Walking into the Lily Pond Complex near Chennai Central, we found Rhythm in a far corner on the first floor. Selling old projectors, tapes, clocks and a large collection of gramophones, LPs and vinyl records, this store was started by Shriram more than 40 years ago in a small space in Nungambakkam and has been winning people over since.
For more than 15 years now, they've been selling from the old Moore Market near Chennai Central. When the store first opened, they were one of the biggest record dealers in the city and continue to attract crowds and bigwigs including politicians who visit to buy old MGR and Sivaji Ganesan LPs. Rhythm has a vast collection of records and has been doing brisk business selling music in English, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu across a number of genres including classical, pop and jazz music. You can even find some rare collections such as old Beatles, Elvis and Pink Floyd records here!
We spoke to Mahesh, the shop owner’s son-in-law, and he told us that Rhythm only stocks a few of their records at the store and they have a separate godown in Purasawalkam. Customers keep coming to them through word-of-mouth with many of them calling to request old Beethoven and Bach symphonies. Some of their bestsellers are old Ilaiyaraaja records as well as classic rock music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It may look like a tough task finding a particular record in the store or godown but they never to fail to find the one that we need. The gramophones sell for anywhere between INR 3,000 to 15,000, and it's kinda hard to not buy them.