Fraudster Aspi Satarawala

Last week, on June 11, 2009, Parsi Khabar linked to an article in the Times of India titled “NRI Parsi asked to Pay for Dad’s upkeep”. Within an hour we retracted that post. A few of you got the post in your email newsletters and found a non-active  link, wrote to us. Rarely have we ever pulled an article out of circulation after it has been published. However, knowing that the article contained false information, bordering on outright lies, we could not go ahead and let it remain online, without a proper rebuttal. We hope that our readers will agree with us on this stance.

Most times we read news articles and move on. News is something that is happening to “them” and we are mere readers to the aftermath of the event. However once in a while the news hits home, when the people in the news are those we know.

That is exactly what happened when I read the article titled “Pay for dad’s upkeep, court tells NRI son” published in the Times of India dated June 09, 2009 by TOI reporter Yagnesh Mehta.

The article talks about how an NRI son abandoned his old father and refuses to pay for dad’s upkeep.

The “son” in the article just turns out to be Pesi Satarawala, a dear friend of many years now, who lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids. However I did not relate the Pesi in the article to the friend I know because of the numerous factual errors in the article. However Pesi did let me know that he was “the Pesi in the article” and the first he knew about this was when a friend from Poona forwarded the link to him.

Aspi Satarawala, the “father” in the article, and Pesi have not met in 34 years. Pesi is now 41 years old. This is because, one fine day after Pesi’s navjote at the age of seven, his father walked out of his and his mother Villoo’s life. Villoo Mamma, as we all knew here, passed away last July.

Aspi abandoned his wife and only child all these years ago, without any money at the complete mercy of strangers in a strange city. Through sheer hardwork, dedication and a zeal to succeed Villoo raised Pesi, educated him, and left no stone unturned as a single parent.

Where was Aspi all those years? Missing in action. The article claims that he paid for Pesi’s MBA. Well that would be great, however Pesi does not have an MBA degree. He did his Diploma in IT from NIIT Pune through a scholarship he received in Pune. The article claims that Aspi got his son married.  Aspi was not invited and was not present at Pesi’s wedding. His uncle stood as the head of the family and was witness to the wedding.

The article states that Pesi, is not currently in Chennai. His in-laws live there, and the last time he was in Chennai was just before Villoo Mamma passed away.

The TOI article is flawed at many levels. Even tabloids and rags would verify information before printing it and in the process defaming the subjects referred to in the article.

Over the years Aspi Satarawala has been known to defraud people from all walks of life. Born with a silver spoon, he single-handedly dismantled the family fortune and wasted away the money. And since then its always been a cat and mouse game to somehow get money out of gullible unsuspecting people and then disappear.

For such a fraudster this is yet another scheme to sponge off money from his “America settled” son, the same one who grew up with only memories and no presence of an abusive father that never was. Indian laws have a provision where children need to take care of their parents in their old age. A fantastic and “idealist” notion that was made into law for all the right reasons. Alas, this is a case where it is being used for all the wrong reasons.

Pesi Satarawala is currently pursuing legal avenues to get this mysterious “court order” dealt with.

If you have a moment and feel strongly about this issue, please leave a comment below.

Disclaimer: This article contains my thoughts, solely; and no one else’s.

  • To all of you that quickly jumped to conclusions and used harsh words – let this be a lesson to first evaluate or understand the situation. Shame on you Yagnesh Mehta – for not doing your research or even bothering to find the truth ! There are nearly 25 – to – 30 of use Parsees from Poona that grew up with Pesi..and This is the real story:

    Pesi was the youngest, smartest and the weakest amongst all of us. His nickname was Dhad-padu (clumsy). He stayed in a very small one-room Parsee trust home in Mody Colony. Ever since we have know Pesi ( i think we all were about 7 to 8 years old – we are all in our Forties now) he was always very quite, subservient, yet “mind boggling” helpful and respectful. There wasn’t a chore, or task , or errand he would refuse, not with friends, not with relatives, not with anybody. We eventually found out that this was all because of his abusive, neglectful, dropout of a scumbag dad. He would show up
    in the middle of the night, drunk, violent and make a scene in the colony. Every single family in Mody colony would provide witness to those early traumatic days. Even after his mom divorced the blood-sucker, he would show up now & then and create a big ruckus. Eventually he just gave up and disappeared. Pesi was maybe 10 or 11 at that time.

