29 September, 2020

A Grocer By Trade, This 69-year-old Is The Preserver Of Old Record Tunes

A Grocer By Trade, This 69-year-old Is The Preserver Of Old Record Tunes
DUST motes dance in the sunlight, old wall clocks mark time lazily and cobwebs flutter in the musty air as the black box comes alive with the timeless rendition of Banikantha Nimai Harichandan's Odissi number Sri Radha batuli, premara satuli. The song more than matches the ambience - it was the first song to be broadcast on Cuttack air when the station was inaugurated on January 28, '48. The owner of this rare 78 rpm gramophone record is Indramani Sahu, a 69-year-old grocer from Ranihat, Cuttack. And this unlikely collector has many other such gems in his possession.

Sahu has built up a treasure house of gramophone records which includes Oriya, Hindi, Bengali, English film and non film music, speeches, plays, even jingles. In all, he has 2,900 records, the oldest being an English 78 rpm record of the Edison Bell Co. Ltd - an 1898 rendition of the Slavonic rhapsody, Part I and II by the New Margate Concert Orchestra, London. Sahu's collection also includes the playback album of the first Hindi talkie Alam Ara, the first Bengali film and the first Oriya film, Sita...



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