Always standing tall – Sam Manekshaw


Express News Service Posted: Oct 28, 2009 at 0337 hrs

 Pune On Infantry Day on Tuesday Pune got a monument in honour of Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, near the Southern Command headquarters, which was inaugurated in the morning by Lt Gen Pradeep Khanna, Army Commander and General-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command.

More …Always standing tall_Sam Manekshaw

 Courtesy : Cyrus Bulsara

 

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Parsi Theatre


THEATRE MUSIC IN INDIA

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW:

Theatre tradition in Sanskrit was very rich & highly developed in ancient India. One more theatre tradition was there which was folk theatre tradition. Sanskrit Theatre tradition which was originated before Kalidas, developed rapidly up to 8th century. Thereafter emergence of outside forces restricted its growth up to beginning of 19th century. In all adverse conditions Folk Theatre kept alive its identity. Even in folk theatre two streams Ras Lila & Ram Lila was much popular & they contributed to development of modern theatre. For the pioneers of Modern Theatre like Vishnudas Bhave such traditions only were available for reference.


Parsi Theatrical Company


Mumbai Gujarati Natak Mandali

In 1840’s Vishnudas Bhave started Marathi Theatre. Before him king of Tanjore Bhonsle had written & staged few dramas which was basically inspired from ‘Jan Natak’ of that period & folk traditions like ‘Yaksha Gaan’ & ‘ Bhagvat Mela’. Within short period after that in 1850’s Parsis started Parsi Theatre in Bombay. Parsis were basically Gujarati. They started playing dramas in their Parsi language, which was typical form of Gujarati, language. In 1871 Dadi Patel staged first ever Urdu drama which was an Urdu translation of (Parsi) Gujarati drama ‘Suna Na Mul In Khurshed’ (Written by Edalji Khori, translated by Behramji F. Marzban).

Mulji A Oza

Around 1878 two brothers Mulji & Waghji Asharam Oza established ‘Morbi Arya Subodh Natak Mandali’ in Morbi (Saurashtra) & started Gujarati Theatre activity on full flagged. Thus all these three tradition are found distinct from each other at end of 19th century. However staging of Gujarati Dramas by Parsis & staging of Urdu – Hindi Dramas by Gujaratis are found up to 1930’s & even beyond that.Vaghji A Oza

Music of theatre is a unique feature of Indian culture. The main contribution of professional theatre which started in India in mid of 19th century is its music which was such significant that it is suppose to be given special identity as one more class of Indian musical tradition but it does not happened.

MUSIC OF PARSI / URDU THEATRE

Master Mohan

In the initial period (up to 1866 AD) music was not considered as a part of drama but was used to present at middle or end of drama in form of concert. Then after tradition of singing song in main stream of story came in to existence.

In Parsi theatre music one important type was of COMIC SONGS which was a unique feature significantly found in Parsi – Urdu & Gujarati theatre. Phirozshah Mistry, Sorabjee Dhondi, Master Mohan etc. were famous comic artists of that time. Their records were also cut in large numbers, which remained popular for a long time. Comic songs are also found in Urdu theatre.

Apart from Classical based songs & comic songs there were also some English songs or Western Music based songs. Many times such songs were comic songs.

GUJARATI THEATRE & ITS MUSIC

In beginning music of Gujarati Theatre was highly influenced by Parsi-Urdu Theatre. In this period overleaping and interactions of Parsi-Gujarati theatre was such an intense that it is very difficult to discriminate both. Attempts of incorporating classical music were done. However traditional folk music also find its way because the majority of viewers class belonged to rural population particularly in villages.

