OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
The Englishmen of pre- independent Madras named the store after the celebrated Charles Dickens novel, as they couldn’t quite define what was in store here. It began as a candid reference that held so much water that it became the name of the shop itself. “My father, when he started this shop, made sure he juxtaposed Indian and western art. Being an avid traveller, my father himself picked up souvenirs from different parts of the country, which we sell here,” says Mohamad Lateef, who looks after this store which is nothing short of an iconic location in the city. In the 62 years of its existence, The Old Curiosity Shop has only got more intriguing.
Mohamad has an original edition of Songs and Sonnets of Shakespeare, published in 1815, the world’s smallest coin, which is approximately the size of a mustard seed ( this was made in India), personally signed photographs of Elvis Presley ( which he won’t sell, but will gladly show you), century-