Do You Know-What You Know? Khurshed Batliwala

Mr. Khurshed Batliwala emphasized on education as a means of knowledge and not employment. He also talked about doing things differently and having faith in our decisions even if they go against the flow. “Twenty five years ago no one had heard of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The whole world stood on the other side and said you are mad. I said yes, but I am happy. Be happy don’t compromise on that. You have dreams, you have visions, you have hopes don’t let people around you kill that for you. And that’s an idea worth spreading” With a postgraduate degree in Mathematics from I.I.T., Bombay, Khurshed Batliwala is a senior faculty at the Art of Living. Mr. Batliwala is a firm believer in the power of self-identified aspirations and this led him to follow an unconventional and challenging career path. He has been instrumental in designing the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!+) series that inspires the youth to break free from the shackles of society expectations and follow their dreams courageously. With this course he aims to propagate the vision of the Art of Living, which is to see a smile on every face on the planet. A blend of intellect and innocence, mind-blowing wit yet unconditional warmth, he continues to be a favourite among youth, and is committed to utilizing every moment of his time in enriching the lives of people around. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.



Prayers are like

The rays of
The  golden Phoebe

When chanted
“Emitting” intense heat

Cleansing one`s

Thoughts words deeds

As the sun

Seems to retire

For the night

Casting an reddish

Orange glow all over

Signaling that evening
Is  drawing near
As we are ourselves
About to retire

A”Comforter” of the night

Gently covering the earth

While the quiet moon in

Her silvery chariot

Floating by

Accompanied by

Her train of stars


“Twinkle Twinkle

Little Star”

As though singing

A lullaby

Prayers seem to
Have a soothing effect

‘Cause everything is

Peaceful & quiet


Before we close

Our eyes and

Settle down to sleep

Recapping what

Thoughts we thought

What words we uttered

And what deeds we did.

At the end of the day

Of one has Faith

It`s the Power of Prayers

That can save the day!

Choicest Happiness



Bafaenu — Ripe Mango Pickle Quick and Easy Recipe

Here is a Quick and easy recipe for Bafaenu, in the event some friends find the earlier recipe too cumbersome and elaborate. However, this Bafaenu may not stay well for as long as the Bafaenu from the first recipe. It would last at the very least for four to six months; though I have known it to stay well for much longer. You may also refrigerate the pickle after the first four, if you so desire.


25 ripe but firm mangoes about the size of your palm,

2 kg approx (2 Ser) jaggery;

900 gms (1/2 seer) mustard powder, preferably ground at home;

260 gms kilo (1/4 seer) garlic coarse paste;

750ml (1 seer) vinegar, preferably Sugar cane vinegar;

250 ml (1 pav) a *cooking oil of your choice;

60 Gms (5 Tola) salt;

Coarsely ground:

60 Gms (1 chatak) Red Chili powder;

60 Gms (1 chatak) turmeric powder;


Wash the mangoes, towel dry, and boil;

When fully cooked and soft, remove the mangoes from the vessel;

Spread them out to dry;

Mix the mustard in half the quantity of vinegar and whip;

Let the mustard mature in the vinegar;

Once the mustard is mature add the rest of the vinegar and the turmeric powder, and chili powder;

The mangoes should by now be dry, check for any remaining moisture (the slightest moisture will cause fungus to form and ruin the pickle);

Place the mangoes in a jar Of China clay or in a glass jar;

Pour the vinegar mixture over the mangoes, sprinkle the salt and pour the oil over it;

DO NOT MIX OR STIR IN ANY FORM WHATSOEVER. It is likely to break the mangoes and destroy the pickle;

Close the bottle with an air-tight lid;

Tie a piece of cheese clothes or Muslin cloth on the lid;

For a few days, open the jar Every 2 days and bring the bottom-most mangoes to the top;

Thus evenly marinating and pickling the mangoes;

Then let it rest for a further 15 days to complete the pickling process.

The pickle is now ready to eat.

Please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HASTEN THE PROCESS by using a stove to cook the mangoes in the vinegar marinade.

This will destroy the vinegar marinade and may even turn bitter.


  • Then they used home drawn unrefined peanut oil.

Meet the Kavinas, one of the only two Parsi families in Kerala

Dressed in regular ‘nighties’ with a dash of sacred ash on their forehead, Rathi and Dhan Kavina could easily pass off as Malayalis.
But a look around their modest flat reveals a picture of Prophet Zarathustra on the wall, as well as a prayer note with the Faravahar (symbol of Zoroastrianism), pasted behind the front door. The sisters, into their seventies, are the only remaining members of the Kavina family, one of the only two Parsi families in Kerala today.
But neither Rathi nor Dhan are too concerned about their Persian roots, or the fact that they don’t share a God with many others in the State. “God is one, only the names are different,” says Rathi, the older of the two, a perpetual smile playing on her lips. On a shelf in the bedroom are pictures of Gods of all religions, besides that of their late parents and brother, with rows of small lamps before them.