Courtesy : Phil Masters

Cawas Jehangirji Bardoliwalla


My father was born in Bombay and attended The Sir J.J.P.B Institution and was to be the highest amongst those who passed The Late Cawas Jehangirji Bardoliwalla BEng,DICThe S.S.C.Examination in 1953. He subsequently went on to achieve a 1st Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Bombays Technical Instute for Science and Technology. He was awarded a full honorary Scholarship from The ex-students Jubilee fund to further his studies at London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology during which time he worked alongside Professor D.B.Spalding CBE in the field of Heat Transfer and Rocket Combustion from 1958 to 1961 and was  later awarded The Prestigious DIC ( The Diploma of ‘ Membership’ of The Imperial College ). He later went on to become a Senior Architect at The World Most illustrious Car Giant Rolls Royce & Bentley Motors UK Ltd. Three months prior to his death he was due to be appointed Head of Aerospace ( Civil & Defence ) Archtectural Engineering and Design at Rolls Royce’s Aerospace Divisional HQ in Crew. Sadley he passed away due to heart failure in 1978 aged just 44 years. Deeply missed.

Your Sincerely

His Beloved Son

Neville Cawas Cyrus Bardoliwalla BSc (Hons), MCMI

Parsi Calendar – 21 March ?


The ‘Calendar Controversy’ is very old in the Zoroastrian religion. Up until 1129 CE, Zoroastrians in India intercalated an extra 30-day month to their 365-day calendar after every 120 years, thereby restoring parity with the Georgian calendar. This meant that, the Zoroastrian New Year began on 21st March after every 120 years. However, after 1129 CE, the said intercalation was abandoned.

This brought to an end the parity with the Georgian calendar that requires the typical solar year to comprise of 365 ¼ days. This also marked the beginning of the progressive ‘drag’ between the ‘True’ New Year Day that fell on 21st March and the ‘Apparent’ New Year Day that currently falls in March, July and August.

This also marked the formation of three distinct Zoroastrian calendars, viz: Shenshai, Kadmi and Fasli. The anomalies between the beliefs surrounding the three calendars have reached such absurd levels that the world-wide 200,000-strong Zoroastrian community celebrated three New Year Days for their current year 1379 AY (After Yazdegerd III) on 21-Mar-2009 (Fasli), 20-Jul-2009 (Kadmi) and

19-Aug-2009 (Shenshai).

That the True Zoroastrian New Year begins on the day when the Sun returns to the first degree of Aries in the month of Fravardin, has been established beyond doubt. This is the day of the Spring Equinox and always falls on 21st March.

Recently, I chanced upon an article dated 21-Mar-1963 written by Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala (13-Nov-1905 to 01-Aug-2001) wherein the author has quite convincingly propounded the case for a Unified Zoroastrian Dini Year that will un-failingly begin on 21st March of each year. Concurrently, I also chanced upon an obituary to Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala written by Roni K. Khan. The obituary reveals what an evolved soul Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala really was.

I have attached both articles hereto and wish that saner counsels prevail among all decision makers in this matter and that, worldwide, all Zoroastrians celebrate their New Year Day on 21st March every year.

Rohinton Kadva, Bangalore.

28-Oct-2009.

True Zoroastrian Year (Transcribed)

Saga of a Great Soul

THE ZOROASTRIAN CALENDAR

Unity of Zoroastrian Almanacs – An impossibility at present

Perpetual Zarthoshti Fasli Calendar

Just For Today!


  JUST FOR TODAY – FOR A PARSI

 

           Just for today, I will do a Kushti in each Gah, (except perhaps the Ushahen Gah), because I know that Sudreh Kushti draws a protective ring around me.

            Just for to-day, I will chant the prayers: Kushti, Sarosh Baj, Gah (Haavan, Rapithwan or Ujiran), Khorshed Niyaish, Meher Niyaish, Doa Nam Setayashney and Char Dishaano Namaskar, because I know that these prayers are compulsory and constitute food for my Ruvaan. “Haom Urvaaneym Yazmaidey” – “We attune ourselves with our own Ruvaan”.

            Just for today, I will go to an Agiari, do Kushti and Chant Sarosh Baj, Gah, Khorshed Meher Niyaish in the outer room, and then recite Atash Niyaish in the inner room before Atash Padshah followed by Doa Nam Setayashney, because I know that Atash is the Lord of all the divine energies of Ahura Mazda and the Lord of my Karma, my destiny.

