Sailing the seven seas

Intrepid early Parsis traveled to distant lands aboard steamships
Nawaz Merchant

Steamship travel features in my family history for over 150 years. In the late 1800s, my grandmother’s grandfather Bejon Ferdon Jhansiwala wrote an eye-witness account of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, viewed as India’s first struggle for independence. He starts by describing his traumatic travels by ship to Karachi in the 1840s. His sea-sickness, the storms at sea, damage to his ship and his choking fear of those enormous swells came across with terrifying effect well after a century and translation from an archaic style of Gujarati. While most readers are aware that the Parsis of India are descendants of medieval......

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