Relive yesterday at Rhythm, the antique store where gramophones blare popular music from old LP records

The air around Lily Pond Complex (old Moore Market) smells of musty old books. But that’s not all it’s about. On the first floor, as one strolls past antique stores stuffed with dusty transistors, bird cages and other paraphernalia, you reach the corner where old gramophones line the shelves of Rhythm, an antique store with a twist.

Here, you can find old tape recorders, projectors (8 mm and 16 mm), cameras, pens, watches, porcelain dishes, wall clocks, chandeliers and a host of other items but what the store is most popular for is its collection of LP records and gramophones.

With a vast collection of over a lakh records, the store does brisk business all day. “The owner, Shriram, began this store over 40 years ago in Nungambakkam,” says his son-in-law Mahesh. “We were record dealers at that time. When we couldn’t sell them commercially anymore, we began to sell them as antiques.”

The records have music in a host of languages including Tamil, English and Telugu, across genres such as classical, pop, rock and roll and Hindustani. “A lot of rock music fans come here looking for classical rock and others come looking for symphonies,” he says, “We have some rare collections — The Beatles, Elvis Presley and so on. Currently, records of Pink Floyd and Ilaiyaraaja’s music sell well.” They also have music by M.K. Thiyagaraja Bhagvathar, V. Chinnappa, N.S. Krishnan, T.R. Mahalingam and some from MGR and Sivaji’s films.

The shop moved to Moore Market 15 years ago. “We’ve sold about 200 gramophones so far. We came here because this is the place where you get everything old. And after being here so long, our name has spread by word-of-mouth and our customers come here specifically looking for us,” says Mahesh.

He suddenly walks into one of the stores and begins shuffling through some records piled on top of each other. “We have a godown where our records are all kept, but a few we stock here to show our customers,” he says, as someone alongside works busily with an old transistor. “It’s quite a task finding any particular record,” he laughs, “But we’ve been in the business long enough to know how.”

Rhythm is located on the first floor of Lily Pond Complex. For details call 99410 50668.