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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
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Choleric Times

A remarkable book, brilliant in content. It could become a monumental work with some serious editing.

Choleric Times
Choleric Times
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Who could this doctor be, who writes so knowledgeably on the great sailing voyages that brought Europe to Asia? Kalpish Ratna, the author, is really two doctors, Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishrat Syed, who have written an unusual chronicle of the great voyages and the exchange of cargoes that created the new wealthy classes of the 16th to the 19th centuries. Overlaid on the trade narrative is the story of disease that decimated cities and empires, sometimes carried in ships, by either cargo or humans, but more often mistaken to be the import from dirtier, inferior civilisations.

The book begins with a charming research of what we know as Salsette—the land between Colaba point and the waterway that connects Thana creek, past Ghodbunder to Bassein. A corruption of Shatshats (sixty-six) to Shashti and to Salsette, it describes the six islands which were converted into the single landmass of Bombay by the Hornby Vellard, a landfill project ordered by the Governor, William Hornby, in 1782 and completed in 1838. Into this bustling commercial city...

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