I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

The Hunt for the Vinyl Records

When I was a small kid, back in our ancestral home in Sooramangalam Village in Pondicherry, we had a LP record player. Not a gramophone but a modern (then!) player. My Dad and Uncle owned Record album holders (which looked like monstrous sized photo albums) with records of English, Tamil and Hindi songs.

As we grew up and moved houses, no one knows where the record player and the LPs are. My suspicion is that they are all discarded and must be lying in garbage dumps somewhere.

When I started my antiques collection, the LP records were firmly on the ‘Must have’ list. Five years ago, when I visited Moore Market to buy books, I noticed a few shops selling these records. When I made a visit there again, I was hoping that those shops still existed. I was not to be disappointed.

I went there on a week day at 11 am (that’s the time most shops open) and spent an entire day there rummaging through the collection.

The shop you see below is just one of the shops that the owner has. He has a few more mostly used as godowns stocked with records, piled up from floor to ceiling. I was spoiled for choice.

Most of the records I picked up were old English music ones. I also picked up a lot of old tamil songs featuring Sivaji Ganesan. The MGR songs LPs were sold at a premium. The owner tells me its mostly the aged AIADMK party workers who come and pick up the MGR records. My favorites were Rajini and Kamal records.

That’s me with my collection of records at my home. It’s a sizeable collection. Now, the onus lies in me to take care of them. While I own a gramophone, these big records cannot be played on them. I need to purchase a more modern record player. That’s next on my list.

More photos from the Vinyl Records hunt.

The complete list of all the vinyl records that I own. Each individually photographed.

A New Microsite for Antiques

The interest in antiques has been steadily growing and it has reached a stage where it warranted its own microsite. Please check out http://www.Kiruba.com/antiqes

Please note that its a soft beta launch. The paint is still fresh and rough around the edges.  Please do let me know what you think of it…especially areas that need improvement. Please feel free to be critical.

Through the site, I hope to share with others not only information about my collection but also my experiences. The information would come i useful for those who want to get started with this hobby. I’m also hoping to network with other antique collectors and get inspired.

To Polish or Let it Rust: The Antiques Conundrum

The last few months, I have been very active in following my passion of collecting antiques. During my trips to Calcutta, Bombay and Delhi, I have rummaged through flea markets and old curio shops in narrow gullies.

The hunt has been fairly successful and I have picked up an amazing list of antiques I’m quite proud of.  Some of the items are very old and hence in dilapidated condition or rusted all over.  Now, should I repair that century old Commodore camera? If I do so, will it lose its antique charm.  Or let’s take this  beautiful pair of kerosene cycle lamps which is completely rusted over. Should I let it be or give in to the urge of cleaning the rust off and getting it back to its original glory?

I’m stuck. And in situations like this, I just let things be.

So, what would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you leave the antiques as they are? Or would you repair/polish them?

Jaipur Bound. In Search of Antiques

As I write this, I’m about to board an IndiGo flight at the Chennai airport to Jaipur. I have never been to this city before…something that I have been ashamed of. Every foreigner who couchsurfed at my home raves about the city and they are surprised that I haven’t visited the city yet. So, I’m glad I’ll finally be striking it off my guilt list.

Another reason why I’m excited going there is because I have read in multiple places that Jaipur is a good hunting ground for antiques. I take that with a pinch of salt knowing that article writers often confuse between handicrafts (which have an antique feel) and the true antiques that’s aged over time.

I’ve googled deep and the only results I have got are the web savvy handicrafts showrooms. No information about a place like Chor Bazaar in Mumbai or a Moore Market in Chennai.  I’m hoping that the locals there will have information about nice places that stock antiques.

If you have been to the city and know a place that I should check out, please do let me know. You can write to me at Kiruba @ Kiruba.com. Thanks in advance.