    Throughout Pesi’s life he has cherished and worshipped his mother – and for the right reasons. We too were, and still are, in awe of this Godsent, pious lady . Single handily and smiling lady “toiled” day and night to give Pesi the right education. She delivered lunch dubbas, helped out to make a few bucks here and there, saved every penny so that Pesi could get through to college. They were at times a pitiful sight – always in oldish clothes, and very very down to earth. Pesi in turn was Always There for her. Pesi was Never the go out party, come late, spend money type – Ever. He was consistently a Top-5 scholar not just in school but in college and MBA as well. (We all just hated him for being such an exceptionally clever and hardworking boy – made us look like complete duds). His entire world rotated around spending time with – and taking care of his mom. Eventually when he was gainfully employed I could see the Joy and Pride in the mom’s face. They finally started living life, eating well, living well, looking well. We would choke out tears when we could hear the mom brag about Pesi & Pesi brag about his mom. He took his mom to the US all the time, and came down to see her all the time too. Sadly towards the end this brave, strong, angle of a lady – and Pesi’s entire world – succumbed to cancer last year.

    Never – I repeat Never – was that so called dad every around. He has Never spend a cent on Pesi, Never spend a day with Pesi, Never gave a thing besides grief and abuse to Pesi, so how dare that slimeball wake up one day and claim that he needs money form his son. Totally out of the movies this entire script – drunken, ugly, abusive father waits till mom passes away – and claims his rights to money. How dare you defame this Unimaginably nice human being, and how dare you take away the joy & blood & sweat that Pesi has put in for his real parent – His Mom.

    Again whilst the readers can be forgiven for now known the truth – Same on You Times of India and Yagnesh Mehta for making up a story. Only an honest apology will undo this harm you have cause to Pesi. Lets see if you are man enough to find out and publish the truth now !!

  • NND

    I have known Pesi and his mom ever since my primary school days in Poona. You are right this article is totally nonsense and trash. It is sad that a publication like the TOI would print such garbage. Its sad Pesi has to go through this. God give him the strength to get through something like this.

  • mannan kapasi

    I am appalled to find that times of India who I always thought to be a most trusted journal with accurate information has published this article without verifying the facts. Obviously readers that have commented have done so in reaction to such an article that bears no ground. I would like to clarify to all readers and would strongly recommend The Times of India to publish a correction article in connection with the Aspi Satarawalla case that was have published on 9th June.

    I have known Pesi and his mom (whom lovingly I called Villoo Ma and who was no less a saint that a mother could ever be) for the last 32 years. Pesi is a childhood friend of mine and we have grown up in the same neighborhood. I was also working in the USA from 1992 up to 2001 and was lucky to have him around when I was there. I now live in Dubai but am in contact with Pesi regularly and always visit him in the USA when I travel on my work trips there almost once every year. How can I ever forget the hardships Villoo Ma faced when she single- handedly raised Pesi and yet there was always warmth in her heart and a helping hand for all his friends. Pesi has acquired that special brand of goodness in a human being that was inculcated upon him by his mom.

    The so called loving father Mr. Aspi Satarawalla had deserted Villoo Ma and Pesi since he was 7 and Villoo Ma brought up Pesi on her own, with her strong will and a lot of hard work. Villoo Ma and Pesi are both very respected people in Pune and everyone who knows them (like me) have nothing but good things to say about them. Pesi is a loving person and took care of his mother till the last day of her life. Unfortunately last year Villoo Ma could not fight cancer any longer and left us for “a better world”. One parent brought up Pesi and that one parent (Villoo Ma) should be the only one credited for making Pesi who he is today and where he is today. Pesi respected his mom and gave her the best care possible. After going to the U.S. Pesi arranged visas and brought his mom over to live with him for long stays as far as the visas could remain valid. In fact Villoo Ma lived more in the USA (after Pesi moved there) than she did in India

    As far as Mr. Aspi Satarawalla is concerned after he left Pesi and his Mom it is a known fact that he never helped them and played no part in the bringing up of Pesi. He may have been a manager of a leather manufacturing company in Mumbai (like the article says) but that was only for his benefit and in no way did he have a relationship with Pesi or Villoo Ma. It would appear that he has woken up from a deep sleep to claim his so called rights after Villoo Ma passed away and after he found out that Pesi is a successful family man. We shall all represent Pesi in court and he is not alone. I would like to ask Mr. Aspi Satarawalla why is it that I have never seen him or heard of him until now when I spent almost everyday of my life for 13 years (from 1977 to 1989) with Pesi in India. Where was he then and how did this man suddenly sprout up from thin air after his ex-wife died?

