It was a transition from a clan-based mentality to an individualistic and insular mentality.
“A Dream in Marble, designed by the Fairies and finished by Jewellers.” The line long learnt came back to my mind at the thought of visiting the Taj Mahal. Throughout my childhood, I had only heard stories about it and seen pictures in my history books. It was beyond my imagination that one day we would actually visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, it's easier said than done.
The concept of people packing their bags to explore new territories is as old as time itself. And despite coming from a long lineage of Gujarati merchants - I know that we are not alone in our desire to chart uncharted terrains in the names of commerce. There are others like us - from all cultures and creeds from around the world.
As I made my way down Jonker Street, I found myself at The Royal Press - one of the world's oldest surviving polyglot letterpress museums dedicated to preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Located in one of Melaka's many shophouses, I was immediately hit by a sense of nostalgia when I walked in. As a descendant of Southeast Asian merchants, I am all too familiar with the concept of the shopfloor on the ground floor and a living space on the second floor.