In this Parsi New Year one hoped that things would pan out differently. No major miracles, of course, like India beating England in a Test match or Anna Hazare becoming the Prime Minister of India. No, this Parsi New Year I just wished to steer clear of the tried and tested, stay out of the old comfort zone, if you like.
Parsi New Year was celebrated on August 19. This is very significant, and it’s significant for a very real reason. It was celebrated three days after Elvis’ birthday. In the years where the Parsi New Year coincides with Elvis’ birthday, the celebrations take on gigantic proportions. On these occasions many elderly Parsis spend the whole day and night with their own renditions of Love me tender, It’s now or never, and Are you lonesome tonight?
The general rule for non-Elvis Parsi New years goes like this.
I wake up. If the wife’s awake I brush my teeth. If not, I skip all outdated practices of washing face and brushing teeth and go straight to my Parsi New Year breakfast, which consists of a 12-egg akoori. Then I start my morning exercise. This involves stretching both legs to the edge of the sofa and thus balance my torso in such a way that I can read the paper and use the TV remote simultaneously. I take this form of exercise very seriously, and I don’t like being disturbed. After this there’s a visit to the Agiary, followed by a three-hour lunch, two-hour siesta and seven-hour drinking session.
Now this, of course, was the old orthodox “conventional” day. This year I decided to break out of this puritanical mode and mix it up a bit. I didn’t change the first part, as I find waking up is necessary if one wants to enjoy the rest of the day. After skipping the morning ablutions I made my first major change. Inspired by the unending mental fortitude demonstrated by Mr Hazare, with his frequent and may I say dynamic fasting, I decided to skip the 12-egg akoori. Instead, I choose in the spirit of austerity to have just a 10-egg akoori, three sausages (fried), a pancake (with honey optional), four-buttered toast, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of orange juice and two darivala cutlets (they got this name because they are extremely hairy in
Then, in a show of solidarity, I decided to abandon the Agiary, and instead went down to the Azad Maidan to support the cause. The need of the many was more important than my own simple pleasures. However, I was stopped by that one unstoppable force that can put a dampner on any procession. I am speaking about no “parking” being available.
Back home, I decided to start a half-day fast to show I’m keeping my side of the bargain. I looked all delectable dishes in the eye and then in a great show of spirit over hedonism I turned away. One more point for the cause of Mr Hazare. Of course this meant the drinking session started immediately and more than exceeded the required seven hours, but, to be fair to me, Mr Hazare never mentioned anything about no alcohol. Processions and fasts are fine, but if there is no clarity on other issues, then, please don’t blame me.
Anyhow, on this occasion of Parsi New Year, Independence Day and above all Elvis’ 76th birthday let me wish more power to the people of India.
More power and more bawal.