    Have some shame Mr. Satarawalla, if you need assistance this is not the way to go about it.

  • rustom jamasji

    Thanks to Parsi khabar for bringing out the’ Truth’, helping your friend, and upholding dignity of a human being.
    I did not want to waste my first lines on TOI as they have uopholded and portrayed lies and total unprofessionalism, especially to journalism.

    This is also a lesson to the Parsi community.( My personal views here) Any negative news regarding any Parsi or the community always is sensationalised as ‘Bawaji’ news.Dokhmenishini issue, Parsi high priest issue, etc are all sensationalised,..sadly aided by our own few…

    The positive articles, like that of Parsi freeedom fighters, armed forces hero’s, politicians and scientists and administrators all are left out, even off school books.

    The Zoroastrian community has perhaps ratio wise to its population, given maximum of its sons to the Indian Armed Forces, yet BOLLYWOOD movies starting from quarbani’ portrayed a Parsi as a idiot, pussy footing fool! This though probably due to the directors personal insecurity was brought to a billion homes worlwide…many believed it, our own got enticed with it to such an extent that intermarriage was justified by this nonsense. The bawa image turned from respect to being a stupour.
    Let not insecure people like those directors who portray a false image of the bawa,or news article written of in a jiffy.. betray us

  • Soonu

    This media ‘incident’ shows the importance of Community: since our people are not isolated, the truth will always come out. Pesi is not only fortunate to have lived amongst friends who no doubt gave moral support to him and his mother during hard times, but who are there to speak up for him now.

    It is significant that a non-Parsi wrote this story: those who are envious of the strenght of community and a positive communal reputation such as the Parsis enjoy, will be quick to seize on anything derogatory – even if it means being unprofessional and not fuflfilling the basic requirements of their job.

    Parsi Khabar must have already alerted the Times of India. Please let us know the outcome. And please, if you pick up stories from other journals, check them before publishing. [The Zoroastrian News Agency (ZNA) never does, and this means that it becomes implicated, inadvertently, in peddling falsehoods.]

    Parsi Khabar was wrong to send out a story before checking it. It displayed integrity in admitting its mistake and putting the matter right.

  • Farida Cooper

    I think Parsi Khabar should bring this false and vindictive article to the attention of the editor of the TOI who should then give Pesi an official apology. Although I do not know you Pesi if you are reading this I feel you should forgive your father who is clearly one of life’s victims.You are a better person than he and I am sure your angelic mother who once loved him would want you to forgive him as well.Help him out financially too and do it in God’s name.

  • Farida

    Should the Editor of Parsi Khabar , Pesi’s friends and well wishers wish to get in touch with the Times of India journalist in Surat who wrote that article, his email is
    yagnesh.mehta@timesgroup.com

  • Soonu

    Following Farida’s email, I decided to write to the journalist. However, I couldn’t find the address of the Editor of TOI on the website and will be grateful if someone would forward my letter to him/her.

    Dear Mr Mehta

    Unprofessional and communalistic journalism

    You published an article regarding Mr Pesi Satarawala, under the Title,“NRI Parsi asked to Pay for Dad’s upkeep”.

    While you were merely reporting the outcome of a judicial case, you and your editor chose, first of all, to give the story an ethnic spin. Why? Would a similar case involving a Hindu family be entitled, “NRI Hindu asked to ….etc….”? I doubt it. The communal
    slant on what is, essentially, a family dispute, is a disgrace – both to yourself and the Times of India.

    Clearly, the impact, if not the intention, was to defame an entire community. Why else mention religious or ethnic origin?

    It also transpires that you published this story without checking the facts. Since you were
    so moved to throw a spotlight on the entire community, could you not have taken the journalistic
    course of checking some facts with neighbours and friends of the two parties? Had you done so, you might have refrained from targeting Pesi – though, perhaps, it would have provided you
    with the opportunity of denigrating all Parsi fathers.

    Next time, Mr Mehta, show a bit of objectivity and refrain from casting communal aspersions.

