Scores of Lord Ganesha idols are lined together at every corner of the room, of variant sizes, shapes, colours and forms. It is not a shop selling Ganesha idols but a personal collection of Pabsetti Shekhar, a bank employee who has been collecting the Vinayaka idols for the past 38 years. Today, he boasts a collection of 11,160 or rather as he takes out three more idols from his bag, 11,163 idols and 14,152 photographs.
“I am planning to construct a spacious hall where I can display all the idols properly. The current room has no further space,” he remarks while proudly displaying his current collection.
“As a child I always used to sketch and draw Ganesh idols. Back in 1973, I had visited the Shirdi temple with my family and was absolutely inspired by the Lord Ganesha’s idol. Ever since then I have been collecting or making Ganesh idols and paintings. My first idol was for 50 paisa,” says P Shekhar as he reminisces his initial days.
The Ganesha connoisseur who recently entered the Limca Book of Records has all the 32 forms of Ganesh statuettes from the Bala Ganapathi to the Sankathara Ganapathi.
Whether it is any kind of exhibition, shop or even ordering it online, there is no stopping him from adding more idols to his eclectic collection.
He now aspires to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. “I have recently bought a Panchamukhi Ganesh idol and my aim is to collect over a lakh of idols,” he adds.
Apart from collecting and making them, he is also involved in the construction of a Ganesh Temple at Yadagirigutta. “I am not doing this for commercial reasons. I want people to come to the temple and be at peace. There will be a meditation room, free bus service to the temple and prasad,” explaining his future plans.
“My doors are always open. People can come and look at the collection anytime. I want them to forget all their worries and leave feeling happy and calm,” says the collector adding, “Spirituality has become very commercial.
People should be able to find some time in the day to think about God, that is all that is required.”