Rustom Tirandaz, R.I.P.

Rustom Tirandaz, R.I.P.

The late Rustom Tirandaz, on the day he won the BPP election (October 2008), elated and determined to forge ahead…

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On Republic Day (January 26), when one was at the lovely, lively annual concert of the Activity High School at Peddar Road, vivaciously put together by Principal Perin Bagli and her talented young students, in the crowd there was a lovable lion-in-winter, with his snowy beard and benign smile, Rustom Tirandaz, enjoying the foot-tapping dances with wife Armaity.

The next morning (January 27), he was summoned to a destination so far away that we’ve lost him forever. Rustomji surely had no idea on that Monday evening that these were the last few hours of his life – and neither did we, because we put off the urge to walk across during intermission to say hello, keeping it for another time. Alas!    ……More

However, it was a fitting tribute to his spunk and indefatigable spirit that the end came swiftly and suddenly, with no suffering. And he went, quite literally, on his feet…

He was a good man, with much goodwill – which was amply demonstrated at the recent Parsi Punchayet elections, when his surprise victory was greeted with joy.

Being a politician, and a former Mumbai Corporator, he had the propensity to be able to work the crowd with much gusto at any public gathering. He could make fiery speeches at the drop of a hat, full of wit and bravado, endangered by his ability to repeatedly put his foot into his mouth! But his gregarious disposition, easy accessibility, and genuine enthusiasm to do his best for the community won him much admiration.

It is a huge loss to the BPP to be bereft of its Vice-Chairman. A fearless voice against the lobby that is furiously working to debilitate and dishonour the august Punchayet, poor Rustom Tirandaz had, in recent weeks, been bearing the brunt of their enormous ire. Yet every time they whimpered, he roared; and often when they simpered, he snored – too bored to be bothered!

Perhaps, he wasn’t always right in the manner in which he expressed himself. Perhaps, his no-holds-barred bluntness was a slap in the face of those too Machiavellian for the community’s good. However, he was not someone who would cause the community pain – for personal gain.

His death is not just sudden and untimely, but an irreversible blow to the community that had come to count upon as a friend in need. We needed him at this juncture, as a BPP veteran, to help Chairman Dinshaw Mehta steer the course through choppy waters. Our little boat has lost a mighty oarsman.

Let us pray for his family – his gentle wife, who has had to endure so much on account of his passion for public life and the consequences thereof, his children, his brother Diniar Tirandaz, and other family members and close friends, who will feel his absence like gaping void in the gut.

As for the rest of the Parsi and Zoroastrian Irani community, let us learn what we can from his life and continue his good work, diligently and determinedly, without fear or favour, but with ample fervour, in the best interests of the faith. May the person who eventually steps into his shoes at the BPP be attuned to his ethos of service before self – and be as impassioned a champion for the community, with the tenacity to hold firm against disruptive forces.

Rustomji, we’ll miss you. And if we flounder, do holler down at us from heaven…

Posted by Shernaaz Engineer, Mumbai, India Email: zfeatures@gmail. com at 5:27 AM

5 comments

  • I can’t believe it that i have lost Rustom Tirandaz. Words are too little to express for such a mammoth of a man. Our community has lost a great man who fought for justice and showed concern for the poor and down trodden, be it Zoroastrians or any community. My most hearfelt sympathies to Armaity and family.

  • We, the Zoroastrian community have lost a great person. Now I wonder who will be the next person to fight against the corrupt parsi Panchayat. Rustom, you laid down your life for the poor We will miss you .

  • Rustom uncle, words for him ….. Dont know what to say?
    Everyday even now, i dont believe it that he’s no more. If god says that he will take my life and return Rustom Uncle, i will readily accept that so that he can support all the parsi youth the way he has supported me.
    i guess i’m that only lucky parsi for who Rustom Uncle stood up and fearlessly signed the marriage document.
    even in the marriage court room, it was his enthusiasm and witty sense which really won the hearts of all the people around who’d come for a court marriage.
    i love you rustom uncle…
    miss you alot…
    miss your fearless speeches..

  • Rhinton A. Chothia

    The passing of Rustom Tirandaz has left a void that will never be filled. Having personally known Rustom for a number of years during my stay in India I can only describe him as not only a Prince among people in general but a Prince among Parsis in particular. Rustom was a noble soul who lived his religion and helped people in need without distinction or discrimination. His fearless approach to problems and rare sense of humour will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the Tirandaz family. Although the Zoroastrians have lost a man larger than life, heaven has gained an angel.

  • This is very up-to-date info. I think I’ll share it on Facebook.

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