The Zoroastrian Family

Build your own Family Tree online – download the free App Now – Click Here

Events, Classifieds, Births & Deaths and much more

The largest free online Zoroastrian / Parsi / Irani Directory in the world

Helping find Missing Parsis and Zoroastrians –

XYZ got talent !

INVITE - XYZ Got Talent
We would like to invite you to come and cheer for the Talented Xtremely Young Zoroastrians on Saturday, 18th April 2015 at Albless Baug from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. (Participants must report by 5:00pm)
The top participants from all XYZ Groups will be participating and showcasing their talents.
Winners of the XYZ Navroze Card Making Competition will also receive their certificates and prizes during the show.
Here’s looking forward to seeing you there with friends and family.
Thanks and Regards,
Hoshaang Gotla
Founder, XYZ

A Zoroastrian Lady on Mount Everest ?

Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman of Secunderabad and Hyderabad's photo.


Dr. Fereshte Bakhtiari, a Zoroastrian lady from Kerman, Iran, has conquered Everest. 
Dr. Bakhtiari who is part of Asha, a Zoroastrian Group, has a PhD in Chemical Engineering. 
She is an experienced mountain climber who has climbed many mountains in Iran including the Mt. Damavand. 
She was part of a team of 6 men and 2 women which scaled the Mount Everest. 
We are proud of her achievements.

THE Power Of Prayers

“Morning has broken

It’s a new day”

Prayers when recited

Keep ugliness at bay

Food is for the body

Prayers is for the soul

One withou the other

Can’t keep a person whole

“No fire or coal

So hotly glow

As the secret love

Of which no one knows”

When the Prayers begin to flow

I am remembered to trudge

The Path of straight & narrow

When I pray

My heart begins to sing

As they are like the

“Wind beneath my wings”

“Lean on me”

That’s what Prayers

Seem to say:

We’ll take all

Tears sadness & blues

Out of your way

Whatever I have done & said

I do my best

‘Cause I know the

Power of Prayers

Takes care of the rest.


………………………………Farida Bam

WZO Trusts at Work – 2015

Dear Donors, Friends, Well Wishers,

Please visit and see the 37 photographs in the section “WZO Trusts at work – 2015″. Whatever has been done has been possible only because of the support of donors, good wishes of friends and well wishers, and not to forget the commitment and dedication of the hard work put in by my colleagues and staff.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Dinshaw K. Tamboly

Cyrus Todiwala on GM foods

Ranting about what we know about GM food and soya at Abergavenny Food Festival, September 2012

Act of Devotion: Couple wins over  Syracuse theater scene, 20 years running

Navroz Dabu hand sketches the set of “A Man for All Seasons,” the 2007 stage production at the Civic Center. Photo courtesy of Navroz Dabu.

Scattered on the walls of his home architecture studio, Navroz Dabu keeps photos of past set designs he has built for local adaptions of plays at the Redhouse and CNY Playhouse. Photo by Christine Rushton

Navroz Dabu’s MIT degree in architecture helps as he lays out the dimensions of the set designs for each production. Unlike most designers, He uses the lighter cardboard, not plywood, to build his final sets. Photo by Christine Rushton

Navroz Dabu prepares for an upcoming Hamlet set design by building miniature models in his at-home studio. Each sketch and model requires hours of measuring out the dimensions for each final object. Photo by Christine Rushton

Binaifer Dabu plays Lady Bracknell in the “Importance of Being Earnest” at the Redhouse in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Bimaifer Dabu.

Binaifer Dabu on stage. Photo courtesy of Binaifer Dabu.

In the 2013 Redhouse production of “Noises Off,” Navroz Dabu steps from behind the scenes as a set designer into an acting role. Photo courtesy of Navroz Dabu.

Navroz and Binaifer Dabu visit with their son Behzad in January. They have two sons, both who share the arts with their parents as singers.

Hints of spice waft in swirls of steam. Pastel teacups brimming with brewed Indian chai rest on the sanded wood of a low table.

Binaifer Dabu and her husband Navroz Dabu sit side-by-side on their leather couch, the twilight sun still warming their faces.

Leaning toward Navroz, Binaifer offers him a cup of the family recipe she dares not alter.

Glass plaques rest on illuminated shelves across from the couple. The Syracuse Area Live Theater (SALT) awards for acting and set design reflect their dedication to the local arts.

