Of new beginnings


August 19, 2007

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A dekko at how the city’s Parsis are gearing up for their New Year which falls this Monday

Pune, August 18: Saal mubarak”, “Happy New Year” or even ” Pateti mubarak” are the greetings that will reverberate in every Parsi home this Monday. The imminence of Pateti or the Parsi New Year has yet again induced exultation amongst the city’s dikras who are gearing up to ensure that their new year is celebrated with much fervour. From visiting their revered fire temples, exchanging sumptuous sweets, meeting up with kith and kin to ending the day with a feast, Pateti, like every year, promises to be a happy day.

Take for instance, Yasmin Taraporewala, who commences his day with phone calls to near and dear ones, only so he can wish them peace and happiness. This routine is invariably followed by visiting the agyari for prayers. “Once I finish offering my prayers at the temple, I go to meet my relatives and exchange sweets that include Suterfenis, Jalebis and Mawa Fish,” says Taroporewala.

The husband-wife duo, Naushir and Banoo Commissariat, too, rejoice on similar lines. “For us, Pateti is special as we come together with friends and family to celebrate. Also we cook our special Parsi dish, Dhansak, on this day,” explains Naushir.

So when you ask the elders about Pateti, you will be told about family get-togethers, prayers and exchange of sweets.On the contrary, pop the same question to a youngster and undoubtedly, they will tell you about the tantalising food.

In the day, Khodu Irani, a pub owner, visits the agyari as he feels that it is a part of his religious upbringing, but what he really and most importantly looks forward to is the night’s grandeur- the feast. ” Well, my family and I go to this Parsi restaurant called Zamu’s every year, to feast on Fish Patia, Mora Dal and Chawal,” relates an exhilarated Irani.

Zamu’s, normally known for serving sizzlers, adds a special menu every year, especially for Pateti. Zamu’s owner, Zal Cursetji talks about the luscious dishes that are served at his restaurant for not just the Parsis to indulge in, but all those who would love to be a part of the Pateti celebration. Says Cursetji, “We serve specialties like Patrani Machi, Chicken Farcha, Kid Ghosh, Pulao Dal and among other delicacies.”

So while Pateti may be all about celebrations for most, model Viraf Pate has his own story to tell. “During my growing up years, I would look forward to Pateti for one reason that most kids studying in Parsi schools would agree with—holiday.”

But that’s only part of the story, for the happiness and great mood that prevails on this day has much to do with the hope of fresh starts just like a New Year’s Day should.

Original article here