Monthly Archives: April 2010

Navjote – Some Useful Tips


By late Mrs. Shehnaz N. Munshi

A child, of Zoroastrian parentage is initiated into the faith after he or she completes six years of age. Some perform the initiation ceremony at the age of 9 years, and in the case of boys, in exceptional circumstances the ceremony can be performed even at the age of eleven. In Iran the traditional age for initiation was 15 years. The child should be at an age where he or she understands the importance of the ceremony and can learn the prayers by heart. However, it is incumbent that the ceremony is done before the child reaches puberty.

This very important Zoroastrian ceremony of initiation is called the Navjote (Nav= new; jote= initiate), when the new initiate is taken into the faith through the investiture of the sacred sudreh and kushti.


Yatha Ahu Vairyo; AshemVohu;-Kem Na Mazda; Ahura Mazda Khodae; Jasa me avanghe Mazda; Nirang I Gaomez (ie Shikasteh Shikasteh Shaetan); Sarosh Baj; Ahmai Raeshcha; Hazangrem; Jasa Me Avanghe Mazda; Kerfeh Mozd; Diva No Namaskar; Doa Tandarosti; Din ­no Kalmo

In the past, the child was also made to learn the Patet Pashemani, but sadly this does not happen any more. It would be very beneficial if the child is also made to learn the two short, but very important Zoroastrian prayers, viz. The A Airyema Ishyo and the Yenghe Hatam. Apart from making the child recite these prayers, it is also important that the child practises the tying and the untying of the kushtiwith a piece of cord, long enough to go thrice around the waist. Read more

Coaching Class Assistance by BPP



Parsi / Zoroastrian students who are attending Private Coaching Classes or taking special Private Tuitions for selected subjects for better results in the SSC/ICSE/NOS/CBSE of March 2011 would be eligible for a part reimbursement of the fees, based on economic criteria from the Bombay Parsi Punchayet as Coaching Class assistance.

Parents of those students who are interested, should send applications latest by May 28, 2010 to :

Mr. C. S. Panthaki

Senior Executive (Welfare) Bombay Parsi Punchayet

209, Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001.

Along with Xerox copies of: .

  1. 8th & 9th Standard’s results of the student.
  2. Latest Income Tax Returns I Salary certificate of the earning family members (Husband & Wife).
  3. No. of total family mer;nbers.
  4. Rent – Receipt.

5a. Coaching Class fee receipt OR

5b. Pvt. Tuition fees receipt preferable on Tutors letterheads with complete address with phone

numbers OR

5c. A simple receipt from Tutors on plane paper mentioning their complete address with phone numbers.

Incomplete applications without proper enclosures would not be considered.

Vacancies at BJPC


33, Maharshi Karve Marg, Opp. Chami Road Railway Station, Mumbai – 400 004.
1. Principal 01 01-0PEN
2. Lecturer Commerce 01 01-0PEN
3. Lecturer Accountancy 01 01-0PEN
4. Librarian 01 01-0PEN
5. Lectu rer Maths & Stats (P.T.) 01 01-0PEN
6. Lecturer Economics (ET.) 01′ 01-0PEN
7. Lecturer Computer ProQ. (P.T.) 01 01-0PEN
8. Lecturer B. Law (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN
9. Lecturer ‘B. C. (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN
10. Lecturer EC. (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN

The above posts are open to all; however candidates from any category can apply for the post.
Reservation for women and disabled persons will be as per rule. Candidates having knowledge of Marathi will be preferred.

For the post of Principal ten years approved teaching experience at under graduate / postgraduate level for Reader grade and 15 years Professor grade plus Ph.D or equivalent published work. However a person who is already working as Principal in any college and whose appointment has been approved by the University as per the qualification and eligibility conditions prescribed for the post of Principal prior to 04.04.2000 can also be considered eligible for the post of Principal. The selected candidate shall be provided with rent-free accommodation or HRA as admissible.

For the post of lecturer and librarian NET/SET shall remain minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of lecturer in University / Colleges/ Institutions.

Provided, however, that candidates who are or have been awarded Ph.D degree in compliance of the University Grants Commission (Minimum standards and procedure for award of Ph.D. degree), regulation, 2009 shall be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SET for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent position in Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions.

Applicants who are already employed must send their application through proper channel. Applicants are required to account for breaks, if any in their academic career. The details of the qualification pay-scale & allowance will be supplied on request from applicants.

Application with full details should reach the Trustee, 33, Maharshi Karve Marg, Opp.Charni Road Railway Station, Mumbai – 400 004 within 15 days from the date of publication of this advertisement.



