We are saddened to hear about the passing away of Darius Ferzandi, the owner of Byculla Restaurant And Bakery which closed down earlier this year.
In a social media post Bombaywalla Historical Works writes
We are sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Darius Ferzandi, senior partner of Byculla Restaurant & Bakery, which shut earlier this year. Mr. Ferzandi sat at the gullah (counter) of the Restaurant since 1954, and would perform the loban ritual every evening. Here he is with Mr. Sheriar Raisi, manager of the Restaurant, looking on.
A beautiful personal account is shared by his dear friend Hormazdiyaar Vakil….
My old and dear friend Darius Kaikhushru Ferzandi fought the virus and succumbed a few hours ago. What can you say about a person who was so full of fun and generous and large hearted like his late mother Piroja who was the mater familia who kept the family together after her equally large hearted and generous husband Kaikushru’s untimely and sudden death. Darius being the eldest male, his older brother Sorab having migrated abroad became the father figure to his siblings. His late brother Jehangir was my buddy and we went out every Sunday for a four o’clock show followed by sandwiches and cold coffee at Talk of the Town.
I recall our holidays at their farm at Deolali which was the envy of many. Rose gardens, fresh fruits, grapes and vegetables galore. My first visit to Ferzandi Baug was in the early 1960’s with my godfather the late J. N. Marshall and my late dad. That time there was an old simple mud house with mangalore tiled roof. But there was the finest scotch whiskey with freshly roasted lamb Kababs and a wide array of Irani delicacies. Irani’s as a race were extremely hard working. Kaikushru was my father’s client and Darius continued to look to my father for legal guidance which culminated into a warm friendship. On a Sunday morning, we would first go to the restaurant and do gupsup over freshly baked patties and mava cakes followed by beer and more snacks and biryani and other exotic Persian delicacies at his mother’s flat in the lane behind at Khambatta House. Minoo Mehta also was a regular fixture. Incidentally Minoo passed away last week and took Darius to keep him company. His sister Gulrukh who lives in Dubai wept over the phone to me day before yesterday to please pray for Darius as well as her other brother Plumarz who has been struck with the dreaded virus and battling for his life even as I write this.
I am saddened with great and happy memories and his large heartedness and kindness to the poor and deserving. Darius was not highly educated and had to take over the Byculla Restaurant after his father’s sudden death. He slugged long long hours to keep the business running and likewise Plumarz took over the Byculla Pharmacy and Rustom the farm at Deolali before migrating to USA.
Darius was an excellent driver and I learnt some of my driving skills from him. He had an aged half blind chauffeur Kutty who would stammer and say BbbbBaba astay chalav. (Drive slowly). Kurty’s stammer would make us laugh and we would mimic him in jest. Darius looked after Kutty till his end
Darius got all his siblings well settled in life and after his children had grown up and settled down he entered into a second marital partnership with Zarine out of loneliness. All the brothers slogged hard at their respective businesses and their heirs now stand to gain the fruits of the long hours put in at work and sitting on the galla. (the till). With Darius gone the last of the breed of the original Iranis whose parents walked from Persia to India has come to an end.
Darius always wanted to own a Ford Mustang in those days and would always mispronounce it as Mastan similar to the famous Haji Mastan.
My heartfelt condolences reach out to his wife Zarine and Darius’s children and grandchildren, brother Plumarz wife Purvin and their children, sister Gulrukh who adored Darius,and her family Sherry, Mahajabeen and Nazneen,Darius’s brother Rustom and family and please forgive me if I have missed out anyone else. I don’t know the whereabouts of Katy and Roshan as I have lost complete touch with them.
Rest in peace Darius till we meet again. You will not be forgotten despite our infrequent meetings in the past few years. Good friends are there for life even if you don’t meet for long periods of time. My prayers to the Ferzandi family in these tough times. Stay strong and blessed.