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my family tree

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rashne vakharia

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of my family tree

My maternal great great grandparents Mancherji Kavarana and Ratanbai Adajania: Mancherji was an engineer who worked in Bombay for the Jewish tycoon, Sir David Sassoon. Later, he started a silk import business with China, where he made his wealth. The accidental death of one of his 4 sons made him turn to charity. A trust for poor people he founded survives to this day, and is managed by my grand aunts.

Manchershaw Vakharia and Bachubai Thuthi: Manchershaw was a veterinary surgeon who belonged to a well-off family of Bangalore. The couple had 3 sons (one died during the 'Black Plague') and a daughter Mehra (my great grandma). Then, Bachubai suddenly died of bronchitis and life turned upside down. The young kids were pulled out of school. Manchershaw remarried, his wife was almost 20 years younger than him and the couple had 6 children! My great grandma never got over this until the end.

Bejonji Rao and Bachubai Tata: My grandmother never met them (her grandparents) but she had heard that Bejonji used to squander away his money, so the assertive Bachubai would land up at her husband's workplace and collect his salary before he could do so!

Burjorji Battiwala and Shirinbai: The couple had 4 children before Shirinbai died during childbirth. He worked for the Railways initially, then gave it up to do odd jobs. He would work, earn a bit -- and disappear for travels in Africa. So, the story goes. His kids (including my great grandma Piroja) were raised mainly by his kind sister. My maternal great grandparents Hirjibhoy Kavarana (1901-99) and Mehra Vakharia (1908-94): Hirjibhoy
worked in the family's silk trade with China, along with his brothers, one of whom was born in Nanking, China, and even had a Chinese nanny! He was a religious, disciplined and calm personality who practised yoga all his life. There are many stories about his thrifty habits. He lived a long (98 years!) and healthy life, being witness to both the World Wars and the birth of independent India. His wife Mehra was known for her assertiveness, her beauty, her blue-green eyes and her love for shopping. Her battle with arthritis lasted over 20 years, 15 of which she spent on a wheelchair. And she lost the will to live.
The couple had a son Homi (my grandfather) and twin daughters.

Eruchshaw Rao (1896-68) and Piroja Battiwala(1906-88): The tall and lanky Eruchshaw was a well-liked person who worked in a Tata textile mill in Nagpur, India. He was a champion tennis player and cricketer, and a devoted husband and father. He lost his first wife during childbirth. Piroja was his second wife. She was equally kind, well-liked and selfless. My mum says she was a favourite of her grandchildren. The couple had a son Adi and a daughter Shernaz (my grandmother). My maternal grandparents Homi Kavarana (b.1926) and Shernaz Rao (b.1940): Homi papa studied pharmacy in the U.S. He is very particular about fitness even today. He is very fond of yoga and practises it daily. He loves to read, especially world history. His children tell him he could have made a good history professor! He also loves to eat sweets:)
'Sheroo cato' (the name that I call her!) was born during World War II. She is fond of reading newspapers, talking on the phone to her kids/ grandchildren and watching 'soaps' and cricket matches on TV! She was a good badminton player. She was a successful girl guide and took part in India's Republic Day parade. She has pictures with the then President of India.
My paternal great grandparents and Hilla Mehta:
Burjor Vakharia had a Renault showroom in Bombay for many years. He was witness to both the World Wars and the birth of Indian independence.

Hilla Mehta made the long sea journey to to France by ship. She used to wear a watch on her upper arm. She also liked to read. She spent many years of her life meditating in an ashram in the former French colony of Pondicherry.

Hormusji Billimoria (1901-1990) and Mehra Batliwala (1911-2007):
Hormusji Billimoria was a journalist who covered India's independence for his newspaper, Bombay Samachar. He loved to read the dictionary in his spare time. He was very health conscious and used to eat raw vegetables like okra and beans.
His wife Mehra, who was alive when I was born, was a superb cook and loved to eat, hence her great size! Mangoes were her fave fruit. Her favourite pastime was neighborhood gossip! She was also an expert at machine embroidery and tutored many in this art. 'Big cato' lived up to the ripe old age of 96. My paternal grandparents Edi Vakharia (b.1924) and Hilla Billimoria (b.1934) Edi papa is very fond of tropical fish and used to have six aquariums at home until not so long ago. When he was young, he also kept birds in his house. He loves music and Hollywood movies of the good old days. He still has a good collection of these at his home in the cantonment town of Devlali, India. He was also a good ballroom dancer, having learnt from a professional! Guess what? He even used to race motorbikes as a hobby!
Hilla 'cato' is a very good cook - she makes delicious chicken cutlets for me! Sometimes, she can be really strict.
They love their pet dog, Frisky. Meher
(my sister)

hobbies include: singing and dancing

(b. June 20, 2002)

Hobbies include: cycling, skateboarding, drawing graffiti, reading horror books, watching horror and thriller movies -plus I hate one direction!

Burjor Vakharia Darius Vakharia and Roxanne Kavarana My family tree by: Rashne
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