17 January, 2021

Calcutta Diary

So what is the key to the problem of West Bengal caught, as it is, between the devil of the old-guard Marxists and the deep sea of Mamata?

Calcutta Diary

House Of Matheson

If you’ve read James Clavell’s Tai Pan and Noble House, you might know that the books were based on the story of Jardine Matheson, the Fortune-500 Hong Kong business group. But you probably don’t know their Calcutta connection. Dr William Jardine (the model for Dirk Struan of Tai Pan) started out as a Calcutta doctor on an East India Company ship that plied to Canton and back in the early 1800s. He had a profitable little side business, carrying a chest of opium from Calcutta on each voyage, and selling it in Canton. Finding that his opium trading was much more lucrative than his medical practice, he started a trading house (in partnership with an enterprising Indian passenger, Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy—but that’s another story). In time, Jardine teamed up with another Calcutta boy, James Matheson, who, having been...



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