“We celebrate all festivals including Onam, Christmas, Vishu besides Zoroastrian festivals,” they say. In fact, when their brother was alive, they used to go on pilgrimages to various temples, as well as the Anjuman Baug, the only Parsi Fire Temple in Kerala, situated near SM Street, Kozhikode. “We worship the fire and recite a prayer in Gujarati to Ahura Mazda (the Lord of Wisdom) every day. But we don’t have a holy book. Our only motto in life is: good words, good thoughts and good deeds,” says Rathi.
Their family settled in Kerala after their parents moved to Thrissur from Ahmedabad, home to one of the largest communities of Parsis. Their father, Padamsha Kavina, had come to work in a textile mill in Thrissur, and the two sisters were born here. “We attended school and college in Thrissur, and have lived here all our lives,” says Rathi. While their brother started a textile business later, where Rathi assisted him, Dhan has been a home-bird all her life. “I’m the one who does all the shopping and banking, but I don’t even know how to make a cup of tea. Dhan is a great cook and homemaker,” Rathi says with a laugh.

Simurgh, the Mysterious Giant Healing Bird in Iranian Mythology

Image from the Shahnameh of the Simurgh (benevolent Persian mythological creature) carrying Zal (held in her claws) to her nest.

The image of the serpent is widely acknowledged in western culture to symbolize medicine. One of the most recognizable symbols for medicine today is the rod of Aesculapius with its entwined single serpent. It was originally a symbol representing Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine, from around the 6th century BC. In the early 20th century the US Army Medical Corps (USAMC) adopted the caduceus of the Roman god, Mercury, with its double entwined serpents capped with wings as a medical symbol, although it had no medical association in early Greek or Roman tradition. In contrast, Iranian mythology has no recorded evidence that the image of the serpent was ever associated with the practice of medicine or pharmacy. Instead, it was the mythical bird, Simurgh.

Simurgh (Image: Jahan-e-Khosrau / Free use)

Simurgh (Image: Jahan-e-Khosrau / Free use )

The Simurgh was described as a peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion. She was a creature big enough to comfortably carry an elephant or a whale. The Simurgh was said to be so old that she had seen the destruction of the world three times over. This afforded her so much wisdom and learning that she possessed the knowledge of all the ages. In one legend, the Simurgh was said to have lived for 1,700 years before plunging herself into flames, much like the Phoenix. The figure of the Simurgh can be found in all periods of Iranian art and literature, as well other regions that were within the realm of Persian cultural influence. In the Avesta, the Zoroastrian holy book, containing the oldest record of the Simurgh, the Simurgh is written as Meregho Saena . Later, the name ‘Saena’ was also associated with healers. In Farvardin Yasht , verses 97 and 126, several physicians have also been mentioned bearing the name ‘Saena’. In the Dinkard, a 10th century compendium of the Mazdaen Zoroastrian beliefs and customs, it is mentioned that there was a physician by the name of ‘Saena’ who was born 100 years after Zoroaster and who trained 100 students to be physicians, during his long life.

The Birth of a Hero by the First Caesarean Section

The Simurgh represented the union and served as a mediator and messenger between the Earth and the Sky. She lived in the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ and, when she took flight, her powerful ascent shook the tree’s branches so violently that the seeds from every plant that had ever existed, were scattered throughout the world, bringing a wealth of valuable plants to mankind.

FEZANA Reports on a Successful 31st Annual General Meeting

The 31st Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America was hosted by member association California Zoroastrian Center at their Dar-e-Mehr in Westminster California over 4 days.

Published on FEZANA website

Over 70 official participants formed part of a larger group of friends attended this annual event held over the last weekend of April every year.

This year’s event started with a series of programs on the Pre-AGM day Thursday April 26, 2018. A jashan ceremony organized by the North American Mobed Council and led by Ervad Zarrir Bhandara kickstarted the four day program. Ervad Bhandara was joined by other mobeds and mobedyars. This was followed by a detailed presentation on the functioning, challenges and future initiatives of the North American Mobed Council by its president Ardaviraf Minocherhomjee. In the afternoon an informative discussion was led by Dr. Dolly Dastoor and Ardeshir Irani on FEZANA’s participation in the upcoming Parliament of Worlds Religions in Toronto in November 2018. A second session was led by Rohinton Rivetna on Infrastructure needs in North America and what FEZANA and its member associations and Zarathushtis in North America can do to make some of the ideas come to fruition.

In the evening the entire group went out to Huntington Beach to see the sun set with a beautiful bonfire. The evening was planned out by Cyrus Irani and his team from the host CZC, and everyone had a memorable (and cold) time sharing stories and making memories.

