Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Toxy Cowasjee Steps Down as Editor of Hamazor After 17 years

Earlier this year Toxy Cowasjee, the editor of the Hamazor magazine reached out to me asking if I would cover a local NYC event for her to go in the next issue of Hamazor. I, of course said yes. You can’t say no to Toxy. Little did I realize that this article would be in the very last issue of Hamazor that Toxy was going to be putting out as editor.

toxy-cowasjeeIt is with sadness that I read in her editorial of the 1st issue of 2019 that she will be stepping down as the editor of Hamazor.

For as long as I have known about the magazine, Toxy has always been the editor. One is synonymous with the other. Hamazor is the quarterly magazine of the World Zoroastrian Organization and Toxy has been at the helm for 17 years !

In a touching, yet distinct “Toxy” style she writes:

Issue 1 of 2019, will be my last issue as editor of Hamazor. There
are many reasons for this decision, the main one being too many
years – 17 to be precise – for a person to produce a publication without it going stale. I will be 80 this year and its time to call it a day. No doubt I will be totally bored, but new ideas with younger people has to take place otherwise how can progress be made. Unfortunately no replacement has been determined, therefore for the time being further issues of Hamazor will not be published.

It has been a wonderful experience producing the Hamazor, learning all the way, meeting remarkable people through their contributions to this publication. A List of Acknowledgements at the end many of whom are / were outstanding individuals, will make anyone sit up with astonishment, including myself! My very sincere thanks to each one of them and feel privileged they even considered writing for Hamazor.

I got to meet Toxy for the first time when I visited Karachi for a dear friend’s wedding. She and her husband Cyrus were amazing company; and Toxy made it her mission to show me the Parsi side of Karachi, with the pride and passion that few would have of their surroundings. She is a veritable encyclopedia of all things Parsi. Through her contacts we could go and visit so many places that are otherwise private or out of bounds.

Cover of the last Hamazor issue edited by Toxy Cowasjee.

Her stories of each of these places and of growing up in Karachi, then England and then back in Karachi were fascinating and the two days I spent with her on that first trip were one of the highlights of my trip.

As luck would have it, I got invited to another friends wedding the next year and again got a chance to meet with Toxy. We spent a whole day checking out the places we could not on the previous trip. Her insight into culture, society, politics and current affairs encompassing all things Parsi, Zoroastrian and Pakistani was something I am glad I got to hear about.

Every year Toxy and her team put out 4 issues of the Hamazor magazine. The articles were a combination of news, special features, commentary and opinions on all things Zoroastrian. The articles were meticulously edited, and then laid out in a beautiful graphic layout.

Per Toxy’s email, Hamazor will be on hiatus till a new editor takes over.

With Toxy stepping down from her role at Hamazor, I cant wait to see what new project she takes up. I really hope she does embark on the one project that only she can do…..write a seminal book on the Parsis of Karachi and Pakistan. With her breadth of knowledge about the subject matter and her writing skills it would be the one definitive book of the Karachi Parsis who are now few in number in their homeland.

Thank you Toxy for giving all your readers years and years of amazing reading.