Dr Sheryar Ookerjee, the author of Altamont Road and Other True Stories was a philosopher, author, classical music lover, lecturer, artist. In short, a truly renaissance man.
He retired from the Wilson College after thirty-six years in the Philosophy Department, where he was finally the head of department. He thereafter continued teaching his subject to post-graduate students at Bombay University. He also gave courses on Plato and F H Bradley, his favourite philosophers, at the City College of New York in 2001.
Dr Ookerjee presented a stimulating series of lectures at the K R Cama Oriental Institute in 2009. The contents of these lectures were later published in book form by the Institute.
His other passion was Western classical music, a subject on which he was extremely knowledgeable. He was a inveterate concertgoer, rarely missing a live performance of music in which he was interested.
Dr Sheryar Ookerjee’s book, which he terms a ‘personal account’, is a fascinating recounting of the genteel Bombay of years gone by. He writes about his family and presents fascinating vignettes about the foibles and eccentricities of prominent personalities with whom he came in touch.
The book presents glimpses of persons from a bygone age. Mr H. M. Masina, the founder of the Masina Hospital; Cursetji Manockjee Cursetji, once President of the Alexandra Girls’ English Institution; Sir Pherozeshah Mehta and Homi Seervai, a former Advocate General of Maharashtra, all find a place in this book.
Dr Ookerjee’s gentle humour enlivens the text and makes very interesting reading.