Noshir Dadrawala informs us that Byram Jejeebhoy passed away today.
He had contested the BPP elections in 2008 as a member of the Adult Franchise for Progress (AFP7) comprising eminent Parsis like Legal Luminary Mr. Nadir Modi, Director of Tata Memorial Hospital Dr. Katy Dinshaw, Managing Director of HDFC Mr. Keki Mistry, Media Baron, Muncherji Cama, former BPP trustee Mr. Maneck Engineer, Mr. Byram Jejeebhoy, tax expert Mr. Soli Dastur (he was added later and opted out). I too was honoured and privileged to be invited as a member of this distinguished panel.
I have fond memories of interacting with Byram at that time. He was well versed in matters of charity and governance of trusts. He was gracious, witty, humorous and charming.
It’s a pity that the community did not value such amazing human resources.
Noshir H Dadrawala
Here is a profile of Byram Jejeebhoy from UPPER CRUST Magazine
Living Life To The Fullest
He is mad, about horses, golf, cars and his children. He owns a dozen racehorses give or take a few, jetsets to alluring golfing greens several times a year, drives a swanky champagne-coloured Mercedes with a number plate which in grand style reads JiJi400.
Addressing Byram Jeejeebhoy, the great great grandson of Sir Jeejeebhoy Jamshedji (the same Sir JJ as in JJ Hospital and the JJ School of Arts and more recently the JJ Flyover) as ‘Jee Jee Boy’ would perhaps surmise the essence that is the man.
Yes, and the man though not too large of frame is certainly larger than life. He reminds one of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Irrepressible. With roles reversed, one could picture him at the school he was in — Bishops in Poona, with priests and padres running around him wondering what to do, shaking their collective heads gravely at his future. So how do you solve a problem like Maria — or Jeejeebhoy? You don’t, you can’t hold a moonbeam in your hand, or pin down a cloud, so why try!
JeeJee like his friends address him is as Parsi as Parsi can be. And perhaps better, with the English (nannies et al) influence in his life. You see he lives half and half. Here and there. Meaning Bombay and London. And perhaps all over the world, for he travels so much.
So what does Mr. Byram Jeejeebhoy do? For starters he has a lifestyle most people would envy, and do. He is mad, about horses, golf, cars and his children. He owns a dozen racehorses give or take a few, jetsets to alluring golfing greens, drives a swanky champagne-coloured Mercedes, with a number plate which in grand style reads JiJi400, has two very bright children, Janine and Jamshed. His wife Mehroo is an accomplished concert pianist.
Jeejee just turned 57, though you wouldn’t say so looking at the accompanying picture. In any case, it’s only a chronological age. Basically he is 57 going on 27. His energy and drive is un-keep-up-able! He can hold four simultaneous conversations perfectly. One on a land line, one on a mobile, one with you in person, and the fourth is a call waiting he goes back and forth to. He can drive at 120 mph and also have the presence of mind to point out interesting sights along the way. And he cracks jokes, keeps you in splits. Boy, he enjoys life and has a voracious appetite for it, that’s his forte.
I have a special regard for people who fly their own planes and choppers. It calls for a certain daredevilry to take up this sport. Jeejee has that in him. Dare and joie de vivre make a nice combination. It must feel good to pick up your golf clubs, hop into a chopper, go across to the north country, finish a round of golf, return home to a private sauna, eat an elegant meal, go to bed, sleep a goodnight’s sleep.
London offers a lot by way of quality living and JeeJee lives it up. Clubbing at Annabelles, hobnobbing with his rich and famous friends, eating out at Michelin-rated restaurants. Ask him to name a few of his favourites and you immediately gather he is seriously into food. Incognito, Chez Nico, Lincontro, Royal China, Hakasan, Nobu. He even recommends what you should eat there. In the order of the restaurants mentioned, it goes: Roasted Partridge with Wine and Cherry Jus, Pan-fried Foie Gras, Lobster Spaghetti Carbonara, Dim Sums, Crispy Peking Duck Pancakes, Black Cod and Snow-fried Prawns.
Since the world is his oyster he goes a little further. Check out Jamie’s Lobster at Boston, Le Gentil Homme in Geneva, The Cipriani in Venice (ah! romantic Venezia), also the kitchen of Four Seasons in Prague, his last holiday destination, one he raves about.
But fond as he is of fine dining, JeeJee himself does pretty well in his own home kitchen. In his well appointed apartment at the prestigious Regents Park, he cooks a great leg of lamb with garlic, rosemary and mint. Also oyster mushrooms with a cream wine sauce. And curry and fluffy rice.
But his hobbies don’t stop at cooking. He is a violinist with a Licentiate diploma from The Trinity College of Music, London. And a collector. He attends auctions all over Europe for the sheer pleasure and will pick up art, objects d’arts and curios as varied as Chinese screens in Denmark, and antique chests in Spain and moser glass in Bohemia, to unique ivory pepper-mills in a flea market in London. He also possesses a collection of violins and bows, watches and clocks, old prints of Bombay and Indian contemporary art which line the walls of his London home.
Lest you assume all Mr JeeJeebhoy does is enjoy the good life, let’s look at the other side. He has been through Grays Inn, studied Business Management, and is a property developer. His company in London, Abacus Crown Ltd., has developed prestigious properties in the West End; Belsize Square, Sutherland Avenue, Highgate Village. As also a luxury country hotel in Daventry.
As chairman of the family business house of Sir Byramjee JeeJeebhoy he oversees the development of their estates. Currently he is master-minding a project which consists of building approximately 300 cottages and bungalows amidst a championship golf course, with a club house, a driving range and a marina. Maybe even a concert hall. All this in 600 acres in North Bombay.
He is also responsible for having developed Fantasy Land and 4,00,000 sq. ft. of industrial estates in Goregaon. Jeejeebhoy also makes time for charity causes. He chairs the Asha Foundation in London and is a trustee of the Colaba Fire Temple.
The dapper Mr Jeejeebhoy arrives in Bombay three times a year, and if you don’t catch him at a gym, or the NCPA come to attend some Western classical concert, you’ll certainly bump into him at the races. And if it’s none of these, you’ll surely find him in the papers; smiling and leading one of his horses which has just won a race.
Watch out the next time for Angara or Zurbaran, Thundering Brave or Alzira, Impeccable or Zelmira – one of these could win you a jackpot!