New Gramophone House —
Founded in 1930 in Lahore, Pakistan, New Gramophone House is now the last remaining record shop in Delhi. Relocated to the Indian capital in 1947 following the Indian-Pakistan partition, and nestled above a shoe shop in Delhi’s frenetic Chandni Chowk district, the small room houses over one LAKH of records. Once a record shop amongst hundreds of others in Delhi, New Gramophone House now remains the only surviving outlet for vinyl records and has become an institution amongst locals and international collectors alike.
The current manager, Anuj Rajpal is the son of the previous manager of the shop Ramesh Rajpal who remains ever present in the shop. Ramesh’s father was the original founder; New Gramophone House is very much a family affair.
A tardis of music and a haven for lovers of a bygone musical format, the stacks upon stacks of records make it difficult to know where to begin. With a recording by Lata Mangeshkar on my phone, I played it to the shop assistant and so began my foray into the depths of New Gramophone House’s collection. From religious recordings in Urdu, to Bollywood B Movie soundtracks via snake charmer recordings, this was unlike any record shop experience I’ve experienced. Beautiful record artwork, stacks of 7 inches, tens of gramophones and an ambivalent manager Anuj Rajpal, reminiscent of Jack Black in High Fidelity, made the experience one that will not be soon forgotten.
With sales of vinyl increasing for the first time in two decades, New Gramophone House has seen its popularity grow in the last couple of years attaining somewhat of a cult following, thanks to a new generation of music lovers with a keen sense of nostalgia and a love of music from yesteryear.