Our dear friend Pearl Tirandaz was recently featured in the “Inspirational Woman” series by We Are The City. Here she is in conversation with Charlotte Smith
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I am born and brought up in a typical Parsi colony called Rustom Baug at Byculla, Mumbai. Since an early age I was extremely interested in dance and so i made it my passion, my hobby and finally my living. Farah Khan and Geeta Kapur were my gurus and I travelled the world because of this profession. My parents were always extremely encouraging and they let me follow my dreams right from the beginning. It was this supportive upbringing that has made me into the woman that I am today. I always stood up for what I thought was right and had a mind of my own, which is why I was always extremely vocal, this always got me into lots of trouble. I fear very little when I know, I stand for what is just. This attitude of mine has made me what I am today.
Meeting my husband Darayus changed my life and the way I perceive and understand things today. My father-in-law Mr Rustom Tirandaz was a much respected corporator and a social worker, I would like to emulate him and follow in his steps. He was a BPP(Bombay Parsee Punchayet) trustee when he passed away after a hard fought election. At the time I was pregnant with my first child and we as a family had to deal with this huge loss. My mother-in-law then stood in his place and fought an election for the BPP and won the seat. It was my father-in-law’s dream that the community youth should unite and be motivated in the right direction.
That is when the idea of ZYNG (Zoroastrian Youth For the Next Generation)came through. We founders dedicated almost 10 years of our lives to ZYNG and made it a household name. We conducted on an average 15 events every year. Be it a social service drive or working with senior citizens or an adventure sports event. Our social events are designed to be meeting grounds for networking and interaction between our community youth and even to have our youth intermingle and hopefully find their life partners. Today ZYNG stands tall and continues to grow from its over five thousand youth members from all over the world.
For 3 years now I have been involved with JIYO PARSI, a government funded body for the Zoroastrian Community. Although initially I only helped the institution in a personal capacity, I was later offered a job there as their Personal Relations Officer. The founder of Jiyo Parsi and my mentor Dr. Shernaz Cama has been of huge influence in my life. Today I am totally involved with every aspect of the Jiyo Parsi project, from their advertisements, facebook, to having regular events, I am involved in it all.
I am also a Vice President of FOZYA (Federation of Zoroastrian Youth Association), one of the oldest Youth bodies of the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian community.
I also occasionally write inspirational youth stories in the “Jam-e-Jamshed”, which is the oldest community news paper.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
I am currently involved fulltime with the government funded project called JIYO PARSI, meant for parents to have kids under IVF or Advocacy. I wish to see a rise in our community population that is decreasing every year that goes by, The team of Jiyo Parsi are working very hard to ensure that we create awareness and fulfil our goals. Parsis Irani Zoroastrians have been very significant in the development of our country and we want that goodwill to continue into the future. Jiyo Parsi has helped create that hope for the future of the Zoroastrian Community, as we have had 119 children through this program and touched the lives of many parents.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
I do not see myself successful as yet because that would make me complacent. I have ever bigger goals and feel I have not yet exhausted my potential. I believe I have a lot I can still achieve positively. I love helping people and that is what I wish to do till my last breath. Therefore the next natural progression for me is to broaden my horizons from being a community worker to social worker for the masses. I especially wish to work with women in distress.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Personally I think my greatest achievement has been that I have been successful in positioning myself to provide yeoman service to my community members. My husband is my backbone and he encourages me and advises me in every way.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I believe everyone on this planet is born with a purpose, and I believe I have found mine. I constantly remind myself of my goals and that i need to work smart and hard to fulfil them.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My parents Mehroo and Marzban Sukhadia and my husband Darayus Tirandaz
What does the future hold for you?
The future is always hopeful. I am expecting my second child this year. My elder son Rustom who was named after my father-in-law, already is moving in the direction of social service. He volunteers with my mother-in-law Armaity when she visits old age homes. In his personal capacity my son regularly donates his toys and clothes to street children. He insists on having his friends over to join him setup a Christmas party for one of the local institutions for street children. Inculcating a sense of giving and sharing is so important in children and I am very proud of my son. I have always taught my son that happiness in life emanates from being helpful and good to people. As for myself I always believe and remind myself constantly, that this is not the end it is just the beginning. The learning goes on.
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