Taking part in productions from “Hamlet” to “Noises Off” and “Othello” to “Cabaret,” the Dabus have donated their time to the Syracuse theater community for more than 20 years. Both act and Navroz also designs sets.

One of Navroz’s SALT awards was given for Non-Performing Person of the Year. Another of Binaifer’s was given as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as R2-D2 in “Star Wars: The Musical.”
Combined they have 18 performing arts awards, including others from the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS).

“I don’t know what we would do if we did not have the theater in our lives,” Binaifer said.

Navroz sketches detailed designs of each set he creates. He uses the skills he developed while studying architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to model his vision for each production. Last year, he committed his spare time to constructing about seven theater sets.

“At times, I have to put my own money into the set because they don’t have the budget for it,” Navroz said.

His designs come to life in the studio he keeps in his and Binaifer’s downtown apartment. Standing in the center of the room, Navroz picks up a 3-D foamboard model of his latest set, “Hamlet.” The 12-by-4 inch design shows a miniature of the life-size version: a painted red door, latticed windows and stacked stairs.

Navroz started using his architectural skills in theater for fun in 2007.

His son Behzad’s middle school production of “Fiddler on the Roof” needed help. The school, Chestnut Hill Middle School, had a small budget, and Navroz knew how to build using inexpensive cardboard as opposed to the traditional plywood.

He turned a simple set into a recreation of the entire town in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Usually middle school sets have mostly painted backdrops,” he said. “But, we created a whole Russian village with the outside and inside of homes; a railway station; and even a large chimney for the fiddler.”

In 2008, he debuted his community theater design in an Appleseed Productions play, “The Dragon.” His design won the TANYS award for Best Scenic Design that year.

Navroz has used his architectural education building sets for several local theater companies including Le Moyne College’s Gifford Family Theaterthe Auburn Public Theater,Appleseed ProductionsCNY Playhouse, and Syracuse Shakespeare Festival.

Navroz also has worked for Schopfer Architects for more than 25 years. He contributes to building design projects in and around the Syracuse area.

While theater gives him an opportunity to use his talents in the performing arts, he said this season he will take on less projects than in the past. High demand for his designs have strained his time, and he wants to alleviate stress on his creativity.

“Never take anything from the theater. It’s always about giving to the theater.”

“My main motivation was threefold,” Navroz said, “to give my creative juices a chance to be expressed, to be a part of the activity and passion of both my sons and my wife Binaifer – which was theater, and this gave me a chance to volunteer my skills and creative artistic passion for the community.”

Binaifer also works outside of theater for Welch Allyn Medical.

She feels most at home on a stage, though.

Binaifer remembers her house as a child in Surat, India, as in a state of constant chaos. Her parents invited dancers, singers and actors over to practice for local productions. Her father Yazdi, now 78, founded the Parsi group Karanjia Drama Group, which still travels and performs.

“I would come home from school and all I would see in my living room was people rehearsing,” Binaifer said. “My mom would make chai and everyone would rehearse. They were acting like crazy people around the house.”

Like Binaifer and Navroz, Yazdi performs for free. His group only requests accommodations for room and board when they travel.

“Never take anything from the theater,” Navroz said. “It’s always about giving to the theater.”

Binaifer and Navroz grew up in a Parsi community of India. Parsis are direct descendents of the Persian people and migrated to India thousands of years ago. Binaifer describes her Parsi people as lovers of the arts and performers on the stage.

“(Parsis) are eccentric. They’re like ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,'” Binaifer said, referring to the movie about a traditional zealous Greek family. “They were also the inventors, the researchers, the philanthropists, writers, creators; in our culture.”

In 1981, Navroz left his city in the state of Gujarat, India, to study architecture at MIT in Boston. Binaifer joined him in 1982 after their families agreed on an arranged marriage. Navroz had fallen in love with Binaifer years before during their childhood. Binaifer, though, hadn’t considered the chance of moving around the world, isolated from family.

She spent her spare time in Boston finding acting jobs and learning the art of auditioning. Performing reminded her of her father. And, it took her mind off the trouble of immigrating to a new country.

Navroz didn’t fully consider the cost of living in America because he knew he wanted the education. So, the couple worked to survive on a limited income.

“I came in a naïve way, I just came,” he said. “I genuinely didn’t think of the money.”

