For, step into Evergreen Classics and it's almost like walking into the sets of a period film. Stained glass lamps dangle from the ceiling, huge brass cauldrons stand stacked up on the floor, and the shelves are full of brass, bronze and silver knickknacks.
Set up in 1959, the shop has stayed with the family since its inception, along with an ever-growing treasure trove of valuable bric-a-brac - nothing for sale, only available to hire. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
"My grandfather, Mohammed Usman, started the shop and most of these items are from his collection. They come from all over the country," says one of the present owners, named Mohammed Usman after his grandfather. The shop, now nearly 50 years old, he says, has always been run by the family. "First it was my grandfather, then his sons and now us grandchildren," says Usman, who holds a degree in interior design, but emphasises that this business requires an inborn talent.
While they began by renting their wares to the film industry, they have begun to diversify into weddings now and also provide them for wedding decorations and other events. "Some of them pieces are antiques, while some are recreations. Our speciality, however, are the chandeliers," says Usman, also adding that the shop is one of the oldest in the field, though several have been established in recent times as the industry grew.
Usman says art directors of various films come to meet them with detailed requirements. "As per the requirement of the script, they place orders and we execute them," he says. The many years of being associated with Bollywood set decoration means the family has interacted with and befriended several industry seniors. "K Asif, the director of Mughal-e-Azam, would come and meet my grandfather often," recalls Usman. He says that the family is amid plans to expand their business further.
After all, much of tinseltown's real glitter comes from here.