Book Review: Beyond the Last Blue Mountain by R.M. Lala

Beyond the Last Blue Mountain by R.M. Lala is a biography of JRD Tata’s life and background (1904-1993).  JRD Tata (Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata) is considered as the patriarch of the biggest industrial house in India.  Indeed, he is known to have followed with complete devotion and wisdom, the footsteps of the founder, Jamsetji Tata of Tata Group.


R.M. Lala’s style is easy and flowing, creating interest for the reader’s attention. However, the book steers clear of any controversial issues which may have come in the way of JRD Tata’s business accomplishments. The chapters reflect the times during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and shares in reasonable depth facets of the patriarch’s life, who pioneered aviation in India, and gave a strong thrust to the development of India’s steel, cement industries; vehicle sector is another vital sphere of the business for the Tata Group which absorbed JRD’s attention.


R.M. Lala, over the decades, wrote 11 books on the incredible background of the Tatas. Since he was connected with the Tata Trusts for almost 20 years,  his knowledge usefully inspired him to write accounts, some of which are complimented with photograph; besides, he started his career as a journalist, which further blossomed to make R.M. Lala into an editor and publisher, as well. He entered the profession of book publishing in 1952. Understandably, JRD Tata asked the man to get more involved with the affairs, and R.M. Lala turned some of his books into best sellers.  Beyond the Last Blue Mountain is one among them.  After reading the book, the reader, has every reason to believe: caring and sharing is a motto to be worshipped. Beyond the Last Blue Mountain is the life story of one such man who believed in this form of worship.


R.M. Lala succeeds in narrating interesting anecdotes, including, of course, detailed aspects of JRD Tata’s childhood, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.  What he prominently misses on is JRD Tata’s marriage; too little is mentioned of his spouse, Thelma Vicaji.  She would have rendered a substantial impact for the readers.

Geeta Chhabra


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