The official AGM program began on Friday April 27th, 2018 with a benediction led by our Ervadsahebs. FEZANA President Homi D. Gandhi called the meeting to order and welcomed all the participants.

In a short presentation, FEZANA remembered three of its stalwarts Dhunmai Dalal, Professor Kaikhosrov D. Irani and Dr. Farhang Mehr who passed away in the last year. The contributions of these three individuals in the formation of FEZANA and their continued guidance over the last three decades was celebrated.

Homi D. Gandhi gave his Presidential address where he laid out the work done by FEZANA and its members, committee chairs and executives over the past year. He also addressed some of the success stories and asked those present to help brainstorm some of the issues we all need to address in the days months and years to come. FEZANA Vice-President Arzan Sam Wadia, Secretary Percy M. Master and FEZANA Administrator Zenobia Damania all spoke about their activities in the past year and action items for the year ahead.

Results of the elections were announced. FEZANA is happy to announce the re-election of Homi Gandhi as President for his second two year term. FEZANA also welcomed Rooky Fitter of Zoroastrian Association of California-Los Angeles as the new FEZANA Treasurer.

Homi Gandhi also thanked past FEZANA Treasurer Shirin Jahanian and past Assistant Secretary Afreed Mistry who stepped down at the end of their respective terms.

FEZANA conducts its activities through a series of Standing and Ad-hoc committees. This year we are happy to announce that the FEZANA UN-NGO committee was voted to become a Standing Committee at FEZANA.

All FEZANA committees presented the work they did right through the year in a series of presentations and annual reports. This allowed for a review of the activities of FEZANA and provided the committee chairs and member associations to find potentials to collaborate on projects that are mutual in intent.

Evening celebrations were organized by the Zoroastrian Association of California, Los Angeles at their new center in Orange, California. A humbandagi at their new Atash Kadeh began the evening festivities. The ZAC-LA kids and toddlers put up a beautiful entertainment program and ZAC-LA members Shazneen Gandhi and Gulshan Pagdiwala gave a sneak peak of their upcoming children’s book Hello World. The evening ended with an amazing spread of food enjoyed by all.

Saturday April 28, 2018; the second day of the AGM began with a benediction. This was followed by a video presentation FEZANA had made at the last Iranshah Udvada Utsav. Titled “Zarathushtis in North America: A FEZANA Perspective” it showcases the work of FEZANA in the recent past.

FEZANA and its member association CZC will also be the hosts of the 7th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress in July 2019. The Executive committee of the 7WZYC2019 made a detailed presentation at the AGM. Periodic updates on the Congress can be found on their website and Facebook page.

FEZANA AGMs are a place where member associations present their activities from the past year and this time was no different. Associations shared success stories and innovative ideas, programs and asked their fellow members for suggestions to unique problems.

The afternoon session put Hamazori in practise as various presentations were held by organizations that FEZANA works and partners with all the time. The youth participants of the Zoroastrian Return To Roots (RTR) program spoke about their recent trip to India in December 2017. The World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce President Edul Daver spoke about the new initiatives WZCC has put in place and outlined areas where they are collaborating and working with FEZANA and its member associations. The North American Mobed Council President Ardaviraf Minocherhomjee spoke about the work done by NAMC and an interesting discussion on the role and future of mobeds in North America followed. FEZANA Vice President Arzan Sam Wadia was a participant at the recently concluded 1st World Zoroastrian Youth Leaders Forum at the ASHA Center in United Kingdom and presented an update of that Forum and the upcoming initiatives by the attendees at the WZYLF.

Bids had been invited for hosting FEZANA’s 32nd AGM in 2019 and FEZANA Corresponding Member Central Florida Group was selected as the host of the next AGM. This is the second time that this small group within FEZANA is hosting an AGM. However in what will be a first of its kind, they will also host the WZCC Global AGM around the FEZANA AGM. Tentative dates for WZCC Global AGM and FEZANA’s 32nd AGM are early May 2019. The WZCC AGM will be over Wednesday and Thursday May 1-2, 2019. The FEZANA AGM will then begin on Friday May 3 to Sunday May 5th, with the WZCC Awards Gala Night on Saturday May 4th. The event will be held in Orlando Florida. More details on this in the weeks to follow.

Funds and Finance committee Co-Chair Ratan Mistry went over the new Budgeting procedures implemented last year for all the committee co-chairs.

The hosts California Zoroastrian Center hosted the FEZANA AGM Gala that evening at the Westminster Dar-E-Mehr. It was a beautifully organized Gala with a fantastic entertainment program that included youth Mehraban Mehin playing the Piano, Danesh Bhandara solo danced to Bollywood music, Bestoon sung some amazing Persian and English songs. The show stopper was an event compered by Meher Amalsad that saw Karate 5th degree black belt Shihan Ervad Zarrir Bhandara and Karate 1st Degree black belt perform some amazing stunts showcasing mental and physical prowess including a motorcycle plank ride over Shihan Bhandara’s abdomen !

