Social media often blows up when someone big and famous passes away. Celebrities and other known personalities offer their condolences, common people put out post after post of how great that someone was. 

So it was very interesting and nice to see something like that being done for an otherwise common person, who has no mainstream fame behind him. 

Although no celebrities have commented on it, but the flood of posts from common users after the owner of the iconic Mumbai restaurant Britannia & Co, Boman Rashid Kohinoor, passed really made me take notice. 

The love and nostalgia that was dripping from those posts, with person after person saying how much they would miss him brought an interesting thought to me. 

How such a normal person, who is not famous in the general sense of the word, could touch the lives of so many people. 

Who Was Boman Kohinoor?

Britannia & Co is a big part of who Boman Kohinoor was since he had been involved in the restaurant from the tender age of 16. 

Rashi Kohinoor, Boman’s father started the restaurant in 1923 after he immigrated from Iran to Mumbai, India. Boman officially took over the running of the place in 1939 after the unfortunate death of his father in an accident. 

Till the time he was alive, Boman would come daily to the restaurant while his son Afshin would deal with the running of the place. 

Boman was a constant figure in the restaurant, taking orders, engaging in conversations with the patrons and indulging them with his famous stories. 

The iconic ‘berry pulao’ made with either chicken or mutton which is one of the most popular dishes at Britannia was actually brought about by Bachan Kohinoor, Boman’s late wife. 

The restaurant that in its initial years served mainly continental food to cater to the then ruling British, shifted its target after Independence. After the British left, Boman and his wife decided to almost entirely remove the continental dishes and bring in spicy Parsi and Mughlai dishes. 

Boman especially became a known figure with the restaurant since you could be assured he would always come to your table, inquire about the experience and even make a joke or two. 

Thus it was a sad day for many of the frequent visitors of the restaurant and even those who had heard of it when the 97 year old Boman passed away on Wednesday from ill health. 

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What Made Him Special?

Boman’s warm way of dealing with customers and even his eccentricity were big reasons why people visited the place besides the food. 

I came across various anecdotes that people left on social media which really touched me with how pure and genuine they were. 

Boman seemed to really act like a grandfather to many of the patrons at Britannia & Co and according to me, this made visiting there such a wholesome experience.

It could also be his enthusiastic and almost childlike excitement of sharing his love for the British royal family. 

It is said that Boman would often write letters to them and one time even received a hand-written letter from Queen Elizabeth herself. 

Not just that, but in April 2016 he even had the pleasure of meeting Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton in an out-of-schedule meeting at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. 

This happened after a video of him inviting the royal couple to his restaurant went viral in just 3 days. 

This he would then gleefully show to his customers telling them all about how it happened and other stories related to it. 

After reading all about him I am truly saddened that I could not visit this iconic restaurant and the man who made it so. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Hindustan Times, CN Traveller, The Hindu

Find the blogger @chirali_08

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