Historic Association of Zarathushti Mobeds

by Roxan Aspi Driver in the Jam-e-Jamshed

Jimmy Mistry has shown that he can accomplish what he sets out to. A man of action, and not just intention, barely a couple of months after the launch of his Parsi Resource Group, he brought together almost 350 mobeds at the inauguration of the Mobed’s Association, an offshoot of the Parsi Resource Group.

This is a long-awaited development for the mobeds of our community, as they have been a largely neglected lot and, finally, something specific and uplifting is being done for their sake. It was no surprise, then, to see that they attended the event in large numbers and were enthused by the newly-formed Mobed’s Association that has several schemes for their benefit.

For the first time ever around 350 mobeds were photographed in one single frame! History was created when mobeds from Mumbai and several other cities like Hyderabad, Surat, Poona, Bharuch, Nagpur and even mofussil areas like Nargol and Saronda, converged at the glittering ballroom of the ITC Sheraton on March 4, 2006.

Presiding over the evening-to-remember was the man with a mission, the founder of the Parsi Resource Group, Jimmy Mistry, Managing Director and principal designer of the Della Tecnica Group.

This is an idea has he has nurtured for a very long time. Now, with the Parsi Resource Group in place (a group of like-minded people with one common vision – the betterment of our community), he is devoting himself determinedly toward the fruition of his three-pronged agenda of targeting the issues he believes are crucial for the community: the uplift of our mobeds, adoption of agiaries, and youth guidance and career development.

This is an idea has he has nurtured for a very long time. Now, with the Parsi Resource Group in place (a group of like-minded people with one common vision – the betterment of our community), he is devoting himself determinedly toward the fruition of his three-pronged agenda of targeting the issues he believes are crucial for the community: the uplift of our mobeds, adoption of agiaries, and youth guidance and career development.

The mobeds, he, believes, are in most urgent need of attention, hence the grand evening in their honour to make them feel gratified and valued for all their phenomenal service to the community.

The evening started off with the registration of all the mobeds present. They were required to fill out a card with their name, the name of their spouse, the agiary with which they are associated, residential address and telephone and mobile numbers. These cards were then accumulated in a bowl, which would be required at the time of the lucky draw. The wives who had accompanied their mobed husbands were also given a ticket for the lucky draw.

Masters of ceremonies, Mahiyar Dastoor and Ervad Cyrus, welcomed the distinguished gathering, which included three Vada Dasturs – Dastur Peshotan Dastur Hormazdiar Mirza, Dastur Khurshed Dastur Kaikobad Dastur and Dastur Cyrus Dastur Noshirwan Dastur. Present there were also Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustee Dinshaw Tamboly, his wife Bachi, and the President of the London-based Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, Paurush Jilla and his wife. Jimmy Mistry’s parents and wife Delna were there as well.

A ‘ses’, a must for any auspicious religious occasion, adorned the table on the dais with three divas – which were lit by the three Vada Dasturs. Core group volunteers felicitated each of the High Priests with garlands. A Hambandagi followed, recited by Dastur Mirza.

A core group of four mobeds was introduced to the audience: Ervads Hormuzdiar Govadia, Kaizad Karkaria, Jamshed Dastur and Meher Modi. Each spoke of how they met Jimmy Mistry and were convinced that his cause was in their common good. Their underlying message was loud and clear: Join the Mobed Association and avail of its varied benefits.

“We are a unified global Mobed’s Association, which cuts across totals – the Bhagarias, Udwadias, Surfits and Karkarias and accepts everybody with open arms. It’s an association for the mobeds, by the mobeds and of the mobeds,” emphasised Mistry. He continued, “Neither am I a mobed nor do I understand rituals. I am a na?ve infant in community service but I have a very strong value system and will power.”

A presentation by Mistry followed, wherein he detailed the different benefits of the Mobeds’ Association and explained how the religious fraternity will benefit from its schemes: cashless medical insurance, cash compensation to 65 mobeds, students’ education, etc.

Next, the floor was thrown open to the mobeds for a question and answer session. The yeoman service of 10 community religious heads was acknowledged. They were the three Vada Dasturs, Ervads Burjor Antia, Eruchshaw Karkaria, Ratanshaw Motafaram, Rustamji Panthaki, Edulji Kanga, Shavakshaw Sidhwa and Kekobad Panthaky. Each of them was felicitated with shawls, flowers and a memento. The lucky draw ended the function. Three mobeds got a prize of Rs. 25,000, 15,000, 10,000 respectively. Their better halves walked away with a Naju Davar gara, a sequin sari and a 45-piece dinner set.

The bar was thrown open. Liquor flowed freely and dance and revelry went way into the night with many a mobed shaking a leg to Marazban Mehta’s music. As one mobed aptly put it, “Thank Dadar Ahura Mazda, at last we have someone to take care of us.” Yes, indeed, the mobeds’ Messiah has arrived.