A WALK through Dilesh Parekh’s Pedder Road home is a history lesson through cameras. Parekh had bagged a Guinness World Record in 2012 for the largest collection of cameras. “Not just any cameras,” he says. “These cameras belong to the period between 1890 and 1970… Cameras have been my heart and soul ever since I started collecting them 40 years ago,” he adds.
He was the owner of 4,425 cameras when he created the world record in 2012. His collection has since risen to 4,600.
Pointing at his mammoth collection, he says, “This rack is filled with Leica cameras and this one with my favourite — the Rolleiflex range.”
“Six hundred of these cameras were handed over to me by my grandfather, with the hope of continuing this family tradition,” he adds.
Now 64, the zeal in him continues to thrive.
Tucked away in the corners of the shelves, are also a few spy cameras which come in the form of watches, lighters and binoculars. He stumbled upon them during one of his visits to Chor Bazaar before 2012.
A camera connoisseur, he has inherited this knowledge from his ancestors and enhanced it with avid reading. His collection has often been displayed in exhibitions across the country.
Parekh says he is not actively collecting any more cameras but those from the era his collection belongs to keep finding their way to him in the form of gifts.
Storing the collection in his 2-BHK house, however, has become challenging. “I wish a museum could be made to house my collection. This will ensure that people from across the globe can view the varied range of cameras I have collected over the years”, he adds.