Sleepless in Udvada: Er. Marzban J. Hathiram

Good friend of Parsi Khabar and esteemed Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram pens an editorial on the recent Iranshah Udvada Utsav


So the great Udvada Utsav has ended. The statues have been lifted away, the grand shamiana dismantled, cleaning up has been done, the hordes of tourists and visitors are gone, the vendors are busy counting their earnings, the blaring sirens and wailing VIP security vans have been replaced by the howling stray dogs. While the Internet and Zoroastrian media is ablaze with all sorts of acrimonious debate, back here is Udvada, which I call home now, everything is quiet. Then why is it that sleep is so difficult to come, why the disquiet in the heart, why the subtle pull on emotions every time I go in the presence of Iranshah? Because something has changed. And it has changed irreversibly. A great load now sits on the shoulders of Him Who we all Worship. A terrible deed has been done.

Who is Iranshah? He is the centre of our existence. He is the focus of our community’s amazing history in the 1300 years that we have been in this adopted land. He is the source of all we have achieved, the font of our success, the DNA of why we have thrived, blossomed and yet remained unique in a culture which has swallowed up every other community that has come and settled here. We call Him Iranshah not just because he is our proxy King, but because He is the King of our Hearts. We exist, because He Exists.

Any other community would treasure such a Priceless Jewel, shield Him from any harm, from even the whiff of any controversy, keep Him away from the prying eyes of an envious populace. And yet, the most literate of all communities, the most learned, the most noble, the most emancipated – all the great adjectives we attach to ourselves to show that we are somehow above the normal, we have behaved with Iranshah in a manner that can be summed up in just one word – the most stupid community.

There is nothing wrong in celebrating the birthday of our Monarch. There is nothing wrong in showcasing our culture. There is nothing wrong in honouring men and women who have done our community proud. But there are two things which have to be borne in mind when we embark on such a venture – the right place and the right manner.

What is Udvada? Is it a place for backpackers from around the world roaming with guidebooks and cameras in their unwashed hands? Is it a place for high dignitaries and politicians? Is it a place for the half-naked and wanton display of bodies that is supposedly dance? Is it a place for the mingling of men and women in various states of purity from beach to pavilion to shopping to finally the Atash Behram?


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