I have recently started collecting stamps again, for a theme, I decided I will primarily focus on India stamps. As any new collector would do, I have been looking at various forums, avenues to get my collection going. Also I slowly learned about Collectors year pack. With much expectation and enthusiasm I decided to start my India collection from recent years and work my way backwards to pre independence era(Thanks to exorbitant prices in ebay). So in my first attempt I ended up spending around Rs. 2500, buying Miniature sheets, and collectors year pack(2010 & 2011) from India Post. Once i got them, i was excited to see them, but to my horror 4 or 5 stamps in the collectors pack were damaged
. So much for India post's care for the collectors.. I mean collectors pack are for collectors, now who in their right senses would put a damaged stamp in there
. I was really surprised at the poor quality of the stamps issued in 2011 and some of the 2012 stamps, the printing really sucks... a ink blot on a toilet paper would have looked better, Sorry i just couldnt stop myself. I also bought the Khadi stamp of Gandhi for Rs. 250. I was looking forward for a really nice cover (read booklet), since India post were charging Rs.250 for a Rs.100 face value stamp(Oh.. did i mention the Rs.100 printed in stamp looks more like Rs.1
). Again to my dismay, there was nothing great about the cover it came in (I could have got it printed in my friends printing press for Rs.10 each, with no spelling mistakes and couple of more nice colour and without smudging). I realised the only reason India post had put it at Rs.250 was to make it look something special, and help dealers increase it to Rs.500 in another year. Now i really think whats the fun in collecting such stamps, where it shows poor committment, laziness and lethargic attitude... Stamps are supposed to be windows to a countries culture and people, If this is to be true, India Post is doing a shabby (believe me i want to scream out loud some other nasty one's) job, Forget the designs, the quality of stamps is so pathetic no one will ever think about collecting India stamps. (Who knows there may be folks 100 Years from now who are interested to collect Modern era uglies, errors and oddities - India will be the shangrila... heheh I am sure Tony would be reincarnated in the new avatar
After this first shock, I had joined the stampboards, and had started to be the beneficiary of freebies. I got stamps from Ajolicoe, got a xmas gift through secret santa - lovely lot thanks to Margoz, some more stamps from Royalcounty. Now I was happy, but not really because i realised, some more stamps were posted for me, its been more than 7 weeks and still no sign of them. I suspect as members have mentioned above India post must have just swallowed them
One of my orders in wopa never came, its been 2 months.... This is very frustrating. I am really sad that in India, where people spend hard earned money on buying stamp, India post really doesnt care about the stamps nor do they care to curb theft.I am really surprised, this happened inspite of using my office address, where many international mails come.
Although its sad and not a great start, thanks to stampboards, I am hanging in there..reading through forums is a great joy, seeing the scans of stamps and enormous knowledge the stamp gurus share here, keeps me motivated to continue my hobby.