Click here to read an article about a genius Parsi musician, Merwani Bomanji Casinath who taught music to Zubin Mehta’s father.
Courtesy : Minocheher Damania.
The Parsis in India have had the tremendous good fortune of practicing their religion and customs generally without ostracism and persecution. This freedom has given them an opportunity to establish themselves in a country that not only refrained from proselytizing but also showed considerable tolerance towards all religions. Having been given this opportunity, they also had the encouragement of the British colonial rulers of India to develop their entrepreneurship skills and political savvy. The elevation in stature of the Parsis was undoubtedly one of the main causative factors in the small community’s escalating fortunes.
The recorded history of the Parsis of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries has shown them to have the inspiration to venture into uncharted waters with boldness, garnering their energies to establish a better life and advancement for their families, their community, and the countries of their origin and adoption – Iran and India. Their unique character could be attributed to three essential factors – their Irani-Zarathushti heritage, their Hindu-Indian socio-cultural adaptations, and their eager acceptance of Western (specifically) British educational and temporal values. The Industrial Revolution was the backdrop against which the Parsis of the 18th, and 19th centuries proved their prowess in education and entrepreneurship, and continued the trend into the 20th century.
The ships they sailed on to reach India presented to the Parsis the bounties of the seas. At the height of the power under Achaemenian King Darius the Great, Zoroastrians mastered shipbuilding and learned much from the seafaring Phoenicians. The ability to build seafaring vessels eventually opened up the world of international trade. They founded many industries. By the time India achieved its independence in 1947, a mere 100,000 Parsis, in the subcontinent’s population of over half a billion people dominated major industries like the steel industry, the aviation industry, the textile industry, the movie industry, and the fields of medicine, science and law.
The Wadias, the Tatas, the Jeejeebhoys, and the Godrejs are among several families that have contributed in no small measure towards the industrial and economic advancement of their community and their country. One such family has for the last 250 years taken on the challenge of industrial entrepreneurship with great success and provided tremendous resources for their country’s well-being – that family is the Wadias.
Click here to continue reading the article : The Wadias of India
Courtesy : Dara
elative Value: Sarfaraz K Irani, 28, and Bakhtyar K Irani, 31
Meet the two boys who gave Mumbai’s iconic dairy a steroid shot of success.
Brothers Bakhtyar, 31, and Sarfaraz K Irani, 28, can’t recall a single year at St Mary’s School in Mazagaon when their boisterous classmates didn’t remember their birthdays.
Courtesy : Noshir Parlewalla
SAD NEWS FOR ALL FANS OF PARSI HEADGEAR
Burjor Mistry, the third and last generation of the Parsi hatter firm Dinshaw B. Mistry, established in 1876 and formerly of Kalbadevi, passed away last Saturday at the age of 80. Extremely low profile, Mistry was nevertheless known as the best maker in Bombay of phetas and paghrees and had an extremely loyal following. Two years ago I showed up at his door in Marine Lines, eager to talk about the history of his family business and learn more about how phetas and paghrees are made. As Mistry began talking and I took down notes, he remarked, “This is all for your own interest and not for a publication? I don’t want any publicity.” Mistry was knowledgeable about the history of phetas and paghrees and the different styles of paghrees worn by different families, such as the Desai variety which tapered out to a somewhat unwieldy 12.5 inches in width.
I returned to his apartment today to select a pheto for my wedding and heard the sad news from his niece, who is clearing out the last few items that Mistry made before he passed away. Mistry had no children and the family business ended with him. Luckily, among the remaining 20-or-so phetas was one that fit me.
Ph.D. Candidate, Modern South Asia
Department of History
Nani Palkhivala continues to inspire generations of lawyers & CAs, even though several years have passed since he left for his heavenly abode. Though a genius, his success was largely due to sheer hard work and the ability to do ordinary things the proper way. Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar urges all professionals to live up to the high standards set by Palkhivala and aspire to reach the heights reached by him
By Deepika Sorabjee 19 August, 2010
They’re known for being great doctors and lawyers, and also for giving back generously to their communities. So to mark the Parsi New Year, Navroze, we’re profiling 10 artsy Parsi personalities who touch our lives in Mumbai without us having to fall ill or foul of the law.
Shaheen Mistry, 39, social activist and educationist
Astad Deboo, 63, contemporary dancer
Sarosh Patel, 39, event manager
Kainaz Messman, 29, chef entrepreneur
Zane Dalal, 46, conductor
Shireen Gandhy, 45, gallerist
Kaiwan Mehta, 35, architect and lecturer
Mehlli Gobhai, 79, abstract painter
Sooni Taraporevala, 53, filmmaker
Rishad Naoroji, 59, conservationist and photographer
courtesy : Hushang Vakil
A SALUTE TO J.R.D.TATA
Here is a picture taken by a friend on a recent visit to Honolulu that should gladden all Zarathushti hearts.
This is what the friend had to say ;
“As we were traversing the long corridors of Honolulu airport to catch our return flight, we happened upon an exhibit that made us stop in our tracks, and Jeh took the photos. There were other plaques of pioneers in aviation and hospitality, but this plaque made our jaws drop, and feel proud!”
Professor Nora Elizabeth Mary Boyce, who died on 4 April 2006, aged 85,was a leading authority on Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic religion of Iran.Born on 2 August 1920 in Darjeeling, India, she was educated in Englandfirst at Wimbledon High School and Cheltenham Ladies’s College, andthen went up to Newnham College, Cambridge.
Courtesy : K F Keravala