lørdag 19. februar 2022

The amateur historians chronicling Delhi's past on Instagram

Umair Shah was seven when he had his first brush with history. He met a coin dealer in his hometown, the Indian city of Kolkata (formally Calcutta), who piqued his interested in coins. As his collection grew, he began reading about the empires depicted on these metal discs.

"By the time I was 16, I was overcome with a crazy longing for these places and people," he said. Mr Shah, now 27, lives in Delhi where he works in digital marketing for fashion brands. But he's also Sikkawala, or coin collector - that's his moniker on Instagram where he documents fragments of history.

To take to Instagram isn't to reduce history to a mere snapshot. Mr Shah's lyrical captions are steeped in facts and read like excerpts from an exciting story - where we learn about dead emperors, malevolent djinns and of rebellions that dissolved empires - in about 300 words.