An old world charm

An old world charm

The shutters of the Bombay Novelty Store on DB road remains closed for two hours in the afternoon. This has been the practice for the past 23 year

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The shutters of the Bombay Novelty Store on DB road remains closed for two hours in the afternoon. This has been the practice for the past 23 years. This was the time the store’s owner, Manoharlal K Khathuria, checked on his bedridden father. Though both of them are no more, Manoharlal’s son, Dheeraj Khathuria still follows the practice. “The store was open from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm earlier,” says Dheeraj.

Bombay Novelty Stores was started by Dheeraj’s great-grandfather, Parasram Khathuria. Parasram came to Coimbatore to buy fabrics and footwear that he then sold in Mumbai.“He loved the city so much that he sold all his property in Mumbai and settled down in a rented house on DB Road with his family. He opened this store in Ganesh Building in 1954.”

Dheeraj Khathuria

The 28-year old remembers his grandfather, Kishanlal Khathuria, as a hard-working man. “This space was rented in the beginning. Later, my grandfather bought it. He made sure anything new in the Mumbai market was available at our store. He even travelled to countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai and The Maldives to find agents to supply to the store.”

An old world charm

Dheeraj says cars lined up in front of the store even before it opened! The store stocked cosmetics, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, gloves and painting essentials among other knickknacks. “My father added a glass front door and changed the cement flooring into tiles but retained the wooden drawers designed by my grandfather,” he says, pointing to the chest of draws where each compartment holds embroidery threads of different colours. “We have 400 shades,” he says with pride. “We stock products according to the season. In February we had a lot of Valentine’s Day souvenirs and last month the focus was on Holi colours.” So is it a stationary store? Dheeraj’s mother anwers with a laugh. “ I would like to call it a ladies store. We provide everything that a woman likes.”

Info you can use

  • When: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Where: Bombay Novelty Store, Ganesh Building, D B Road, R S Puram
  • Call: 9787799909 or e-mail bnsrspuram@gmail.com

Dheeraj did his Masters in Luxury Marketing in Paris before joining the family business. “I knew that this was my future. I helped my father run the store for three years before I went for my Masters. Though I got many job offers there, I wanted to be here and a part of this 65-year-old legacy.”

Though it was difficult for him to manage the store after his father’s unexpected death, “My family guided me. Even now everyday over dinner, we discuss business and what happened at the store.” Dheeraj also supplies products to five other stores in the city and plans to launch an online store soon.

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