Parsis celebrate the struggle of good over evil with food, revelry

After a week of remembrance and mourning, Parsis will awake in a festive mood on Thursday to celebrate Pateti. Most Parsis had already cleaned and readied their homes by Wednesday night.

By Ashutosh Shukla / DNA

Tehmtan Dhumasia, a resident of Godrej Baug, helped his children decorate their home. “We try to have chalk purvana (new rangoli) every year and the children enjoy doing this,” he said.

Starting the day with regular prayers, Parsis spent the rest of the day meeting relatives and indulging in food and theatre — their favourite past times. “Our scriptures say that the day marks the struggle of good and evil. ‘Humata (good thoughts), Hukta (good words) and Havarshta (good deeds)’ is the message of our prophet, and we remember this while praying at the Fire temple early morning,” said Arnaz Daruwala.

“Post prayers, we have decided to call some of our relatives home,” said Gulshen Patel, resident of Nana Chowk. “On this day, we try to get food from Parsi caterers, who serve authentic Parsi delicacies like pulao dal, sev and dahi, fish patia, dhandar, patrani machi, rava (sweet dish), sali boti and lagan nu custard,” she said, adding, “there is not much time to cook and we do not like to work ourselves up on this day.”

“Post-lunch, Parsis like to nap for some time before doing anything. It has almost become a tradition,” said Nawaz Bhatena.

The nap is followed by either a play or a movie. Looking up Parsi magazines for Parsi play listings is another feature of this day. “A play by Deniyar Contractor is doing well, and we are likely to go for it. Dinner is usually outside, so the day is quite enjoyable,” added Dhumasia.