Battling unemployment, lack of income and expiring immigration papers, the Dabus settled in Syracuse around 1989.

Two sons later, the couple felt at home in the city. And, they’ve stayed committed to their Parsi heritage through the arts.

“I think in a way we are honoring the memory of our parents,” Binaifer said.

She has continued acting in the Syracuse theaters, and will play the role of Mrs. Sowerberry in the Redhouse Arts Center production of “Oliver Twist” later this year.

“As my father stated,” Binaifer said, “I want to leave my last breath either on the stage of acting or in the classroom of teaching.”

on April 13, 2015 at 11:32 AM, updated April 13, 2015 at 11:34 AM

The Taste of a Parsi Home Fare

All this comes to life at Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu, a Parsi home-style restaurant in Adchini in Delhi, run by Kainaz Contractor and Rahul Dua. Both are 28 years old and have a background in hospitality as they did their management training together. Dua wished ‘to open a Parsi restaurant in Delhi’ while Contractor wished to open ‘her own restaurant some day’. Contractor, who shifted base from Mumbai to Delhi to open Rustom’s, says, “My interactions with many people led me to feel that there is space for an authentic Parsi-style restaurant in Delhi. Since this is not a funded project, Dua and I thought the delivery model would work well as it made for sustainable business. To add to the thought, Delhi people order in a lot unlike Mumbai people. At Rustom’s, we have mostly non-Parsis and youngsters ordering in. And we receive maximum orders on Sunday for lunches.” Adapting to Delhi was easy for her as she liked the city and has lived here earlier. The restaurant is named after her father. The duo have showcased Parsi style through the ambience, as it is done up to recreate an old Parsi home. The grandfather clock and the crockery cupboard add antique touches. The tiles they have used are found in typical Parsi homes. The space at Rustom’s is small and hence exudes a home-like warmth. “The menu has pictures of my own family and across the restaurant we have images from Sooni Taraporevala’s famous book Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India. Some pictures are for sale as well,” reveals Contractor.

On the menu front, the  place showcases close to 30 dishes. “These have been carefully chosen keeping in mind home-style dishes that can be perfectly executed in a restaurant format or those that are restaurant worthy,” says Contractor, adding, “Of course, there were a lot of trials and toil that went in before the final menu came out. The final dishes are ones that we personally like and believe people will like them too. The dishes are not too unfamiliar in terms of taste. These are dishes that people in Delhi will like. Once people take to the food currently being served, we shall introduce some offal dishes, but that will have to wait a bit.”

Dua’s contribution to Rustom’s, in his own words, was “to make sure the home-style cooking blended seamlessly into the restaurant format, for no one wants to be served ghar ka khana in a restaurant. So I took upon myself to ensure the presentation was not home-style, even if the dish was. I also helped find chefs and train them.” Dua, who has tasted success at Cafe Lota (which he runs with three others), lauds his partner for her food training and says, “Kainaz went to Nagpur to her aunt and trained with her for a month and a half, as also under her own mom to get her recipes right.” Since this is Dua’s first independent venture, it “marks my foray into the kind of restaurants I want to open in Delhi and elsewhere,” he says. Though he reiterates he is not here to please everybody, Dua and Contractor are cautious in their approach. “For now, we have started with what we thought was rightly suited for the Delhi palate. For our Patra Ni Machi, we use Tilapia fish whereas Pomfret would be our first choice. But most people in Delhi turn a nose to smelly fish or that, which has bones. After introducing our patrons to Parsi home-style food, we shall present some of our takes on Parsi food, but that will come in a little later. Our food is more of a tribute to the Parsi community. We are serving, what is essentially Indian food, that is very comforting,” quips Dua.

An offering that renders uniqueness to Rustom’s is the stock of regional products displayed for sale. “Since we are a regional Indian specialty restaurant we do believe in encouraging those engaged in the food-chain at our restaurant by offering their products for sale. We stock Parsi cane vinegar, dhansak masala, sambhar masala, vindaloo masala, Pallonji sodas, carrot and raisin pickle into two varieties—home-made and commercially packaged,” says Contractor, adding, “it is natural when we taste a new cuisine we like to recreate some of it in our own kitchens”.

By Tanu Datta

Published: 12th April 2015 06:00 AM


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,093 other followers