March 27, 2003 

Inspiration for the day

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Joseph, Kollakkombil, Mukkalam East, Idukki.

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The dusty and dirty old glass bottles lying in waste stores would perhaps heave a sigh of relief when they see Joseph, Kollakkombil, Mukkalam East, Idukki.  For he is an avid collector of such bottles and keeps them neat and tidy in a room dedicated to them in his house.

8 years ago when he chanced to bring home an old measuring glass, his son asked him what it was.  That prompted him to think.  If the new generation doesn’t know a thing about old bottles, then better create a collection of them.  Thus was born the hobby, which the retired school teacher has been carrying on all these years.

Instead of concentrating on a particular type of bottles, he collects all kinds of bottles used for perfumes, liquor, ink, medicine, cosmetics, chemicals etc.  The shapes of these bottles are also interesting: daggers, guns, car, jeep, guitar, bear, doll, knight in chess etc are some of them. 

During these years he has visited many waste stores in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai to gather items for his collection.  After visiting his sister in England, he brought a few bottles from there too.  No wonder lads hiding behind boulders call him “Kuppi Sir” when he walks along the road.  But he considers that as a compliment only. 

A good portion of his monthly pension is spent on bolstering his collection.  Often he has to lie to his family that the cost of his purchases are in the range of Rs 25 when it would in fact be aound Rs 500.

His next aim is to classify and catalogue the collection of about 3000 bottles.  Further, he aims to determine the age of the bottles by getting expert help from the Archaeology Department. 

Joseph with his collection

Courtesy: K.Tony Jose, Malayala Manorama, March 8, 2003

Contributed by: Administrator


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