Meet India’s Own “Lord Of Rings”
Rakesh Vaid is a 63 year old Delhi resident owns of a massive collection of 32,000 key rings.
Neighbours and friends called Rakesh Vaid “mental” and his wife was furious when she first heard his “crazy” idea in 2013 but he remained resolute. In the next two years, Vaid made over 200 national and international records, including three Limca Book of Records, for the largest collection of key rings from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to biggest key ring of Titanic to smallest key chain of Indian National flag.
Initially the passion began with purchasing every key ring that he could lay his hands on, but a growing financial crunch that made it difficult for Vaid to keep money aside for his indulgence, led him to make the key rings himself.
“I was so passionate that after getting my salary, the first thing I did was to buy key rings. But, as the prices increased, I had to look for alternatives to fuel my passion.
So, I decided to make them myself,” Vaid, 63, told PTI.
Vaid’s apartment in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase-II is no less than a miniature photo archive. Name any actor, sportsperson or even a freedom fighter, and you can find a bunch of key chains with their photographs hanging from the display boards put up all across his residence. His drawing room is filled wall to wall with awards, certificates and medals, all he achieved in just two years.
“During my service, my clients would present me key rings as tokens of appreciation, and I used to keep them in my house. Gradually, I also started collecting photoframe key rings of different personalities. During that period, I also made more than 300 hand-made chains in varied shapes, sizes and colours that included India Gate, swimming pool, tubelight, metal detector, etc,” recalls Vaid.
“Soon, I contacted Limca Book of Records and many other national and international organisations like Universal Records Forum, Everest World Records, Record Setter and the rest is history,” he says, while holding one of the certificates.
Addicted to turning any waste material into a show piece, Vaid had to face his wife’s wrath for “ruining money and time.” “I used to collect magazines and newspapers to collect cut-outs of different personalities. My wife was against it, so I had to hide those rings. My neighbours laughed at me when they came to know about my hobby, but my daughter, who stays in Mumbai, backed me,” the collector says.
The ‘lord of rings’ may have countless records under his belt, but still turns child-like with excitement as he shows off a giant 10-feet-long, 1-feet-wide and 11-inch-tall Titanic ship model with 52 photoframe key rings of some of its crew members and passengers strung all around the bow.
Apart from setting 260 records, he also has to his credit the world’s largest key ring – a 10-foot Titanic ship — and the smallest, a replica of the Indian national flag.
Vaid continues to add to his collection with a new set of key rings that he has been making out of matchboxes, hoping to make a record of 50,000 key rings by June this year.