    Yours regretfully
    S. Engineer

  • Hasn’t there been enough run down parsi campaigns in the past few months in all sorts of media be it news papers and even on television. having read the article in the times the first reaction was that of why parsis are in the media for all the wrong reasons nowadays and then its such a shame for our community to get run down by other communties who respect us so widely . i am so sorry about Pesi satarawala as after having read times column the first reaction was “we all pay for our deeds” now having read parsi khabar my view point drastically changes .. hope all gets resolved asap

  • Homi Dhunjibhoy

    “WHAT A LIAR YOU ARE MR. ASPI SATARAWALA…!!!!

    YOU NEVER TOOK CARE OF ANYONE IN YOUR LIFE OTHER THAN YOURSELF…!!!!!

    Hi readers…

    I have known Pesi and his mother since I moved to Pune in 1986.

    What I am mentioning here-below… can be verified by every one who knows Pesi and knew his beloved late mother.

    Pesi is a hardworking, good hearted, helpful, generous, God fearing and a VERY HONEST human.

    Words cannot do justice to describe his mother’s nature and character… all I can say is… she was the type of woman… that “Saint’s” are made of…!!!!!! Despite all her difficulties and troubles in her life… she always wore a smile on her face and she has never took a wrong step ever. Also… she never refused help to anyone at anytime… whatever it may have cost her or her health..!!! She has endured such pain and unhappiness but ensured that she brought up her son Pesi with a straight and strong mind.

    Aspi Satarawala… who claims to be the so-called “loving and devoted father” was never there for them ever since he abandoned them (when Pesi was 7 years old)… and despite having so much wealth at different stages of his corrupt life… he never helped them in any single way… nor did he ever even care to interact with them. He never ever helped financially towards any part of Pesi’s education. Mostly anyone who knows the family’s history will confirm that Aspi had ruined the entire family and even turned his late grandmother and his brother Minoo into destitutes. After the death of his mother and grandfather, the grandmother was a victim of his violence. He is known to have regularly beaten the grandmother and forced her to sign cheques… such that… before he could completely squander away all her wealth… she set up a Trust to provide monthly amounts to Aspi and his brother Minoo. Several well known Parsi’s like Mr. Kapadia (a lawyer and also a Trustee of the Dadar Parsee Assembly School) and one late Mr. Billimoria (Central Bank) were in the Trust as Trustees. He eventually brought his grandmother to the level of a destitute and she died of starvation… with no one to attend to her needs. After the grandmother died, Aspi with the help of his “criminal friends” sold away the bungalow and deprived his brother Minoo and his cousin (the late Mr. Adil Frenchman) of their rightful share in the grandfather’s property. Due to Aspi’s cheating and defrauding… his brother Minoo also became a destitute like the grandmother.

    Sources close to Minoo say that they (Minoo and Aspi) have received some sizeable legacy from their father’s side… which may actually be assigned to Pesi… and therefore Aspi is using his criminal mind to use these laws which are meant to protect ‘good parents’… to remove the legacy from his son.

    Pesi worked in our organization just so that he could use the salary to pay for the extra costs towards his computer education which incidentally was sponsored by a Parsi Trust in Pune… and he obtained a Diploma in IT by attending night classes at NIIT.

    I would like to ask Mr. Aspi Satarawala to kindly let me know where Pesi did his education, his higher education… and also his MBA… which he should know… considering he claims that he paid for it all.

    Pesi Satarawala has never at any of the family functions nor his son’s wedding… as he was never invited to any function considering his criminal, opportunistic and manipulative intentions… and not to forget his abusive and cruel behavior towards Pesi and his mother Villoo. Can Aspi show a single photograph of himself at any of the family functions directly connected with his son???? Can he produce any proof of any of these “so-called” payments that he claims to have made over the years…???

    I also have heard that he has a criminal record for defrauding and cheating people… and he has also defrauded several family members of their wealth. He has amassed a vast amount of wealth… and consequently squandered it on all wrong activities… but never has he ever helped his immediate family… Villoo and Pesi. Again now… as is usual… he is trying to live off or make a buck off someone else. This time he’s trying his luck with his son Pesi.

    He has a selfish character and his primary purpose in life is to take other people’s money or claim it without doing any work for it.

    This man has filed a completely false case and has taken advantage of the fact that Pesi does not live in India… and he has given wrong evidence to the court… and rest assured time will prove that he is the liar and his son Pesi has never done any wrong.

