Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Life without Parsis would be like bun without maska

And for the last Saturday before Parsi New Year, the fifth without Busybee, a few stray thoughts.

by Farzana Contractor | Saturday, March 18, 2006 11:11:0 IST

Without doubt, life without Parsis would be like bun without maska, patia without the prawns. It is a community that lends charm to our living. It would be tough to imagine just how colourless it would be without them. And, frankly, all their idiosyncrasies only add to the beautiful hues.

And what can one say about a community that offers us such a variety in their cuisine, papeta-per-eeda and tameta-per-eeda. No seriously, look at the lagan nu bhonu, apart from the fantastic food, a great concept by itself. For the uninitiated, it’s a wedding banquet eaten seated only on one side of the table. With rows upon rows of people, some facing each other, some backing, the service guys swiftly walking past you serving in great hurry, from large aluminium plates, straight onto your banana leaves, course by delicious course. Patra ni machhi, chicken farcha, kid gosht, pulav dal, my absolute favourite topri ma paneer and raspberry from the bottle, no glass, no ice, please. The best touch, of course, is when the parents of the couple come by inquiring if you are eating well, delicately shaking your left hand ( because your right hand is busy with the sali boti).

As for the Parsi gara, my search for a heavy embroidered one is still on, though kind relatives in Surat did present me with one that belonged to my mother-in-law ages ago. These sarees are beautiful, even to the touch.

I have seen enough agiaries, though all from outside, but through Behram’s eyes I do know a few from inside too including the Atashbehram in Udvada. Udvada, which in itself can be transformed into such a heavenly place. There is so much serenity there. And if there is anything that upsets me so about Parsis who can make a difference, it’s the fact that they have allowed Udvada to go to seed. Such a pity.

But never mind that, come Tuesday and I will be heading to the fire temple in Cusrow Baug to happily remember and thank.
In the meanwhile here is wishing all my Parsi friends Navroze Mubarak.

Especially Rusi Karanjia, Dilnaaz Anklesaria, Dina Vakil, Khushroo Santook, Shirin and Jehangir Sabavala, Kali Modi, Kamal Mulla, Homi Mulla (also Namrata), Roshni and Parvez Damania, Dara Mehta, Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, Mehroo and Behram Jeejibhoy, Lily Elavia, Vijaya and Farukh Mehta, Dilshad and Farrokh Khambatta, Tanaz Godivala, Zend M. Zend, Jamshed Guzdar, Ness Wadia, Areez Khambatta, Anahita and Yezdi Desai, Khojetse Mistree, Silloo Medora, Farah, Rita and Karl, Dr. Shirin Wadia (also Naheed, Aashish and Soli), Dr. Rashid Wadia, Meher Moos, Rattan Batliwala, Zenia Lawyer, Bhaktawar and Bezan Chenoy, Tehmi, Bejan Daruwalla, Shernaz and Baji Awari, Adi, Pheroza, Jamshed, Smita, Rati, Nadir Godrejs all, Ratan Tata, Dr. Rusi Soonawala, Dr. Tehemton Udvadia, Dr. Rushad Udvadia, Soli and Jehangir Sorabjee, Mickie Soarabjee, Parveez Agarwal, Kerman and Cyrus Rustomji, Jeroo Mango, Jeroo Lakdawalla, Piruz Khambatta, Cyrus Merchant, Shernaz Engineer, Cyrus Broacha, Tanaz Currim, Penaz Masani, Homi and Jimmy Talati, Rasna and Noushir Talati, Shiamak Davar, Bacchi and Jehangir Karkaria, Gulshan Patel, Thrity Talyarkhan, Farokh Jassawala, Mehraboon Irani, Phiroze Havaldar, Dadiba Pundole, Rusi Dhondy, Jehangir Patel, Vira and Dr. Farukh Udvadia, Kate and Rusi Irani, Mehli Cama, Katy Dalal, Adi Dubash, Patsy and Pallon Mistry Dadi Contractor and, of course, my dear friend Hafeez Contractor.

Original Article at Afternoon D&C.