It is no secret that I collect fridge magnets. In fact, I am drawn to them just like metal is. I pick up fridge magnets wherever I go, if they are available. And as a result, I now have hundreds of them. And they are all there, on my parents' fridge. One side of it is completely covered. Now they have spilled over to the second side and also to my own fridge.
Magnets make excellent gifts too, especially for someone who collects magnets. They are small and easy to carry and for a collector, they are priceless. My friends also support my magnet mania. They often bring back magnets for me from other countries. And as a result, I have several magnets from places I have never visited - China, Singapore, and such. And I love them all. They make me want to travel more and visit these places too.
Some of my favorite magnets are Shakespeare from Stratford Upon Avon, Dragon from Wales, Humpty Dumpty from Oxford, Braveheart from Scotland, and the yellow hut from Cotswold.
I am very possessive of my magnets and even my 9-year-old nephew, who is the apple of my eye, doesn't remove them from the fridge. In fact, he has also taken on the role of the protector of my magnets now. He has now started adding magnets to my collection. The blue elephant above was made by him.
Most of my magnets are from the UK, a country I have explored quite a lot. I usually buy one magnet from one city/town/attraction, but on rare occasions, I have been guilty of buying more than one if I couldn't decide between two or three. I prefer ceramic magnets to ones with photographs because I feel that a lot of imagination and thought goes behind creating a ceramic magnet.
Fridge magnets are still fairly uncommon in India. The one from Shimla above (in which you can see the Ridge) is just one of the three Indian magnets in my collection. The others are from Goa and Delhi. Most tourist places in India do not sell fridge magnets, and this is really unfortunate.
Some fridge magnets are special because they remind you of the incredible places you have visited and the amazing sights you have seen. The one on the top left corner in the photograph above is from Loch Ness, where the legendary Loch Ness Monster is supposed to live. The magnet at the bottom is from the Falls of the Shin and this is where I saw my first salmon jump.
Very often I find myself buying magnets to gift to my friends, but once I return home, I find it difficult to part with them. Such is the charm of these souvenirs. They are not only great gift items, they are windows to places that you have visited. They are art that an artist has conceived and molded with care. Fridge magnets deserve a lot more respect than they get right now.