History & Culture

‘We are the ultimate repair shop in India’

Old is gold Mahboob Radios in Hyderabad packed with vintage collections. Serish Nanisetti

“This is a Johnson radio from the U.K. It is over 80 years old. This is a spool tape recorder that I am told is still used by All India Radio and Radio Ceylon. That one is the oldest radio we have: the original GEC radio, which used to run with a dry battery,” says Muhammad Moinuddin, as he walks around his small shop on the Chatta Bazaar Road in Hyderabad’s Old City.

Mahboob Radios is packed with vintage radios, record players and cassette decks from a different era. The names on the electrical devices include Murphy, Philco, Marconi, Telefunken, Grundig, HMV and Philips.

“This Grundig spool recorder and the HMV record player belonged to Marri Chenna Reddy. Only we can repair these as we have a stock of 4-volt and 6-volt valves. There are no repair shops like this anywhere in India. Whatever cannot be repaired, we can repair. We have customers who send their radios from Mumbai and Kolkata,” says Mr. Moinuddin.

80 years old

The 80-year-old shop was established by his father Shaikh Mahboob in his house in the Dabeerpura area. “Once my father realised that the new city would soon become densely populated, he bought this place for Rs. 7,000 and established the shop,” he says.

Now, the shop is run by Mr. Moinuddin and his brother Mujeebuddin.

Earlier, the brothers not only sold and repaired radios, they also assembled them from completely knocked down kits (CKDs). “Most of the radios that are being sold now are use and throw. They cannot be repaired like these,” says Mr. Mujeebuddin, the older brother, who deftly tightens the tuning thread on a Philco.

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Printable version | May 9, 2022 6:36:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/we-are-the-ultimate-repair-shop-in-india/article18591482.ece