With about 32,000 different key rings, Rakesh Vaid is no less than Delhi’s key ring lord. Think of something and you will find a key ring for the same in his 38 years collection.
His strange passion of the key ring collection was not much accepted in the initial stage. It was only after 2013 that he began to get acknowledgment and appreciation.
Winner of 260 records, Vaid also owns a unique photo key rings collection. With a photo key ring of almost all sportspersons, politicians and actors his house is no less than a miniature photo archive.
His photo frame key chains collection includes 1200 key ring each of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sachin Tendulkar – a record in itself. The counting does not stop here; he also has 1,100 photo key rings for Rajnikant. This number goes up to 1,500 for Amitabh Bachchan.
All these are unique as they tell the life story of all these personalities right from the time of their birth/ childhood to present. He also had a very good collection of former President of India Abdul Kalam, which he gifted to his family for his memorial in Rameshwaram.
His collection also includes all the presidents and prime ministers of India from 1947 till now. For the father of the nation, his collection has 500 such rings.
“I wish to gift my collection to respective personalities if I ever got a chance to meet them,” he says.
This passion was started back in 1979.
“I was a typist in a private firm and had to do a lot of typing. Sometimes I used to refuse to type for my colleagues. One day one of them brought a key ring for me and asked me to type for him and I did his work happily as I liked the key ring very much,” recalls Vaid.
“After this, people in office began to give me key rings for typing work. This continued for a month and I collected some 37 key rings. I felt they all must be thinking that I am taking a bribe, so I asked them not to bring it,” he says.
But the desire for key rings remained in him and he continued to buy them from the market. The passion for the collection was not much appreciated by his mother and wife, but his father and later his daughter contributed in his collection.
The desire for key rings was so strong that after getting his salary, the first thing he used to do was to buy key rings, even before going back to the home.
In those days, he recalled, the rings were very cheap, but slowly the cost increased and he has to look for other more economic alternatives. So he started making them with fibreglass, thermocol and plastic sheets, chart paper, cardboard, pencils and wood.
He also has made world’s largest and smallest key rings. A 10-feet long Titanic ship made by him with thermocol is considered as world’s largest key ring.
Latest in this creative collection is matchbox key ring. Now he is collecting different matchboxes and is making key rings out of it. This is not only innovative but also a record.
63-year-old Vaid, is also the winner of seven Limca book of world record,
Talking about his daughter’s contribution he said, “my daughter is helping me a lot and she also gift key rings to my collection.”
Neha Vaid, his 31-year-old daughter living in Mumbai, brings key rings for him whenever he visits Delhi. He feels happy and proud sharing that his daughter has always helped him in his passion.
His next aim is to make the record of 50,000 key ring collection for which he is opting for other creative means.