Gift and Loan Scholarship for 2010-2011


Applications are invited from Zoroastrian Parsi / Irani Students for award of Gift and Loan Scholarship for the Academic Year 2010-2011 for Post~Graduate Studies Abroad as well as in India, for the Fall 2010 or Spring 2011 Semesters in all disciplines and subjects preferably Engineering, Technology, Science, Medicine, Management, Commercial and Education Courses. Candidates must be a Graduate of a recognized Indian University with a consistently good Academic Record.

Students in the Final Year of Degree course and awaiting results and / or admission / offer Letters from Foreign Universities are eligible to apply. However, the sanctioned Scholarship will be subject to their passing the Final Degree Examination and securing admission.

Prescribed Application Forms are available at Committee’s Office at Bombay Parsi Punchayet, 209, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001 effective April, 2010. The completed Application Forms should be submitted at the Office ofthe Committee not later than May 7,2010.


Totem Pole, Ottawa — Also a Salute to Parsis

Totem Pole, ByWard Market, Ottawa ——ALSO A SALUTE TO ALL PARSIS

Look at the top of the Totem pole. It is the Farohar which we  wear round our neck or place in our homes

Click for more…Totem Pole at the Byward Market




(An extract from a leading Indian publication)

No Indian community internalized the civilizing mission of the
British as did the Parsis.

Only 50,000 remain in Bombay today, mainly in South Bombay, the most disciplined and cultured part of India


In South Bombay, the cutting of lanes by drivers is punished,  jumping a red light is impossible, parking is possible only in allotted areas, roads are clean, service is efficient, the restaurants are unmatched – civilization seems within reach. South Bombay has some of the finest buildings in India

, many of them built by Parsis.

The Parsis came to Bombay after Surat ‘s port silted over in the 17th century. Gerald Aungier settled Bombay and gave Parsis land for their Tower of Silence on Malabar Hill in 1672.

The Parsis made millions through the early and mid-1800s and they spent much of it on public good.

The Parsis understood that philanthropy – love of  mankind -recognizes that we cannot progress alone.  That there is such a thing as the common good. They spent as no Indian community had ever before, on building  institutions, making them stand out in a culture whose talent lies in renaming things other people built.The Parsis built libraries all over India , they built the National Gallery of Art.

The Indian Institute of Science was built in 1911 by Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the Tata Institute of  Fundamental Research was built by Dr Homi Bhabha, the Tata Institute of Social Science was built in 1936 by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.

The Wadias built hospitals, women’s colleges and the five great low-income Parsi colonies of Bombay .

JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College were founded by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.

By 1924, two out of five Indians – whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsi – joining the Indian Civil Services were on TATA scholarships.

They gave Bombay the Jehangir Art Gallery, Sir JJ School of Art, the Taraporevala Aquarium.

The National Center for Performing Arts, the only place in India where world-class classical concerts are held is a gift of the Tatas.

There are 161 Friends of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) – 92 of them are Parsi. For an annual fee of Rs 10,000, Friends of the SOI

get two tickets to any one recital in the season, they get to shake hands with artistes after the concert and they get to attend music appreciation talks through the year.

The  Parsi dominates high culture in Bombay are always full in halls and this means that a concert experience in the city is unlike that in any other part of India . Classical concerts seat as many as two thousand.

Zubin Mehta, the most famous Parsi in the world, is director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  since 1969. He conducts the tenor Placido Domingo, the pianist Daniel Barenboim and the soprano Barbara Frittoli. Four concerts are held at the  Jamshed Bhabha Opera House and then one at Brabourne Stadium with a capacity of 25,000.

No other city in India has this appetite for classical music and in Bombay

this comes from the Parsi. Despite their tiny population, the Parsi presence in a concert hall is above 50 per cent. And they all come. Gorgeous Parsi girls in formal clothes – saris, gowns -children, men and the old. Many have to be helped to their seats. Most of them know the music.

The people who clap between movements, thinking that the ‘song’ is over, are non-Parsis. Symphony Orchestra of India concerts begin at 7 pm. Once the musicians start,  latecomers must wait outside till the movement ends.

The end of each movement also signals a fusillade of coughs and groans, held back by doddering Parsis too polite to make a sound while Mendelssohn is being played. No mobile phone ever goes off as is common in  cinema halls: his neighbors are aware of the Parsi’s insistence of form and his temper.

The Parsis were also pioneers of Bombay ‘s Gujarati theatre, which remains the most popular form of live entertainment in Bombay

. Any week of the year will see at least a half dozen bedroom comedies, murder mysteries, love stories and plays on assorted themes on stage.

The Parsis were the pioneers of this, writing and acting in the first plays of Bombay. They also built the institutions that supported  this.. Bombay

‘s first theatre was opened by Parsis in 1846, the Grant Road Theatre, donations from Jamshetjee Jejeebhoy and Framjee Cowasjee making it possible.

The  Parsi in Bollywood caricature is a comic figure, but always honest, and innocent as Indians believe Parsis generally to be, rightly or wrongly.

