Category Archives: History

Family matters: Raghu Karnad and the Calicut Parsis

Family matters: Raghu Karnad and the Calicut Parsis

On the Calicut seafront, Raghu Karnad traces the lingering stories of the Parsis who lived there, including a thrice-great-grandmother It’s soon after sunrise, and women in burqas are power-walking on the Calicut seafront. Their stride is long and they swing their arms up higher than their shoulders, so their burqas pull out into shapes—triangles and…

Vanishing point:The last remaining parsis of Delhi

Vanishing point:The last remaining parsis of Delhi

Delhi’s Parsi community is by far the smallest minority group residing in the city. According to the 2011 Census report, the number of Parsis in the national capital is now down to three figures, which has caused great concern among those campaigning to preserve the cultural heritage and collective identity of India’s Parsis, writes Srija…

Uncovering Shanghai’s Parsi Past: Mishi Saran

Uncovering Shanghai’s Parsi Past: Mishi Saran

Q&A With Author Mishi Saran on Uncovering Shanghai’s Parsi Past sixthtone.com | Sep 2nd 2016 “Who says nationality is the sole barometer of belonging?” asks Indian novelist Mishi Saran. The peripatetic author has a point. Born in the north Indian city of Allahabad, and still an Indian citizen, Saran has also lived in Switzerland, Indonesia,…

Emperor Akbar’s Parsi counsel

Established in 1874, the first Dastoor Meherjirana Library in Navsari is named after the first Parsi high priest of India. The most priceless manuscript at the library is a framed original document deed that states 200 ‘vighas’ of land has been granted to Dastoor Meherji Rana by Emperor Akbar. Article by Ashleshaa Khurana | TNN…

Such a long journey: Malika Abbas

Such a long journey: Malika Abbas

On her first visit to Mumbai, a Pakistani photojournalist embraces her Parsi roots and learns about a community her ancestors once belonged to. On arriving in Mumbai last week, Malika Abbas barely knew what her plan ahead would be. “I wanted things to take their own course and lead me to a story,” says the…

Mr. Alpaiwalla’s Legacy: India’s Parsi Museum

Mr. Alpaiwalla’s Legacy: India’s Parsi Museum

Housed in a quiet corner of the Kharegat Parsi Colony, the Alpaiwalla Museum of Mumbai opens its doors willingly to all curious visitors. And there can be no better guide than Ms. Nivedita Mehta, the curator, who took me through each exhibit in detail and entertained all my queries, patiently. Article by Sarita Ramamoorthy The…

Once upon a Hill Road

Once upon a Hill Road

An arterial road in Bandra is as deep-steeped in general lore as it is in personal memory for someone who grew up on this street I am the Resurrection and the Life’ affirms the inscription on the life-size marble statue of Christ at the entrance to St Peter’s Church in Bandra. I have just stepped…

Parsi surnames & the places they are derived from

Parsi surnames & the places they are derived from

Ever wondered where all the Parsi surnames come from ?? Well our friend Kaevan Umrigar did and here’s his attempt at plotting it on a map ! Via Facebook, Kaevan writes The etymology of Parsi surnames has always fascinated me. As a child I could relate a few to trades and professions (Doctor, Engineer, Driver,…

When Nani Palkhivala Refused to Defend Indira Gandhi in Court

When Nani Palkhivala Refused to Defend Indira Gandhi in Court

On 12 June 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of Allahabad High Court found the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices in the “State of Uttar Pradesh vs Raj Narain” case. The judge declared her election null and void, unseated her from the Lok Sabha and barred her from contesting elections for the next…

Bumsuckerwallah Family of Karachi

Bumsuckerwallah Family of Karachi

Have you heard of the Bumsuckerwallah’s of Karachi ?   Parsi family on a motorcar (Karachi, 1925): A Parsi family of Karachi poses for a photograph on their motorcar. Patrick O’ Meara wrote the following anecdote in his Indian Tales: “You will probably be aware that, there is a caste of people called Parsees, who…