Indore: From craze to addiction, hobbies can lead to adventure and excitement. So is the case with 34-year-old businessman Punit Purohit, who collects bills, Indian and foreign currency notes having specific numbers. It all began when Purohit was nine years old and would buy ‘paan’ for his father (late Banwarilal Purohit) from nearby kiosk. He noticed a framed currency note on the kiosk wall.
“I asked the kiosk owner about it and he said it is ‘barqati’, which means prosperity, good fortune and abundance,” Purohit said. Enticed, he requested to buy the note from him. “He refused and told me that only lucky people can get such special currency notes with digits – 786,” Purohit said. His temptation to get such a lucky note doubled with similar interpretation of 786 shown in Hindi film, Coolie.
“I took it up as a challenge. With my father’s support I finally secured a note with same series at the end,” Purohit said. When he went back to the kiosk owner to flaunt his note, he tried to steal it from him. “I cried and threw tantrum to get my note back. Then, he showed his collection of similar notes of Rs 10 denomination,” Purohit said. From that day, he decided to have a bigger collection of currency notes with lucky digits.
“Since then, I have collected currency notes of 786 series and other series like 214 that represents Ram, 143 to denote ‘I love you’, 007 inspired by my love for James Bond, 2115 for Sai Baba and 4141 for my Papa,” Purohit told Free Press. When keyed on calculator, these numbers form alphabets or are popular connotations.
According to Purohit, it was a difficult task and still is because at first he would refuse gifts given to him. He would ask for money to get special notes to add to his collection. Even today, I spend lot of time, energy to buy these notes,” Purohit said.
Everything was going fine for him. Then came the big blow as union government announced demonetisation. “After that, I began collecting foreign currency,” Purohit said. After losing most of his collection during demonetisation, he managed to collect similar ‘lucky’ notes with new currency. “As far as I know, I have the largest collection of such currency notes. So, I would be applying for world record soon,” Purohit said.