Satish Chaphekar: Philographist enters Limca Records for a record 6th time
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Satish Chaphekar: Philographist enters Limca Records for a record 6th time

A passionate collector’s treasure of 9,500+ autographs of sports celebs, politicians and scientists

Satish Chaphekar: Philographist enters Limca Records for a record 6th time

New Delhi: When he’s not teaching, 62-year-old Lajpat Nagar resident Satish Chaphekar is busy making world records by collecting autographs of achievers and celebrities. His hobby of philography, which began at the age of 11, has helped him enter the Limca Book of Records for a record 6th time and his collection now stands at 9,500+ signatures of personalities such as cricketers, politicians and scientists.

Originally from Thane (Maharashtra), Chaphekar has been a sports newsreader on All India Radio. He has been collecting autographs of personalities, ranging from actor Priyanka Chopra to astronaut Neil Armstrong since he was 11. His first autograph was of General Kodandera M Cariappa, the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Indian Army.

In an exclusive interview with this journalist (Shri Ram Shaw), Satish Chaphekar said, “My first Limca Record was in 2015 for my autographs of “Wall of Celebrities”. Now it’s a “museum”. It took 13 years (2002 to 2015). All celebrities personally came to my “Autograph House”.

“When I bought the house in 2002, one of my artist friends and I decided to do something different. He sketched all the autographs on the walls in 35 hours. Later, whenever a celebrity visited Dombivli we would invite them to sign on the walls,” he added. This is his first record in the Limca Book for being the first house or wall with celeb autographs.

“My second Limca Record was in 2016. It was for legendary cricketer Rahul Drvaid’s 48 autographs for his 48 centuries between 2010 to 2016,” he said.

In 2016, Chaphekar registered his second record for having 48 autographs of batsman Rahul Dravid for hitting 48 centuries in 48 one-day matches. His first record is a living example in the form of his house in Dombivli which has signatures of 150 celebrities which include historian Babasaheb Purandare, scientist Dr RA Mashelkar, renowned lyricist and poet Nida Fazli, Govindacharya and Vasudev Kamat, among others.

He further said, “My third Limca Records in 2017 was for Bharat Ratna ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tenduklkar’s 100 autographs for his 100 centuries. I took all autographs personally between 1990 to 2014 during 24 years.”

“When I learnt that an Australian has made a similar record by collecting 100 signatures of cricket legend Don Bradman, it prompted me to do a similar record with our own god of cricket,” said Chaphekar.

“My 4th Limca Record was in 2018. Already, I had 3 Limca Records in 2015, 2016, 2017 and now for 2018. I took world record holder cricketer Pranav Dhanawade’s 323 autographs on 33 cricket bats because he made 1009 runs (not out) in 323 balls,” he added.

“Now, I have made my 6th Limca Record for 39 autographs of great cricketer Ajit Wadekar. 39 autograps because he played 37 Test Matches and 2 One day matches. I met him first time in 1982 in my Thane College. I recieved this “award” from his hand,” Satish said.

Chaphekar has met almost every big cricketer — past and present — including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar, Ian Botham and Brett Lee. He has even managed to source an autograph of Sir Donald Bradman via post.

In addition to cricketers, he has the autographs of tennis players too, including Roger Federer and Rod Laver, and chess champ Viswanathan Anand. “After I received Sir Don's autograph, I couldn’t sleep that night and wondered what I should aim for next. And the very next day, newspapers announced Dalai Lama’s visit to Mumbai.”

“I keep an eye on the news to see who is visiting the city. All my autographs have been collected in Mumbai,” says Chaphekar, who remembers waiting for three hours for Jackie Chan’s autograph.

He takes selfies with every star too. He replies, “Selfies are just a proof of meeting; autographs are an asset. But I don't want to sell any of them. Many people have asked me to put them up on eBay, but I will not.”

A prized possession is a bat signed by Sena chief Bal Thackeray, which Chaphekar says is the only bat the politico signed in his life. Other highlights in his collection include autographs of actor Richard Gere, former president APJ Abdul Kalam, artists Ravi Paranjpaye and SH Raza, social reformer Baba Amte, freedom fighter Nath Pai, a cartoon made specifically for him by RK Laxman, and a sketch by artist Vasudeo Kamath on the wall of his Dombivli home.

Reminscing his old days Satish divulged, “In my school days in 1969-70, I made a small cricket Album. At that time I purchased many photographs. The cost of those photos was 5 paise, 10 paise, 25 paise. When formar captain Ajit Wadekar autographed on those photos, they became priceless. It was an amazing feeling for all of us. He always asks me about my autograph collection when we meet in BCCI office or in any programme. I always cherish the moments with him.”