A shared history – The Tatas in Shanghai
Here is an interesting article about Parsis in Shanghai 80 years ago. For the Parsis it was the most preferred foreign place to be in the 1920’s & the 1930’s. Even my Aunt (ma-see) Tehmi J. D. B. Irani was married there around 1935. It was the most preferred foreign place for the Bombay Parsis as Bombay was on this very important shipping route to Shanghai for all the British and European lines.
Please click on the link below for more details
Ms. Saran’s story weaves back to when Bejan Dadabhoy Tata, a distant cousin of the founders of the House of Tata, left India’s shores and made it big in Shanghai. Her detailed pen swerves through the history of a nation in flux to stitch together the personal tale of a man who succeeded and built his home in China. By bringing to life intricate details through a first hand interview with B.D. Tata’s son, Jehangir Bejan Tata, just before he passed away last November, Ms. Saran unveils the family’s struggle to prove ownership of their house – Avan Villa – which their father built and remnants of which continue to stand in the heart of modern day Shanghai at No. 458 Wulumuqi North Road.
Although Jehangir Bejan Tata tried persistently to retrieve papers to prove ownership of their house over the past few decades, the exercise has proved futile. Besides some documents, the family also has photos of the house, of Shanghai in the 1940’s and pieces of their life in Sam Tata’s photos. Sam Tata, Jehangir Bejan Tata’s brother, was a photographer and had worked alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson, a master of candid photography and one of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Sam Tata published a book of his photos taken during Shanghai’s extraordinary summer in 1949 and called it Shanghai 1949, The End of An Era.