Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

The ZYNG 2011 Calendar

The Zoroastrian Youth for the Next Generation has come out with a calendar for 2011. This calendar has 12 Parsi models posing exclusively for the camera. This calendar has caused an unnecessary controversy. What is ironic is that many people are going on hearsay, and have not even seen the calendar. You can see the calendar models below and make up your mind. Personally I think it’s a tastefully done calendar, something I would put up in my home.

There has been a lot of discussion on the internet and in email newsgroups about this calendar. People wonder if these calendars will be put in our fire temples and how it would hurt people’s sentiment. And here I would agree. However I don’t thik the intention of the calendar makers is to have all of our agiaries plastered with their calendars. So why the unnecessary brouhaha ?

– Arzan Sam Wadia.


Here is a write up of the same in Rediff.com

They call themselves Zoroastrian Youth For The Next Generation — and with their first-of-a-kind calendar, ZYNG have packed as much of a punch as their name.

With each passing year, we hear of more and more Indian calendars featuring beautiful women, but this is certainly one with a difference.

For starters, all the lovely young ladies have kept their clothes on — no bikinis. And what’s even more unusual, it’s community-centric — they’re all Parsis!

The ZYNG 2011 calendar is the brainchild of the community’s official youth group and youth wing of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), ‘Zoroastrian Youth For The Next Generation‘. With the Parsi community’s numbers dwindling in recent decades, these youngsters have rallied to create a ‘non-political body that unites them under the common aim of social, cultural and religious interaction’. The calendar, for sale at a reasonable Rs 300, is an added means of boosting funds that will be pumped into ZYNG’s many activities.

But it seems that not everyone within the Parsi community is thrilled with this particular venture. Last week, Mumbai daily DNA reported that a 65-year-old member of the community, Firoz Kotwal, has written a letter to the commissioner to stop sales of the calendar and is even planning on lodging a police complaint to withdraw it from circulation. The reason: It is "highly objectionable and anti-religious".

It was also stated that Parsi high priests and other more orthodox community members were unhappy with the idea of a calendar featuring dates of religious significance alongside beautiful women. Murmurs of disapproval are also doing the rounds because it’s obvious that none of the pin-ups are wearing the sudreh and kushti, (the white vest and holy thread, respectively) that Zoroastrianism dictates all members of the community wear on their person at all times.

While it remains to be seen whether the ZYNG calendar will stir up any more controversies, we bring you a first look at the work of professional photographer Farzan Randelia, stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania and hair/makeup artist Mehera Kolah.

The year kicks off with professional dancer Aneesha Dalal striking an alluring pose for January.

What do you think of the ZYNG calendar — are orthodox members of the community overreacting to a harmless, youth-oriented enterprise or do you think they are justified in their cause? Share your comments and opinions on the messageboard below.

Photographs: Farzan Randelia, courtesy ZYNG

Aneesha Dalal: January 2011



Kaizeen Buhariwala: February 2011



Parinaz H. Jal: March 2011



Scherezade Shroff: April 2011



Maia Sethna: May 2011



Alyssa Chesson: June 2011



Sharlene Chichgar: July 2011



Jennifer Kotwal: August 2011



Dilkhush Reporter: September 2011



Parizad Kolah Marshall: October 2011

ZYNG-10-Parizad Kolah Marshall


Shaheen Davar: November 2011



Nauheed Cyrusi: December 2011