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Tatas, Freddie Mercury and other Bawas : an intimate history of Parsis

By: Kapoor, Coomi.
Publisher: Chennai : Westland, 2021Description: xi, 308 p. ill., 23 cm.ISBN: 9789390679553.Subject(s): Parsees History | Community | Parsi in IndiaDDC classification: 305.9295 Summary: The Parsis are fast disappearing. There are now only around 50,000 members of the community in all of India. But since their arrival here from Central Asia, somewhere between the eighth and tenth centuries, the Parsis’ contribution to their adopted home has been extraordinary. The history of India over the last century or so is filigreed with such contributions in e very field, from nuclear physics to rock and roll, by names as Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Petit, Homi Bhabha, Sam Manekshaw, Jamsetji Tata, Ardeshir Godrej, Cyrus Poonawalla, Zubin Mehta and Farrokh Bulsara (aka Freddie Mercury). In this engaging, accessible, intimate history of the Parsis, senior journalist and columnist Coomi Kapoor, herself a Parsi, pores through the names, stories, achievements and the continuing success of this tiny but extraordinary minority. She delves deep into both the question of what it means to be Parsi in India, as well as how the community's contributions—from tanchoi silk to chikoos—became integral to what it meant to be Indian. In Kapoor’s hands, the story of the Parsis becomes a rip-roaring, incident-filled adventure: from dominating the trade with China to being synonymous with Bombay, once, arguably, a city defined by its Parsis; from the business success of the Tatas, the Mistrys, the Godrejs and the Wadias, to such current contributions as the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines by the Parsi-founded Serum Institute of India.
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Books 305.9295 KAP (Browse shelf) Available 032622

Includes bibliographical references and index.

The Parsis are fast disappearing. There are now only around 50,000 members of the community in all of India. But since their arrival here from Central Asia, somewhere between the eighth and tenth centuries, the Parsis’ contribution to their adopted home has been extraordinary. The history of India over the last century or so is filigreed with such contributions in e very field, from nuclear physics to rock and roll, by names as Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Petit, Homi Bhabha, Sam Manekshaw, Jamsetji Tata, Ardeshir Godrej, Cyrus Poonawalla, Zubin Mehta and Farrokh Bulsara (aka Freddie Mercury). In this engaging, accessible, intimate history of the Parsis, senior journalist and columnist Coomi Kapoor, herself a Parsi, pores through the names, stories, achievements and the continuing success of this tiny but extraordinary minority. She delves deep into both the question of what it means to be Parsi in India, as well as how the community's contributions—from tanchoi silk to chikoos—became integral to what it meant to be Indian. In Kapoor’s hands, the story of the Parsis becomes a rip-roaring, incident-filled adventure: from dominating the trade with China to being synonymous with Bombay, once, arguably, a city defined by its Parsis; from the business success of the Tatas, the Mistrys, the Godrejs and the Wadias, to such current contributions as the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines by the Parsi-founded Serum Institute of India.

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