    The Times Of India is requested to kindly verify facts before printing an article that is so defamatory and damaging to someone’s career.

  • Farida

    The Surat Editor of the Times of India is Amarendra Jha and his contact details are amaredra.jha@timesgroup.com
    tel -0261-225-6161/6162/7825.

  • I guess the best way forward is to inform TOI Editor-in-chief Jaideep Bose or his associate Jug Suraiya Its a real shame when these kind of article gets unnoticed by the chief editors.

  • Soonu

    Can someone post the email for the Editor, please?

    My note has not received a response and I’m not sure I got the email address right.

  • Kekoo Vacha

    For so many of us who know Pesi and his family, and the fond memories we had of his dear mother Villoo, it is unfortunate that the Times of India has published an article with such gross errors on the facts, as also not cared to probe the other side of the story.
    For all of us in Pune who knew this family, we will always remember Villoo aunty as a wonderful and doting parent, who tirelessly strove to bring up & educate her son Pesi despite all the hardships she endured, and despite being so cruelly abandoned by her husband Aspi.
    As regards Pesi, full credit to him for working hard up the career ladder, despite all hardship, for looking after his dear mother Villoo so affectionately, and for constantly caring for her till her dying day.
    The Times of India should restrospect on the damage they have caused to Pesi, a boy abandoned by his father, brought up by his mother, and who loved her & cared for her till the end.
    As regards Aspi, the so called “loving father”, all that can be said is that he has been nothing but a ghost in Pesi and Villoo’s life, who has conveniently decided to resurrect himself after his wife’s demise.

  • Nosh

    I think a lot of people have written adverse comments in TOI by reflecting over only one side of the case.
    I know the Pesi since the last 14 years from Pune when we were in college. It is since then I know that his parents had divorced since he was around 10. He has done his graduation in B.Com(he has not done MBA or any such thing as mentioned in TOI) and the funds of which were partly given by the education trusts and his mother who used to work in in Poona Club.

    He has come to USA without any favour from anybody. While here, he has looked after his mom and kept her half of the last 10 years in USA(due to visa restrictions).

    The court has given an ex-parte decision since he was in the USA.
    I believe this is going to be overturned soon.

  • Donesh Irani

    My wife used to live above Pesi’s house. Viller aunty(his mother) was an angel…..an absolute hard working angel..I need not say more.
    I would willingly entrust my life to Pesi without blinking…This is all bullshit…The newspaper should be sued for sullying the name of such a pious,quiet,hard working young man…It is ridiculous how you get away with this stuff in India…It is appalling. In all the years I knew Pesi, I never met his father and dont ever wish to meet him now.

  • Hi Soonu you can try this email address jaideep.bose@timesgroup.com

    Hope this helps and I hope these Editors understands the importance of Zoroastrain Integrity.
    Khushroo

  • Kaizad Kumana

    The TOI article is bullshit. I have had the privilege of meeting Pesi in person when I was visiting my sister in NJ last fall. He struck me as a true gentleman and a very nice person. It is sad in life that at times bad things happen to good people but that is only God’s way of testing you. I pray that Pesi is fine and I know he will be since he has a loyal and tight-knit group of friends who will rally round him in his hour of need. Regards, Kaizad

