There is a miniature sporting paradise tucked away in a little corner of Nashik, 130 sq feet of it, to be precise. It houses the collection of a Life Insurance Corporation employee and avid sports enthusiast Nitin Mujumdar; so varied and detailed is the ensemble that it qualifies to be labelled as a museum.
What is interesting is that Mujumdar has not played cricket or any other sport, but is a keen follower of happenings in every sport activity across the country. Needless to say, he does have a special liking for cricket.
From cricket magazines and posters, to caps and T-shirts of different World Cups, this room in Sahjeevan Colony, Nashik City, has it all. The city has the distinction of being one of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimage sites and a more recent reputation as India's wine capital.
If there are sports fans among the thousands of Kumbh Mela visitors here once every 12 years, they would feel doubly blessed if they were to visit Mujumdar's museum. His penchant for accumulating collections began during the visit of the legendary Clive Lloyd and his men to India in 1974-75. “Yes, it is the passion for sports that made me take this up as a hobby and has enabled me to meet Indian greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Anshuman Gaikwad and V Anand, to name a few,” says Mujumdar, who has never played any game seriously.
Influenced by his wife Radha, a badminton player at the national level, he took a liking for the shuttle game and has a few collections dedicated to it. Other mementos have been gifted to him either by players officials, friends, and even commentators. “The prized items in this room include the boxing gloves personally addressed and signed by Mary Kom, an informal letter from Tendulkar," he says.
Other special items include England World Cup 2019 caps signed by English cricketers, Ian Morgan, Moin Ali and Joe Root, besides Indian Premier League, Premier Badminton League T-shirts gifted by some players, with shirts from Karsan Ghavari, Salil Ankola, a cap from Ajit Wadekar, and a cricket WC pair of shorts gifted by commentator Harsha Bhogle.
An avid reader of Marathi books, Mujumdar also has a collection of old and new cricket biographies. He has been on a sports panel during the WC 2015 on the ABP Majha channel. He has some original photographs he has clicked and books on various sports, memorabilia he has painstakingly gathered over four decades. He hopes the treasure hunt will continue and his 'museum' will come to occupy a special place in sporting history.