Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Jamshedi Navroze Celebrations in Mumbai

[The original article is titled “Jamshedji” Navroze. I am surprised that the writer Ismat Tahseen at DNA India did not bother to fact check that its actually Jamshedi….a big differences from the “ji”


It’s a happy morning at the Rustom Faramna Agiary at Dadar Parsi Colony. The place is bathed in its whitest best, bedecked with flowers and coloured rangoli to usher in Jamshedji Navroze that falls on Saturday.

(L-R) Khushnuma Khambatta, Cyrus Broacha, Sooni Taraporevala and Arzan Khambatta

And old pals — scriptwriter/director Sooni Taraporevala, VJ Cyrus Broacha and sculpturist Arzan and wife Khushnuma Khambatta, for whom a trip to the agiary is de riguer, are an excited bunch. As Arzan dressed in the traditional dagli puts it aptly, “Look, we Parsis don’t need a reason to celebrate. The agiary adds to it all, for every person you bump into is a friend — the community isn’t that large, you know,” he chuckles.

Prayers done, it’s on to fun times. Cyrus, who claims to have had a hard time getting into the trousers with his traditional wear (“Took me ten whole minutes as I wore it after ten years,” he guffaws), says there’s just one plan for him. “It’s all about the food!” he narrows his eyes.

“With my dad and dog, we’ll drive to Albless Baug for the gambhar (traditional feast). Like every year, we have to prepare ourselves for war as the other Parsis fight for their meat and chicken with everyone going ‘pag apo, mane pag apo’(give me the chicken leg piece only),” he says in mock seriousness as Sooni knocks him on the head playfully. The director can’t wait to enjoy traditional Parsi food at a family lunch get-together.

“I do that best as I can’t cook; Firdaus (her husband) is a better cook than I am,” she smiles, as Cyrus suddenly bellows, “Come on,” he commands, the light of battle waging in his eyes. “Jamva chalo ji!”