  • Rohinton T. Sanjana

    Utter utter trash and anabsolute example of Sensational journalism rather than sensible one by TOI and Yagnesh Mehta. Wake up Mr. Mehta and have some ethics. TOI is a responsible and a leading media, influencing a wide array of people all over the world. With journalists like Mr. Mehta, TOI will tarnish its good image. I am my Late Villoo Masi’s nephew and have been with her and seen her family from the closest quarters possible. I have been with my Villoo Masi & Pesi since the age Of 8 years when I was studying in the Pune Boarding school and she was my guardian. But she was more than a mother to me and Pesi was my younger brother. I have known the abusive scumbag of Aspi since the time I used to frequent their home in Pune during my outing days every month. Boy! how he used to assault my late Masi for trivialest of reasons. I have known him to have not worked a single day in life and live off life on borrowed money. He used to lie to his wife that he is working for some big firm in Pune. One fine day, sometime in 1974 he disappeared leaving Villoo and Pesi in the lurch in a unforgiving harsh world. I personally have seen my dear Villoo masi litwerally slog her whole life and provided for everything to Pesi and made him what he is today. Never once did she complain and took out a bad word for anybody throughout her life. I clearly remember how she used to replenish my tuck for the boarding school, every time I returned back from my outing. She was more than a mother to me. An angel in all the sense of the word. Ditto for Pesi, he is simply the most Ideal human being I have known in my life. Never the one to crib for anything in life and the most satisfied even in his childhood, Pesi had to take hard lessons of life very early on. I clearly remember that he learnt to be prudent with money when boys his age used to get lots of pocket money to spend from their fathers. Very early in life he had to take hard knocks. It was my Villoo masi’s sheer dint of hard work and day & night slogging, that saw him through his education, I will second and support every one of his relatives and friend’s comments on Pesi and say that this man can never hurt a fly. Where was Mr. Aspi through out his life. And what all bull-shit is this scumbag talking about in the utter non-sensical case he has put against his son. What education and MBA is this out-of-his-mind scumbag talking about???? Whose son did he marry off????? In his dreams?????? Mr. Aspi, if ever I get my hands on you, I will pack you up to a point of no return! Please everyone of you who is reading this comment, I want to once and for all set the record straight, that I have seen Pesi at the closest quarters and I will not hesitate to go to any lenghts to protect Pesi and his family’s interest at any cost. I will stand by Pesi if need be in the court as the main witness and lay bare the most hollowest claim laid by Mr.Aspi. I am there for Pesi whenever he needs me. Regards Rohinton T. Sanjana

  • Rohinton T. Sanjana

    I would advise Pesi to sue TOI for such irresponsible journalism. Look at the amount of hate mail and hate comments pouring in from all parts of the world, all trash being dumped,For no apparent reason the image of an Ideal human being is tarnished. I could not just stop myself from writing a scathing comment to the editor and bring them to their senses. Mr.Yagnesh Mehta should be immediately suspended from reporting which will set an example for other fly-over-the-top journalists to get their facts straight rather than succumbing to cheap publicity journalism. Each and every journalists should know their limits and not think themselves above law. This knee-jerk journalism brings a bad name to the publication and the biggest fall-out of all this is the sullying and tarnishing of an individual’s reputation. The least that TOI and Mr. Yagnesh can do is, withdraw the article under apology to Mr. Pesi Satarawalla, pending further insight and facts in to the other side of the case. Come on TOI, pick up the gauntlet and show that you are true to your stature as the most widely read, influencing and responsible publication. Everybody does mistakes and it is never too late to correct them if it is brought to the notice by the majority. Regards, Rohinton T. Sanjana

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    RESTORING DIGNITY

    One wholeheartedly endorses the sense of outrage by Pesi Satarawala’s friends and acquaintances at the unsuspecting/undeserving injustice meted to him by a High Court thanks to his deviously lying father.

    We are privy to another case of ordeal of a guiltless law abiding family who also suffered because a Machiavellian individual (since deceased in divine retribution), connivingly misused reporter designation of a media crony, to defame. On the basis of an ambiguous complaint and without basic verification of intentional misinformation fed by his obvious vested interest/s, a blameless citizen discovered own name reflected in a leading national daily, which contents to a jolted mind read like a best-seller in the fiction category. The entire exercise was manipulated arbitrary use of position of community office, to intimidate by publicizing twisted facts and half-truths.

    The games our questionable system plays with a man’s constitutional rights and his freedom, with barely a thought for the ensuing character assassination, is difficult to comprehend. Addedly, in the midst of a competitive agenda to sensationalise reports, newspapers unwittingly abet by publishing what is circulated to the press, being unable to draw a verifying line between genuine culprits or fall-guys. Overly zealous media coverage indeed aggravates victims’ ordeal.

    In our long dragging legal system someone has to be made answerable after endless astronomical litigation to fight against the stigmatization to ruin career and discredit reputation, and heaping humiliation to inflict emotional trauma and mental ordeal. Not only the miscreant law enforcers but the individuals actively involved in such defamation must be severely penalised by the Judiciary for misusing authority and/or filing false cases other than in pursuit of genuine commission of a crime.

  • mannan kapasi

    Here is Yagnesh Mehta’s email contact address – it would be a good idea if everyone would write and let him have our concerns and points of view. I have already written to him and know that he has recd my email.

    yagnesh.mehta@timesgroup.com

  • Soonu

    I wrote to Yagnesh Mehta(and the editor) but haven’t received even an acknowledgement. My letter is copied above, dated 17 June.