Arman Ariane the President of the Board of Trustees of CZC felicitated Daryoush Irani and Benham Abadian for their contributions to CZC over the decades. The evening ended with a fantastic spread of Persian food and dancing.

Sunday April 29th was the last day of the AGM. After the morning benediction, Meherji Madon gave an update on the movie On Wings of Fire that has currently been restored to digital specs.

FEZANA past presidents Katayun Kapadia and Rohinton Rivetna addressed the AGM and spoke about what they have been doing since their terms ended and the initiatives they want to continue to see succeed in the years to come at both the FEZANA and the member association levels.

Since 2017, FEZANA Executive has introduced the FEZANA Open Forum which is a free-for-all discussion on a variety of topics that participants want to speak about. This has been a very valuable initiative where all the official participants and those in the audience get to express their thoughts on some of the topics discussed at the AGM and others that they would like to bring up to FEZANA.

The AGM concluded with the Closing remarks by President Homi D. Gandhi who touched upon the discussions at the AGM and FEZANA’s and his own vision for the year(s) ahead.

The post AGM session saw all of the participants drive to CZC’s Valley Dar-e-Mehr in Canoga Park to participate in the WZCC Southern Californai Chapter’s meeting. The CZC’s LA Valley Dar-e-Mehr was recently renovated with a beautiful facade restoration and everyone got an opportunity to visit this center.

WZCC Southern California Chapter event started with a video call with Danny Khursigara, the award winning author and banking professional from Hong Kong who did a Q & A with chapter Chair Kavasji Dadachanji. This was followed by an inspiring talk by Arman Ariane, who spoke about his journey and business initiatives. The keynote talk was given by Edul Daver, the Global Chairman of WZCC who spoke about his business journey with Acupowder.

A hearty Persian buffet followed the talk as participants started bidding goodbye’s with promises to meet up in a year in Orlando.

No event of this size can be successful without the countless hours of volunteer work that is put in by dozens of volunteers. The team at CZC aided by ZAC-LA completely outdid themselves in producing a truly memorable AGM with fantastic events, entertainment and great hospitality.

Courtesy : Arzan Wadia – Parsi Khabar



A hat-trick from Dilshad Daruvala

Hello Humdeens
Many of you will remember the Parsi Panja of Dilshad Rayomand Daruvala as she participated and won in the past two years at the All Zoroastrian Arm Wrestling Competition at the Parsee Gymkhana at Marine Drive.
1. On Sunday, November 20, 2016: 
    Dilshad arm-wrestled three contestants before she won the the Gold Medal that many of us saw. 
    She won the Medal in the Over 40 Ladies category. 
2. Then, on Sunday, November 19, 2017: 
    Dilshad arm-wrestled her way to retain her title and won an easy gold medal as an individual. 
    Besides, she was part of a team that scored the highest points and received a cash-prize at the 
    All Zoroastrian Arm Wrestling Competition at the Parsee Gymkhana at Marine Drive.
3. Now, last Tuesday, May 1, 2018:
    Dilshad called me from Nagpur, where she lives with her advocate husband and two lovely little 
    daughters, and where she had recently participated in the 31st State Arm-Wresting Champion-
    ship organised by the Nagpur District Arm-Wrestling Association.
      She has sent the following two attachments with this brief little WA message:
     Stood Second and am selected for the national level arm-wrestling championship to be 
     held at Lucknow
Congratulations Dilshad. What a hat-trick! 
Great seeing your medal and your certificate in the attachment.
May you have many more such victories !!! 
P.S. Dilshad can be seen seen arm-wrestling at 3:47; (she is in a yellow dress) in the attached 2016 YouTube video clip:

ZFN Webinar – Applying to Graduate School in the US

Thanks to all those who participated in the above Webinar. Special thanks to Farrokh Mistree and Janet Allen who lucidly explained the details lucidly. All participants greatly benefited and expressed satisfaction at the takeaways from the session.

For the benefit of all, here is the recording of the session

And here is the presentation – Click Here to View

Call For Participants at the United Nations

The FEZANA UN-NGO Committee is looking for participants to attend the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the UN Headquarters in New York from July 9-15, 2018.

The theme is, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.  The set of Sustainable Developmental Goals to be reviewed in depth are:

  • Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

For more information:

Individuals aged 16 and over who are interested in attending the conference, are requested to send their resume and letter of intent by May 18th, 2018.  Please send the e-mail to both individuals below:

Behram Pastakia (
Afreed Mistry (

While FEZANA, as an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]  and the  Department of Public Information (DPI), will facilitate registration to the Conference, the selected participants are expected to make their own financial arrrangements regarding visas, tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation in the city.  Details about the vision, mission and activities of the United Nations can be accessed at