An array of autographs of personalities from different walks of life, will be on show when Kolkata’s first national level autograph exhibition gets underway from December 16.
Organised by the Autograph Collectors Club of India, a Kolkata based organisation, the three-day event will witness collectors from all over the country display their collections.
Actor Salman Khan is expected to be among the few celebrities who the organisers are planning to rope in for the occasion.
There have been two national level exhibitions previously, both held in New Delhi.
Started by a group of five collectors over a cup of tea in the early 1980s, the Autograph Collectors Cub of India now boasts of over 1,800 members on its roster and has done exhibitions in every metropolitan city and other smaller cities.
"We did not have these coffee shops in those days. So it was planned casually over a cup of tea in an adda as you see in this part of the country," Gopal Agarwal, spokesperson of the body, told IANS.
Secretary Santosh Lahoti and executive member Navneet Kandoi were part of the initial group.
"We decided to merge all autographs we had individually collected till then and organise exhibitions. That was the beginning. We did our first exhibition at the Calcutta Information Centre inside Nandan. Thereafter we used the venue twice," Agarwal said.
"It was wonderful as Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (when he was the chief minister of West Bengal) walked in without invitation, we had singer Usha Uthup visiting without invitation. Then there was the late Subhas Chakraborty (state minister) who also came. These are things that interest everyone," added the 46-year-old Agarwal, a hotelier by profession.
From pooling in money among the five members initially, the club now has sponsors who fund these exhibitions.
"As I said, people are interested in autographs and sponsors know the footfalls we have in each exhibition," explained Agarwal, whose first autograph was of Kapil Dev, India’s first World Cup winning captain.