    When people write, they should do so in stern but polite and measured terms. The use of foul adjectives to describe the father reflects adversely on the quality of the witness.

    If the article merely repeated the court’s decision (I haven’t been able to view it), then all we need to say is that the court got it wrong.

    However, there is a general and significant point about the reporting of this news item in ethnic terms, i.e. the headlline refers to “NRI Parsi…..” etc. That should be challenged: it is an unwarranted reference which would not have been made had the person been a Hindu.

    That is something that has escaped the notice and ire of the Parsi commentators above. That is what needs addressing, in any letter to the journalist and his editor. It is shameful for a respectable newspaper to sensationalise a story in that communal manner – apart from the fact that the court got its judgement wrong.

    Soonu

    Dear Jaideep Bose

    Journalism with a communal slant

    You published an article by Yagnesh Mehta, regarding a Mr Pesi Satarawala, under the Title, “NRI Parsi asked to Pay for Dad’s upkeep”.

    Whilst reporting the outcome of a judicial case, your editor chose, via the Headline, to give the story an ethnic spin. Why? Would a similar case involving a Hindu family be entitled, “NRI Hindu asked to ….etc.”? I doubt it. The communal slant on what is, essentially, a family matter, is a disgrace – both to yourself and the Times of India.

    Clearly the impact, if not the intention, was to defame an entire community. Why else mention religious or ethnic origin, when this has no bearing on the case?

    It also transpires that you published this story without ensuring that the journalist had checked his facts. Since the TOI was so moved to throw a spotlight on the entire Parsi community, it could have made some enquiries within that community. Had you done so, you might have refrained from targeting Mr Pesi Satarawala – though you might have then been tempted, I fear, to sensationalise the subject of Parsi fathers!

    It is significant that a non-Parsi wrote this story: those who are envious of the strength of community and the positive reputation such as the Parsis enjoy, may seize on anything derogatory – even if it means being unprofessional and not fulfilling the basic requirements of their job.

    I hope the TOI will refrain in future from bringing in a communal angle where none exists.

    Yours regretfully

  • A quick update. I did write to Yagnesh Mehta, the original author of the TOI piece. We got two responses from him. The first one was two days after we sent him a reply, asking for Pesi’s email. This inspite of the fact that the email to him was also sent to Pesi, and the address was visible in the To field.

    I immediately responded back with the email address. Another response followed a day later asking for Pesi’s telephone number. I provided that too, after due consultation with Pesi and his lawyer. This was last Wednesday night IST.

    Till date, Yagnesh has not contacted Pesi at all.

    I have also written to Bharat Desai the TOI Ahmedabad Editor and Jaideep Bose the TOI National Executive Editor. No reply from either of them.

    Their email addresses are

    bharat.desai@timesgroup.com and
    jaideep.bose@timesgroup.com

    I would encourage all of you to write to them.

    Am trying to see if I can get a journalist from a rival publication to call out TOI’s bullshit. There is no other way they are going to respond otherwise, it seems.

  • Sarasvati Dias

    The Editor,
    TOIN,

    Sir,

    I am really shocked by one of the news items I read in the TOIN of today ,the 10th June ’09 on Page 13-‘Dad sues son for Maintenance.’
    This is a very damaging report which can ruin the career of Mr. Pesi Kabraji/ Satarawalla . I am pained that a news agency of your reputation should have allowed this report in your paper. The report is totally false and baseless and the cousins of the family have reacted very badly and brought it to my kind notice.
    To enlighten you on Aspi’s activities and unsteady behaviour I give you the following details :-.

    I am a well known activist and social worker from Bandra who had been involved since the 80s in trying to rehabilitate and help Aspi Satarawalla. He was living in a tin shed in Kantwadi village and was continuously being harassed by the boys in the village – they were his friends earlier who took him to bad ways and ruined him and his family. There was danger to his life. So I approached the Police.

    In fact the late Mr. Sridhar Joshi who was then the Chief Inspector of Bandra Police Station was a friend of the family earlier and so he took pity on Aspi and kept him in the station for months to protect and gave him a job as a door- boy in one of the Bandra hotels ,as he was under my care..

