Abhai Mishra


Abhai Mishra joined Defence Electronics Applications Lab, DRDO, Dehradun in 1996 as Scientist, after completing the Electronic Fellowship Course from Institute of Armament Technology, Pune. At present he is Division Head, SAR Image Processing Division, at Image Analysis Center. He was the member of the 21st Indian Antarctic Expedition.
He is also an amateur philatelist and ardent photographer and has designed numerous special covers and cancellations for Uttarakhand Postal Circle. Besides writing scores of articles in leading newspaper and journals he has authored two books on philately. He is also a heritage enthusiast and conducts heritage walks for “Been There, Doon That?” to spread heritage awareness among the citizen of Doon valley. Other than that he is also an avid birdwatcher and compulsive walker. He is Life Member, Indian Society for Remote Sensing, Fellow IETE, Member IEEE, Indian InSAR group, ISWA (Indian Science Writers Association).

To volunteer for the event

Email id : words@valleyofwords.org Whatsapp or Call us at : 9759360927, 8958260927


When did you realize that you had passion for philately? How did the interest evolve?

I had a strong inclination towards stamps since my childhood. I was always fascinated by the colourful motifs printed on the stamps. My elder brothers Ajai and Anadi were keen stamp collectors and they inculcated this hobby by gifting me a stamp stock book when I was in class 2. It was fun for me to go to the GPO regularly with them, getting first day covers cancelled and attending small stamp exhibitions. During my education years, I kept the hobby alive as I learnt lot of new things from stamps. After I came to Dehra Dun in 1996, I started pursuing it seriously and focussed on specialized themes like Indian Antarctic Expeditions, Kumbha Mela, Uttarakhand Postal History, Hinduism, WW-II Prisoner of War Camps, etc. I use philately as a tool to document various present and historical events. Uttarakhand has rich cultural diversity and tangible as well as intangible heritage. Its history is closely linked with the colonial period and the independence struggle. It is always a challenge to correlate monuments, folklore and historical events with stamps and postal covers.

What gravitated you towards bird watching? How does it inspire you?

Dehra Dun is a place nestled in the Himalayan foothills with abundance of natural heritage all around- be it Sal forests, majestic mountains or freely flowing streams. Due to its unique location it attracts winter as well as summer migratory birds. One can see over 600 species of birds in and around Dehra Dun. Watching the birds arrive in the valley and observing their perching habits, plumage change and breeding pattern is very interesting. Bird watching is a great stress buster and takes you closer to nature. It increases your mental alertness, reflexes and patience.

Please tell us a bit about what you will be concentrating on at The Story of Stamp workshop.

In the era of internet and email, letter writing is taking a backseat. My workshop aims at motivating students to take up the hobby of stamp collecting. Stamps are tiny colourful pieces that are true ambassadors of a country. Philately is rightfully a Hobby of Kings and the King of Hobbies. In the workshop, I introduce students to the wonderful world of stamps through interesting stories and anecdotes. I educate them about the benefits of this hobby and how they can use it as a learning tool to understand their history, heritage, people, culture, surroundings and social values.

Kindly share with us your experience as a photographer. What are the key things for a photographer to keep in mind while clicking?

A picture is worth a thousand words. Photography is an art which lets you freeze moments which are worth documenting. I mainly like wildlife, nature and heritage photography but I also enjoy capturing street life. Photography is all about expressing your thoughts and conveying a message. Wildlife photography demands immense patience and observation. A photographer should be non-intrusive to the environment and leave no traces behind. Ethics is very important. Birds are very sensitive to human intrusion. Care must be taken that wildlife is not disturbed while capturing photos and a proper distance must be maintained.

What are you expecting from the upcoming Art and Literature Festival, 'Valley of Words'?

I am very excited about the festival and I am looking forward to it. It will give me an opportunity to hear and interact with literary giants of the country. Hearing people from diverse backgrounds and knowing their ideas will enhance by knowledge. I am also looking forward to the release of the special cover and to the philatelic exhibition. The best thing is that it’s all happening in my own beloved Dehra Dun.

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