Everyday Parsi: Dolly Dastoor

Our third author in the Everyday Parsi 2014 series

Dolly Dastoor writes

Dolly portrait-m2 Muktad, was the sweet fragrance l of pink roses which you had to hold carefully on your way to the agiary so as not to get pricked by the thorns. Muktad was the combined fragrance of flowers in silver vases and incense intermingled with heavy haze of smoke from the fire in several afarganyus, mobeds praying (almost shouting) to be heard above each other”s voices , ladies and gentlemen in traditional dresses, praying fervently wth eyes closed. But best of all Muktad meant Pateti and Navroz, with Pulav dar and macchi no patio culminating with Adi Marzban natak in the evening!!!

The religious significance of the muktad was not well understood during my teen years, later learnt that the souls of the departed descended on the earth during the Muktad days and that is why we prayed so that the prayers of the living will help the soul of the dead to advance in their spiritual journey. This made good sense to me and I accepted it, till many years later during the time when we were trying to bring about the unification of the Zoroastrian calendar, the argument of one of its critics was “ How can we change the calendar, the “ruvans” will get confused, if instead of descending on a Shehshai Roj they will have to come on a Kadmi Roj” . Confusion in the spiritual world!!! That was such a ridiculous statement that Muktad has lost its meaning.

I have not attended another Muktad since except in Toronto to see how it is organized in the Canadian Diaspora. I now pray for the spiritual advancement of my dear departed family members in my heart and in my home.

Dolly Dastoor, is Clinical Psychologist, and  Asst Prof   of Psychiatry,  at McGill University, Montreal. She is past president of  FEZANA and the current editor of FEZANA Journal.