Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Chinese Connection

If you walk past Kala Ghoda, spend a minute or two to peek into the doorway of the David Sassoon Library.

This is what you'll see inside - a beautiful carved doorway, wooden panelling on the walls, a corridor paved with Minton tiles, and at the end of it, a marble statue of David Sassoon.

The Sassoons were wealthy Jews who migrated to India in 1833 from Baghdad. They were clever businessmen, establishing themselves quickly in Bombay under the British (this inspite of the fact that David Sassoon didn't speak a word of English). I wiki-ed the family, and found lots of interesting stuff.

It appears that our Mr. Sassoon was quite the wheeler-dealer. He was in fact, one of the key players in Britan's Opium War with China. Check out the full story here.

Clearly, money talks. And when it does, it is heard.

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