            Just for today I will try to be a “Hutokhsh”, a servant of God, by knocking out all selfishness from me, and helping the helpless and the miserable, and serving the neglected, because I know that that is the way leading to Ahura.

            Just for today, I will erase all ego and hatred from me and try to love those who have maliciously harmed me, because I know that the dissolution of the ego, pride and hatred is the ultimate aim of the Ruvaan, which is imprisoned in my body.

            Just for today, I will not fall a prey to my enemies, anger, carnal passion, greed, pride, jealousy, attachment to worldly objects, hypocrisy and guarded dishonesty, because I know that they are serious obstacles to my spiritual progress, and that is why I ask Mazda for protection from them in the very first passage of the Prayer Kem-naa-Mazdaa which is the preamble to doing Kushti.

            Just for today, I will read some Khshnoom with fierce concentration and ponder and meditate on it, just for an hour.

            Just for today, I will fill up my heart with earnest devotion (“Vaham”) to my Paigamber Asho Zarathushtra and immerse it in Ushta, the bliss and ecstasy of Ahura, because I know that Vaham occurring in “Yasnaaicha, Vahammaaicha… .” and ‘Ushta’ occurring in Asheym Vohu ….are the beacons on the path to Ahura.

            Just for today, I will do all or any of these whatever I possibly can. Who knows they may stick to me each day of my Life! And who knows how long or short will be my life?

               (Parsi Pukar July-Aug.-Sep. 2001 – Vol. 7; No. 1)

 “Aevo pantaao yo Ashahay, veespay anyaeshaanm apantaanm”    There is only  one path, that of Righteousness (Ashoi); all others are non-paths.

Courtesy : Firdosh K Sukhia

Iranian Zarathushti describes how Parsis Saved them From Extinction in Iran


Friends,
             Most middle-aged and younger Iranian Zarathushtis do not know in their history about how Parsis of India saved their ancestors from extinction in Iran, so it is gratifying to see that an article written by an Iranian-American, Dr. Daryoush Jahanian, MD, has been included in the Summer 2009 issue No. 151 of the magazine CHEHREHNAMA, which is published by the California Zoroastrian Center (CZC) of Westminster, California. I have personally met and discussed community issues with Dr. Jahanian two years ago in Kansas City and have a lot of respect for him.
 
Many middle-aged Iranian Zarathushtis have wrong beliefs about Parsis, such as, that they abandoned Iran to live a better life in India, or that they became Hindus during their stay in India, etc., and some tend to look down on Parsis as a result.   They are unaware of how Parsis sacrificed their homes and assets in Iran and faced unknown dangers in a foreign land, travelling the stormy seas in simple, rickety sailing ships, and overcame centuries of hardships to settle down among people of different cultures, in order to preserve their religion from being wiped out. 
 
And many Iranian Zarathushtis also do not know about how Parsis of India have freely (at no charge for maintenance, etc.) opened their homes, temples, charities and subsidized housing in colonies in India, to Zarathushtis migrating from Iran over the centuries. So we have to thank CZC officials, editor of Chehrehnama and Dr. Daryoush Jahanian for educating readers and promoting mutual respect and unity between the Parsi and Irani communities in North America. 
 
The article is titled “The History of Zoroastrians After Arab Invasion Part II” and it can be accessed online at the website www.czcjournal. org. Following are relevant excerpts from that article for your information:
 
Regards,
Maneck Bhujwala
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Afarganyu from Holy Names


Ahura Mazda

Sant Dasturji Jamshedji Sorabji Kukadaru Saheb

Dastur Azar Kaiwan Bin Azar Gushasp Saheb

Tehemurasp Div Band Padshah Saheb

Spitaman Asho Zarathustra Saheb

Shah Kay Lohrasp Padshah Saheb

Shah Kaikhashroo Padshah Saheb

Shah Jamsheed Padshah Saheb

Mushkil Aasan Behram Yazad

Asho Farohar Saheb

Sraoshavarej Saheb

Ervad Nadarshah Navroji Aibara Saheb

Shah Afshune Shahe Faridoon Padshah Saheb

Click here to download – Afarganyu of holy names