In the days before modern cars came to India the words ‘Parsi-owned’ were guaranteed to ensure that a second-hand car  listed for sale would get picked up ahead of any others. This is because people are aware of how carefully the Parsi keeps his things. His understanding and enthusiasm of the mechanical separates him from the rest. Most of  the automobile magazines in India

are owned and edited by  Parsis.

The Parsis are a dying community and this means that more Parsis die each year than are born (Symphony concert-goers can also discern the disappearing Parsi from the rising numbers of those who clap between movements).

As the Parsis leave, South Bombay will become like the rest of Bombay

– brutish, undisciplined and filthy. The British left when they had to, but they left some of their civilisation behind and the best of it remains in the possession of this great Indian community, the Parsis!

Preserve this race…..You are privileged if you have a Parsi Bawa as your friend…He/She is indeed a “Heritage” to be treasured for ever.


Courtesy : Jimmy Mehta

Holiday Program for Youth (HPY)

“Striving for Excellence”

24th Holiday Programme for Youth – 2010 invites Parsi Irani Students who have appeared for their S.S.C., I.C.S.E.; C.B.S.E. Exams in March 2010 to enroll as Participants for a Vocational-cum-Educational-cum ­Leadership Training Programme, full of fun and learning, specifically designed to suit their needs.

The duration of the programme is from Sunday 2nd May 2010 to Sunday 30th May 2010 will be held at The B. J. P. C. Institution, 33, M. Karve Marg, Opp. Charni Road Rly. Station, Mumbai 400 004.

Registration Forms are available on any working day between 10.45 a.m. & 1.00 p.m. and 2.45 p.m. & 5.30 p.m. with-

Mrs. Bakhtavar P. Dastur Assistant Executive,

Bombay Parsi Punchayet Office,

209, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, MUMBAI 400 001.

Kindly register before 23rd April 2010.

Click Here to visit the website

Katy Dalal

Obituary: Dr (Mrs) Katy F Dalal In Memoriam
My first glimpse of Katy Dalal was when I just joined the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute (KRCOI) as Jt. Hon. Secretary. She was on the mezzanine floor of the library hidden behind a mound of books, peeping out at me with her plump, smiling, rosy yet dignified face. That was the beginning of our friendship in 1982 which grew stronger over the years.

An archaeologist is how I first knew her as she was a regular research scholar at the KRCOI library. Katy obtained a PhD in Archaeology from Poona University in 1972, her subject being “Pre-historic Pottery Industries along the ‘Lost’ Saraswati River of the Great Indian Desert”. She went on to publish several Research Papers including one on Sothi and Malva ware cultures – both pre-Harappan.

As a speaker par excellence she was often on the platform of the KRCOI. She also participated in the Institute’s International Congresses as well as the National Congress on “Ferdowsi and his Shahnameh”. Her pet topic however was Alexander the Macedonian – a topic she was researching till the very end.

Whatever Katy did, it was with passion and excellence as was her catering. She was always the KRCOI caterer where her generosity spilled over. In fact, to those who had been kind to her family and those who were deprived and needy, Katy silently sent food to them regularly and totally free of cost. For her, catering was much more than just a business.

The Community best knew Katy as a caterer and hence I shall dwell more on this area. It is said, that behind every successful man is a woman, but for Katy, her husband Feroze and her children Kurush, Darius and Freny stood shoulder to shoulder with her and shared in her culinary activities. In fact, it was Feroze who first introduced Katy to diverse culinary delights. Her catering activities culminated with her publishing six cookery books.

The first book brought out in 1998 was “Jamva Chaloji – Parsi Delicacies for all Occasions”. This book, dedicated to her grandmother, was sold out within 6 to 7 months of its release. These words “Jamva Chaloji” brings to my mind the man who in the 1950s and 60s used to always announce at Albless Baug in a booming voice heralding the guests to dinner, “Jamva Chaloji – Thank you for your kindly kindness”. This may not be correct English, but there was a graciousness about it and everyone waited for this announcement before proceeding to dinner. These small courtesies are missing in our crowded and stressed lives today.

“Jamva Chaloji” – book Two consisted of recipes which today are not as commonly made as they were 50 years ago. It was a revival of long forgotten tasty dishes which your grand and even great grandparents enjoyed which were reproduced to tickle our palate, such as: ‘Papau-ma-gos’ & ‘Gor-amli-na-ras-ma-patra ni macchi’. Katy’s advice was: Don’t do everything cook books tell you, pander to your palate, for it is only by experimenting on existing recipes that new ones are made.

