Bollywood hub’s final curtain

Baba Saheed among his masses of Bollywood stock. 194327_02 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A hub for Bollywood culture is set to close its doors in the Little India precinct in Dandenong.

After 19 years, Baba Home Entertainment with its vast collections of CDs and DVDs has bowed to the power of internet streaming services.

“I’m really, really upset,” owner Baba Saheed said. “I loved that shop.”

When it opened in 2000, the store hummed with customers. It was a unique offering that tapped into the huge appetite for Bollywood films and music.

“It was a super hit,” said owner Baba Saheed. “They just went crazy for DVDs.

“In those days, Little India was like the main street of Dandenong. There was more street parking – it was free and there were lots of it.”

The business hit a road hump a decade ago when the Revitalising Central Dandenong works effectively shut down the precinct for several years.

Then Mr Saheed’s customers swapped to video and music streamed online.

His last-ditch bid to revive his shop with a herbal shisha lounge was rejected by Greater Dandenong Council due to public-health concerns in March.

“They were saying that shisha was worse than alcohol and cigarettes, yet there’s venues everywhere.

“I don’t know how the other four or five venues in Greater Dandenong got their licences.”

Ever the entrepreneur, Mr Saheed’s next business venture is a food truck ‘Baba’s Kebabs’.

“They are chicken kebabs with a bit of Baba flavor,” he explains.

Baba Home Entertainment is set to close at the end of June.

 

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