BACSA’s Events Programme re-opened after the lockdown with a visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden on 20 May. The focus was on medicinal plants from India, and we were fortunate to have as our guide Dr Vayu Naidu who is not only an academic and expert in the field, but a novelist, playwright and story teller.
Her skills were put to good use as the heavens opened, and while the rain poured down, we sat in the café while she narrated the history of the Garden, founded in 1673, and the achievements of those who were early associated with it, including Hans Sloane, and gardener Robert Fortune. The latter went on to be one of the most renowned plant hunters, and took tea from China to Assam, founding the tea industry in India. It was also in India that the ancient Ayurvedic tradition of medicine developed, which is still practised today. After lunch in the café, the sun came out, and we enjoyed Dr Naidu’s guided tour round the garden, focusing on the medicinal properties of many plants, some developed for use in contemporary Western medical science.
On Saturday 24 September a visit is planned to Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking. Established in the mid-19th century as an overflow from London, the beautifully landscaped cemetery contains the graves of many British men and women with interesting connections with British India, as well as Parsi and various Muslim sections for South Asians who died in Britain. Further details will appear on the website and will also be sent to members via email. If you would like to register your interest in advance, please email Rosemary Raza at email@example.com
Jehangir Jehangir (1911-1944) was the son of Sir Cowasjee Jehangir, a wealthy business man and banker. The family was Parsee and had come to Bombay from Gujerat early in the 18th century. The son died in a street accident while acting as a liaison officer for the Indian troops in England on 23 October 1944. The mausoleum was built by the father in memory of his son.