunachal Pradesh like the Pharaohs of Egypt. I was somehow not convinced with her conjecture and wanted to get a second hearing with Dad. Finally when I showed these to my Dad he agreed that these coins are somewhat old and should be kept and not thrown. And because of his rational decision I got to keep all of them and it was cherished property for all the time until I was in school. All those coins are still there with my parents. Most of the coins were on 60’s and 70’s and were not much in circulation in 90’s. That accident of finding some coins which were either grave goods or someone’s lost and forgotten hidden money my  coin collection started. I won’t lie that I did go again to that area to search more but wasn’t lucky anymore. But I started collecting coins and oldest I got was 1835 East India Company coin in my collection today. I have been collecting old coins as well coins of different countries. The picture that you see here is what I have collected in last 10 years. The original collection is not with me currently.

There are times when life puts you  suddenly into things that becomes your lifetime memories and here I am carrying someone else’s legacy and an “Amateur Numismatist By Accident”

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