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Meet Mirae's Swarup Mohanty, the Record Collector

Meet Mirae's Swarup Mohanty, the Record Collector

Mirae's Swarup Mohanty listens to everything from Tina Turner to R.D. Burman and Jagjit Singh, but only on his LPs

Mirae's Swarup Mohanty, music lover Mirae's Swarup Mohanty, music lover

A few weeks ago, Mirae Asset Investment Managers (India) saw its assets under management (AUM) cross the `1-lakh crore mark. That makes Swarup Mohanty, the CEO of the mutual fund house, a very busy man. But that has not stopped Mohanty from focussing on his long-playing (LP) records, which he listens to almost every day. He has nearly 1,000 LPs at his home in Mumbai—he recently shifted to a bigger place that can accommodate his LP collection.

“If I play the same song on my LP and on the digital player, the digital player will be spotless, clean music. It seems almost filtered to me. In the LP, there is the vibration, the echo, the basic nuances that are captured. It is the closest one can get to live music,” says Mohanty.

What Mohanty—a third-generation LP aficionado— has in Mumbai is just part of his full collection; the rest of it is stored at his ancestral places in Jamshedpur and Bhubaneswar. “My grandfather was a fan of S.D. Burman, while my father mostly listened to Mohammed Rafi and Kalyanji-Anandji. I am more of an R.D. Burman and Kishore Kumar fan,” says Mohanty, adding that since he loves ghazals, he listens to a lot of Jagjit Singh.

Mohanty, who has started experimenting with jazz and blues, says for many, their taste in music develops during their school and college days. “I got exposed to a lot of western music. So it’s the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s for me—from Bruce Springsteen to Sting, Tina Turner to Madonna—what is called retro now. I am the king of retro,” chuckles Mohanty, challenging any DJ in the country to match his retro collection.

Sourcing an LP in India is no easy task. “We are a tribe,” he says, adding that there is a growing community of LP collectors, sellers and resellers who stay in touch. Mohanty is in touch with nearly 15 sellers from across India. “I have a wish list with all of them.”

While an LP may cost anything in the range of Rs 1,400-1,500, if it is a rare one, then it is a seller’s market and can command a price of up to Rs 40,000, says Mohanty.

“Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai are good hunting grounds for LP lovers. Pune is also fast becoming one. In many foreign countries, LPs are making a strong comeback though the trend is only starting to pick up in India,” he says. “There is a world out there of LP aficionados like myself,” says Mohanty, revealing that he recently bought a large collection from Bengaluru after the owner passed on. One thing’s for sure: Mohanty has great taste—in investments and in records.

@ashishrukhaiyar