Priyabrat Biswal, 47-year-old from Odisha, who lives in Olihan, some 60 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, by writing simple, yet touching letters over the last three decades to celebrities from different walks of life.
Lady Diana, Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Mohammad Ali are just some of the famous people who have replied to his letters.
He also has signed photographs of sporting icons like Pele, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Michael Jordan, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graff, Richard Hadlee, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, and their Indian counterparts like Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Prakash Padukone, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, P.T. Usha, Vishwanathan Anand — not to speak of Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and many more.
Celebrated writers like Manoj Das, Vikram Seth, Dominique Lappierre and Nobel laureates like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Neil Armstrong and Edmund Hillary also hold a special place in the albums.
“The most prized one in the collection is that of Mother Teresa. It was such a magnanimous gesture from her side to respond,” Biswal said.
He’s also received responses from US Presidents such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush (senior) and Bill Clinton — as well as incumbent Barack Obama. Other notables include Kofi Annan, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, as also almost all former Indian Presidents and Prime Ministers after 1986.