    He is now 65 years old. The mother and son left for the States some years ago to avoid Aspi and the mother died of cancer recently.. The boy is doing well in the States and has come up the hard way through his own struggles. He is married to a nice Parsi girl from Chennai and now Aspi with his crooked brain and twisted ways is trying to use the Government laws ,passed recently to help Senior Citizens ,out of context. He wants the boy to be shamed and lose his job as he has a vindictive nature due to alcohol habits of earlier days. Why should the boy pay maintenance ? Did Aspi contribute anything to raise him? The mother and Mrs Roshan Frenchman raised the boy and educated him. Aspi feels by blackmailing the son he may be able to get some money because people in general do not like to wash dirty linen in public and the son may not be wanting to talk about his traumatic past.

    The cousin has also come to me and given me details and I am writing to you as we wish to protect the interests of Aspi’s son Peshton, whom I neither know nor have seen. As a social activist I fight for justice and will not allow Aspi to blackmail an innocent person. Aspi is very scared of me and will not face me and he is not sane enough to realise what reaction this report is likely to cause at the other end. . We intend sending a copy of this letter to the American Embassy. This letter is also meant to safeguard your interests before the boy’s side and others from the Parsi community may sue you for defamation. The neighbourhood yet remembers the Satarawallas and some people are sure to react to your report.

    With regards.

    Yours faithfully,

    Sarasvati Dias..

  • gopi

    I completely vouch what Cyrus Daruwala and all the friends of the Satarawala family (i.e. those that support Pesi and the truth) have mentioned in their comments. I have known Pesi since 1990 and his father had no part to play his upbringing.

    Gopi

  • Pingback: TOI prints an update in the Satarawalla case | Parsi Khabar()

  • TOI prints a follow up piece after getting the correct version from Pesi.

    Read all about it here.

  • Vispy Banaji

    I would be most obliged to know which Mr Satarawalla it was that unlawfully took possession of Bejan House , Sadar, Satara. This was the home of Mrs. Alamai Arjani. maiden name Alamai Satarawalla. She
    did not live to see that this family home was taken away by a man claiming to be a Satarawalla. The occupent of Bejan House was her son Naval Arjani, too old to stand up to a fraudster who forced his way to the property claiming to be the owner as being a Satarawalla. That only any one with name of Satarawalla can rightly be the owner. Naval Arjani was bodily removed from the premises. Here was a person who was
    wounded at Imphal to his home to lookafter his brain damaged brother Savak after Alamais demise only to be abused in such a fashion. Naval and Savak both died years ago, but to be treated by a Satarawalla this
    way it beggars belief.

  • Vispy Banaji

    I would be most obliged to know which Mr Satarawalla it was that unlawfully took possession of Bejan House , Sadar, Satara. This was the home of Mrs. Alamai Arjani. maiden name Alamai Satarawalla. She
    did not live to see that this family home was taken away by a man claiming to be a Satarawalla. The occupent of Bejan House was her son Naval Arjani, too old to stand up to a fraudster who forced his way to the property claiming to be the owner as being a Satarawalla. That only any one with name of Satarawalla can rightly be the owner. Naval Arjani was bodily removed from the premises. Here was a person who was
    wounded at Imphal to his home to lookafter his brain damaged brother Savak after Alamais demise only to be abused in such a fashion. Naval and Savak both died years ago, but to be treated by a Satarawalla this
    way it beggars belief.

  • vispy banaji

    Thankyou for your prompt reply, would be most grateful which Mr. Satarawalla is responsible for the unlawful
    possession of Bejan House, Sadar, Satara. This was was my granmother’s lifelong home, thank heavens
    that she did not live to have such an experience. Her son, [my uncle] Naval Arjani who returned after being injured at Imphal to Bejan House had this experience of being unlawfully evicted by this disgusting person.
    This happened in the late seventies. I would like to know exactly which Mr Satarawalla is responsible.
    Would be grateful to know if Bejan House still exists.

  • vispybanaji

    Thankyou for your prompt reply, would be most grateful which Mr. Satarawalla is responsible for the unlawful
    possession of Bejan House, Sadar, Satara. This was was my granmother’s lifelong home, thank heavens
    that she did not live to have such an experience. Her son, [my uncle] Naval Arjani who returned after being injured at Imphal to Bejan House had this experience of being unlawfully evicted by this disgusting person.
    This happened in the late seventies. I would like to know exactly which Mr Satarawalla is responsible.
    Would be grateful to know if Bejan House still exists.