Following “Jamva Chaloji” – books One & Two, were Vitality Cook Book, Delicious Encounters, Pulaos and Biryanis, and Seafood Fiesta. Seafood Fiesta published by Vakils, Feffer and Simons Pvt. Ltd. contains recipes of such vast varieties of fish. This book contains recipes from Maharashtra, Karwar, Goa, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Bengal, Kashmir and even France, Italy, Spain and Morocco!

Katy saw to it that along with her recipes our general knowledge was increased. As a result of painstaking research, this book informs us of the nutritive value and health benefits of a fish diet and its use in Pharmaceuticals and other industries. E.g. Did you know that Napoleon Bonaparte first realized there was a great need to preserve food and that sardine was the first fish to be preserved in Oil and Tomato Sauce? Did you know that Squid and Octopus have the largest brain of any invertebrates? Did you know that ‘Fish is brain food’ and ‘Sea food is heart food?

Katy came from a family of good cooks and we found similarities between her relatives and mine. Her paternal grandmother and mine, shared the same first name – Cooverbai, both widowed while young. Katy’s Cooverbai as mentioned in “Jamva Chaloji” had a sister-in-law named Meherbai who was not only a good cook but the uncrowned Queen of Rawalpindi. She had given orders to the Victoriawallas that any Parsi alighting at the station was to be brought home at her expense. My Cooverbai’s sister, also called Meherbai (my maternal grandmother) was also a good cook whose orders were that all Parsis who came to her Central Hotel at Darjeeling stayed free and had free meals. These are not lone incidents to Katy’s family and mine. This is what the Parsis in the past were all about – courtesy, graciousness and generosity in the extreme. This forgotten world of graciousness is somehow brought home to us from time to time in Katy’s books. In her 3rd book “Delicious Encounters” published in 1999, a section is devoted to “An English Tea in your Rose Garden” – One is transported back to those sleepy, lovely, leisurely days under a sun umbrella with the aroma of flowers and luscious cakes, pies etc. In fact, you can travel the world and taste the choicest tea menus through Katy’s book by sitting in her Rose Garden. One just has to open that garden gate!

“Pulaos & Biryanis – A Tribute to Indian Cuisine”, takes you down “History” Lane – if I may coin this word – and through Moghul Courts where cooking became an art as did its presentation with flower petals, essences, wispy sheets of beaten silver and gold and gorgeous displays of roasted peacocks with their feathers decorating the salvers. One is transported to the courts of Lucknow, Awadh and Hyderabad where chefs vied with each other to produce original recipes. From Awadh comes the story of a live bird flying out from a fried puri and one is reminded of the song ‘Sing a song of six pence a pocket full of rye, four and twenty black birds baked in a pie …”. The influences on Hyderabadi food of the Arabs, Egyptians, Europeans and Negroes who formed a part of the Nizam’s security guard are stated while taking us further down “History Lane” and we are enlightened about Moghlai cuisine, Kashmiri, Konkan, Parsi, Punjabi, Bengali, Coorji, Keralite and Karnataka foods.

Katy kept smiling through her last years of illness and pain even as her generosity increased as did my bond with her.

Last year the Red Cross Funds Sub-Committee; a Committee of which she was a member since 1997, (and where her largesse was also felt both through funds and delicious snacks), had organized a medical camp in Khandala. Kurush did the catering and I mentioned to him at lunch that I wished to visit Katy and Feroze at their home in Lonavala. He informed me that they were on their way to visit me bearing gifts as usual. We had a happy get-together after which they insisted I go to their home in Lonavala for tea. It was as if I was transported back through her cookery book into a lovery quiet cottage in a cul-de-sac with a rose garden. As Feroze prepared the typical English Tea, Katy sat in “her” chair surrounded by a mound of books, just as I had first seen her at KRCOI. She was working on Alexander the Great! I had a strange feeling of going back in time. Hospitality, calm content and happiness seemed to be exuded in this home with a rose garden. I was plied with more gifts of jams, pickles and fruits as I got up to leave. Katy and Feroze stood waving at the gate as our car slowly went out of sight. That is how I always remember her, even though I later met her in hospital and we had several talks over the phone.

I would like to end on the note: “Thank you Katy for your friendship and your abundant generosity, of which I was so often a recipient.” To all those whose lives she touched with her love and generosity, I just wish to say, that the best way to keep her memory alive is to remember: If you have had a kindness shown, pass it on.

Homai N. Modi

Trustee & Jt. Hon. Secretary

K R Cama Oriental Institute

to mourn the death of

Dr (Mrs) Katy F Dalal

Convened by:

The K R Cama Oriental Institute,

The Bombay Parsee Association


The Rahnumae Mazdayasnan Sabha

will be held at 6.15 pm

on Thursday, 8th April 2010

at Dr Sir Jivanji J Modi Memorial Hall of

The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute

136, Bombay Samachar Marg

Opp. Lion Gate, Fort

Bombay 400001

Members of the public are invited to the condolence meeting

Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney