‘Sulaiman Nensy founded Rhythm House, Mumbai in the early 1940s. Mehmood Curmally’s (the current owner and managing director) father, who’d visit it as a college student, gradually took over the business. Mammo, as he was fondly called, started out selling jukeboxes and LP players, all “imported” initially. His interest in Western Classical and Jazz coupled with his brother’s knowledge of Indian Classical made them a winning team.’
This winning team ran on for decades feeding music, from The Beatles’ to Mukesh’s records, to Mumbai. It has been an iconic music store, for thousands in Mumbai who always found their favourites here. It was also a regular haunt for great musicians and music directors. ‘Kalyanji Anandji dropped in “to get inspired”; Shammi Kapoor and Pt Ravi Shankar were regulars. Jethro Tull, The Police, Peter Andre, Zakir Hussain and AR Rahman have all visited.’
Ashwin Balachandran, a former staff of the store is now an independent music consultant. But that’s what he then was too. He learnt about music tastes and choices from this iconic place ever since he was small. The staff of the music store have had personal connections to many frequent visitors. ‘“It’s not a mere music store,” he argues. “It’s sacrilegious to say that. There was a gentleman called Akbar in the sales section, and he’d help me personally. It was such a warm, inviting feeling to walk into Rhythm House.”’
Recently the store shut down after 61 years of operations. With the last clearance sales ending, the store closed before the scheduled date of March 7. It was an emotional and sad moment for many across Mumbai. With the closing of Rhythm House, we know how music has now entered a new phase. Things have been changing constantly but nothing made it clearer for some than this.
They just said goodbye with this video on their YouTube channel.