I never knew what I was going to be when I was a glazed white paper taken to the postal printing press. When I entered the press, those who went there earlier were coming out with different pictures, printed in different colours – green, blue, red, brown etc. They were also given a price. Some I saw were for 10 Ps., some for 50 Ps., some for one rupee etc. I was puzzled to know as to what my lot is going to be. It was not long before I got a print on my face, a picture and a price. The picture of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was printed in brown colour on me and my cost was fixed as Re.1/-. The sheet to which I belong got 200 such prints, 20 vertical and 10 horizontal. We were sent to another machine which pasted gum on our backs.
From the printing press we were bundled in 100 sheets each and despatched to General Post Office, Hyderabad for sale. I waited for my turn to be sold. On 25th of February a beautiful middle aged lady bought ten of us along with other stamps of different values. On 28th February, she wrote a letter to her son studying at Cincinati, Ohio state, the U.S.A and putting it in a cover, she pasted a stamp of Rs.100/- plus three of us on the cover. The cover with four of us pasted on was posted at G.P.O on 29th of February.
The postman collected the cover along with others and stamped on us G.P.O., Hyderabad dated 29 Feb. We, a few, meant to go to the U.S.A were put in an Air Mail bag and despatched by plane to America. I reached my destination on 5th of March. The young lad, a university student, was the man in whose hands I finally fell. He is a collector of postal stamps and so he was able to see the specialty in me. I did not myself know it earlier.
Can you guess? It is not that I am different in colour, size or shape or in picture with other one rupee stamps he got earlier. It is the date stamped on me that is special.
Raja, is the name of the young lad I referred to. He removed me entirely and with tact, as the date was very clear on me and not on others. He took me to his room and pasted me in his Stamp Album along with many other stamps which he had collected. They belonged to different countries. When I was pasted in the album I was all alone. Many stamps joined me day after day. I could find in my company stamps belonging to different countries – England, Indonesia and Japan all (carrying different pictures and of different values, but all stamped the same date at the place of their postings.
We may not be useful once again to carry letters. But our master Raja knowns our value. In the coming two or three decades he says that my value will go up thousands of times because we would then be rare stamps and special in nature. Can you ever believe that the value of a man increases after death? But in our case it is happening that is the wonder about me and my fellow brothers.