OLD CU­RIOS­ITY SHOP

India Today - - SIMPLY CHENNAI -

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-

HK RA­JASHEKHAR/ www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

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