He had converted to Protestantism and Jane was a Catholic and marriage between the faiths was forbidden at the time.His name was Dean Mahomed (1759-51). The baths were a runaway success and established Mahomedrsquo;s reputation as a shampooing surgeon.By the middle of the th century, the East India Company made a decisive change, both in its incorporation and in its character. This was the period of the slow dissolution of the once mighty Mughal empire and as the Company began to make inroads into previous Mughal strongholds, Dean Mahomed and his family had hard choices to make. Subscription meant that copies would move out to the subscribers. The company needed native volunteers as sepoys and those recruited into service began to be known as company baha-durs.A random search over the Google network for yoga and ayurvedic therapeutic centres in London yields a score of results all over London and its outsts.Dean Mahomedrsquo;s family decided that the familyrsquo;s future and loyalties lay with the Company. Cochrane had learned the therapeutic effects of vapour cure while in service in India and had now set up the first vapour bath in his house in Portman Square. Dean Mahomed travelled extensively in the service of the Bengal Army and apart from Bihar, Oudh and Benares, visited Bengal and Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Delhi and Madras (now Chennai).Mahomed dedicated his book to King George who along with William IV patronised Mahomedrsquo;s baths. He spent the next 25 years of his life in Cork, gaining a measure of respectability among the Anglo-Irish society and learning and perfecting English.But how do we know so much about Mahomedrsquo;s early life? He kept a diary of his travels and adventures in India and in March 1793, resolved to publish it as a book in two volumes. A second edition of the book was published in 26.Dean Mahomed became a sepoy in the East India Company. However, Queen Victoria declined her patronage.Mahomed and Jane, along with their children, migrated to London in 07. And of course, Mahomed did not serve coffee but only wines and other spirits! The Hindostanee Coffee House ran from 10-12 and a plaque on George Street marks the spot where it once stood, a forerunner among the many Indian eating establishments in London today. It was now no longer a mere trading company but began to assume a strong administrative presence with a strong military character. He invited Dean Mohamed to help him set up the bath. In this, Mahomed was greatly helped by Bakerrsquo;s extended family who subscribed for a total of 112 copies.Finally in 1784, Mahomed set sail for England along with his benefactor Baker and landed in Cork via Dartmouth. The circumstances of his association with the company and more specifically with one of its officers are extraordinary. In addition to looking at the various therapeutic effects of yoga and ayurveda, the centre is to also focus on ldquo;evidence-based researchrdquo;. His father, constrained by caste, practiced the profession of cutting the hair of his fellow-men but Dean Mahomed determined that printed door mats manufacturer he would make a different life for himself.While the original idea came from Cochrane, it was Dean Mahomed who set up the first vapour bath.
The advertisement for the Indian medicated vapour and shampooing baths proclaimed its curative powers in rheumatism, paralysis, asthma, gout, stiff joints and sprain. As his English improved, Mahomed began to write poetry too as this was an accepted part of the cultured life of the Irish elite. No printer wanted to be left with either bound copies or loose sheets. He became a master and then a subaltern officer. We suspect there may be many more all over England, thus testifying to the international popularity of Indian therapy. Mahomed eventually lost control of the baths in his lifetime while in his 80s and was buried in Brighton in 51. The Duke of Wellington was patron along with other members of the royal household. As fate would have it, his later life would have something to do with his fatherrsquo;s profession. Any type of cure has to be scientifically proven and should be based on evidence that can be empirically tested. Accordingly, both Mahomedrsquo;s father and his elder brother joined the companyrsquo;s Bengal Army.He also added shampooing to his repertoire and shampooing here meant the gentle art of massaging. He was born in Patna, the son of a barber. By the end of09, Mahomed felt confident of launching his own business using his Indian identity as his calling card. Itrsquo;s useful to remember one such entrepreneur who pioneered a therapy in England that became very popular long before modern practitioners came to the fore. In India, we are indebted to the historian Michael Fisher then of Oberlin College who discovered Mahomedrsquo;s Travels with an extensive analysis and commentary as ldquo;Dean Mahomed (1759-51) in India, Ireland and Englandrdquo;.Indian therapeutic remedies have had a long history in the country of their origin and enterprising practitioners have exported their popularity and appeal and sometimes themselves to the West. While Turkish baths or hamams had been introduced in London as far back as 1631, the therapeutic effects of vapour had mainly been confined to discussions in medical circles. He also perfected the idea of applying medicated steam to various parts of the body. The economics of publishing at that time was that no printer would undertake the bookrsquo;s printing even with advance payment unless it was subscribed for. During the next 11 years, Mahomed saw service in the military campaigns of the Bengal Army along with Baker and as Baker rose to become captain with his own independent command so did Mahomed.
The writer is a senior publishing industry professional who has worked with OUP and is now a senior consultant with Ratna Sagar Books.It was Dean Mahomedrsquo;s move to Brighton in 13 to set up the Mahomed Baths that established his therapeutic reputation. Unfortunately, Mahomedrsquo;s sons failed to run the baths properly amid growing competition. In 1794, Mahomedrsquo;s Travels was published, making him the first Indian author in English. The house served a range of meat and vegetable dishes cooked with Indian spices, served with seasoned rice. It was fitting, therefore, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Prince Charles jointly inaugurated an international centre for Ayurveda and Yoga in London on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Mahomed found service with a controversial nobleman Basil Cochrane in Portman Square. It had not yet been commercially exploited. In 1786, he married an Irish girl, Jane Daly somewhat in haste and in secret. He established the ldquo;Hindostanee Coffee Houserdquo; at the corner of George and Charles Streets and offered to his patrons a unique Indian experience. This needs a little emphasis in the present times as claims of scientific advancement during the Vedic period are perhaps being made without the supporting evidence-based research. As for Mahomed himself, he was apprenticed at the age of 11 to an Anglo-Irish patron Ensign Godfrey Evan Baker. Dean Mahomed was a trusted friend of the entire Baker household and at that time was engaged in commercial activity initially trading on the large number of goods that he and Baker had brought out from India by ship. In 20, Mahomedrsquo;s reputation was further strengthened by his book Shampooing which explained his methods. Seating was on bamboo cane sofas and chairs, on the walls were paintings of Indian landscapes and for discerning patrons, a smoking room with ldquo;hookahs with scented tobacco and Indian herbsrdquo;