Mid Day
    By Chandrashekhar Joshi
    Pune May -13 1997
    • Headgears formed a prominent part of wardrobes in mythology. In historic periods, they set aside royal personalities. Today, besides political significance, headgears also represent communal spirits.
    • However, at the top of it all, is a hobby developed by Anant Joshi of Kalyan. His collection of some 400 odd caps found a place in the Limca Book of Records recently. The caps are on display for the first time in the city interestingly, D'Souza, a visitor from the Air Force colony, parted with her Burmese hat yesterday evening. The old bamboo hat probably belongs to the pre-Independence period.
    • In an exclusive - interview to Pune MID - DAY Joshi spoke of the spirit that drew him to this unique hobby.
    • He said, "In my childhood, I used see many western films on television. I liked the cowboys and their hats. When my parentys went to the United States, when I was 12, I insisted they bring me a hat. My neighbours hobby of coin collection inspired me to collect more caps. In fact after collecting some 20-25 caps in a year I began to think seriously of expanding my collection."
    • How did he collect the caps? "Almost all have been presented by friends and well wishers who appreciate my hobby. But I had to search for many For example I purchased the Nanasaheb Phadanvis cap from Chor Bazaar in Mumbai.
    • Where did he display the caps first? "The first exhibition was at Ambad Junior Chamber at Nashik in 1994. The Rotary Club of Kalyan also displayed the caps at the Rotary International Science and Health Exhibition in December, 1995. Atleast 50,000 people have visited both these shows. This was really a source of inspiration and appreciation."
    • What about rare caps? "My collection includes the smallest cap that fits onto a finger to the costliest Tibetan cowboy hat. I have the cap worn by Senapati Dabhale of Talegaon Dabhade. The Parsi cap and Solo hat in my collection are no more in production now. The Nana Phadanvis cap is made of cow dung, while there is also a paper cap and a folding cap."
    • Is anything lacking in his collection? "In fact, the quest for the collection of caps is unending. I plan to collect police caps from all states in the country."
    • What does he plan to do with his collection? "I was recently verbally invited by Rotarians in the United States for an exhibition. I shall think about it when I receive a formal invitation. There are many offers for exhibitions. But I shall exhibit the caps only for non-profit ventures - to render knowledge and create interest."
    • Hats off to Anant Joshi!