Bomi Bhote

Mr Bomi Bhote , of Grant Medical Foundation , receiving the Presidents award for Medical Tourism. Congrats Bomi !


Zarathushtis in the news

Following are tid-bits about Zarathushtis appearing in news media:
1)  Ronnie (Rohinton) Screwvala to become Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company India          
English: Ronnie Screwvala at the Life in a... ...
     Excerpts from  India West     by R.M.Vijayakar

The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will acquire, through a subsidiary, a controlling interest in UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies.

The acquisition will be completed through a successful delisting offer and will enable Disney to integrate UTV’s current operations. In addition, UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala has been named managing director of The Walt Disney Company India and will report to Walt Disney International Chairman Andy Bird……………..

UTV is a leading TV producer in India with distribution in 20 countries in seven languages and across 27 channels. It operates six channels………………….”

2) Shehnaz M. Bhujwala elected to Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of California

INDIA WEST   (11/11/11)     


“Attorney Named to CAOC Board

Shehnaz M. Bhujwala, an attorney at the Beverly Hills, Calif. based law firm of Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP, has been elected to the board of governors of Consumer Attorneys of California. The daughter of Maneck and Mahrukh Bhujwala of Southern California, she has a BA. from UCLA and a J.D. from USC. CAOC’s mission is to preserve the constitutional right of trial by jury for consumers and champion “the cause of those who deserve redress for injury to person or property.” ”

3) Sohrab Kalkalia to become Chief Sales & Commercial Officer for Sonata Software



“Bangalore-based Sonata Software has named Sohrab Kalkalia chief sales and commercial officer. Based in Fremont, Calif., he led the technology consulting practice at Infosys and was an engineer at PSI Data Systems. Kalkalia has a B.Tech. in computer science from Mumbai University.”

4) Sanam Rastegar gets Prudential Spirit of Community Award for 2012

INDIA WEST  (2/17/12)    

“Six South Asian American students were among 102 state honorees selected for the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards that recognizes middle and high school students across the nation for their volunteer efforts…………….

Connecticut: Sanam Rastegar, 17, senior at Hopkins School. She is credited for raising more than $100,000 for children with diseases, as part of an annual jump-roping fundraiser at her school, which she spearheaded……. 


Courtesy : Maneck Bhujwala


Scholarships for Indian Students

INLAKS SCHOLARSHIP ( The Inlaks Foundation funds up to 15 scholars every year for post-graduate pro-grammes at reputable universities Last date to apply: April 15
JN TATA ENDOWMENT FUND SCHOLARSHIPS ( Scholarships are open for students interested in post-graduate studies abroad in any discipline Last date to apply: March 5
KC MAHINDRA TRUST LOAN SCHOLARSHIPS ( Last date to apply: Not available Interest-free loan scholarships are available for various subjects
HSBC-CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIP ( Three scholarships are offered to students who have got admission for masters courses at UK Universities. Last Date to apply : February 28
GOA EDUCATION TRUST SCHOLARSHIPS ( Last date to apply: May 15.  Students with admission to masters courses in the UK born of Goan parents or with Goan domicile are eligible
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE SOCIETY OF INDIA SCHOLARSHIPS ( Last date to apply: April 30 Scholarships of different amounts are available to stu-dents who have got admis-sion for masters courses at Oxford or Cambridge
TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TOEFL) SCHOLARSHIPS ( Last date to apply: April 13 Scholarships of different amounts available for graduate and undergraduate programmes at universities abroad
INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM SCHOLARSHIPS (  Last date to apply: July 29 Applicants will have to have taken the IELTS
ERASMUS MUNDUS SCHOLARSHIPS- ( es_en.php) Multiple scholarships for universities across Europe with applicants being able to choose from 131 different masters’ programmes and 34 doctoral programmes
FELIX SCHOLARSHIP ( Closed for 2012 Felix Scholarships are awarded to students who have got admission to masters cours-es at the Universities of Oxford or Reading or the School of Oriental and African Studies


RHODES SCHOLARSHIP ( Closed for 2012


Looking for her roots


My name is Franziska Lalan Merkel and I am from Konstanz, Germany. I am trying to find out more about my Indian Parsi background. I was born in Bombay on December 14th, 1981 and then given to Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram, Matunga the next day, on 15th of Dec 1981. Not much is known about my biological parents. From the beginning I bear the name Lalan which might as well have been given to me by the sisters in the children’s home or by my birth mother. Four weeks later, on January 15th, 1982 I left to Germany together with my adoptive parents. With them I grew up in the most loving family imaginable. And still I feel very much connected to my Indian roots and my natural parents who should be in all probability from Parsi community as confirmed by the lawyer involved in the adoption court case. I have just finished my PhD in cross-cultural psychology. I am currently in India for a short while and I would be very glad about any hint to trace my origin…

If you know anything about my family of origin please contact me at:         

Thanks in advance for your help.

ZAPANJ – Walk & Run

Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (ZAPANJ)

Dear ZAPANJ Members,ZAPANJ is participating in the Red Cross Walk & Run to Save Lives on Saturday, April 21, 2012 in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Please join our team – the more people the merrier – and the better for the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania! Our goal is to raise as much money as we can for this cause.

Think about the ways that the Red Cross has impacted our community. The money we raise will go to help those in need. We need your support, so please do anything you can, join the ZAPANJ team, register as an individual or make a donation to on our behalf.

To join the team, visit and click on “Step Up”, “Join/search for a Team” and enter ZAPANJ (case-sensitive).

If you are unable to walk/run with us, but would like to send your support, visit and click “Donate”, “Support a Participant” and enter my name (Darayus Kermani).

Thank you so much for all of your support and I look forward to seeing you at the Walk and Run!

Thank You,

Darayus Kermani

Kurds Open Zoroastrian Temple in Sweden

The first Kurdish Zoroastrian temple, Agri Temple or “Temple of Fire,” will open its doors for believers of the faith on the Kurdish New Year, Newroz.

The center is located north of the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

Inside the temple, there is the holy fire and paintings of Zoroaster and Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian god. Texts from the Avesta, the holy book written in Kurdish, and a Kurdish flag warm up the heart of the temple.

Holding the Avesta against his chest and standing by the fire, Andaz Hawezi, the administrator of the temple and representative of the Kurdish Zoroastrian community in Sweden, said that on Newroz the temple will open its doors and welcome anyone interested in becoming a Zoroastrian, as long as they practice the main pillars of the faith — “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.”

Hawezi believes that building a temple is the completion of human body because that is where the believers would meet their god Ahuramazda.

Click Here for the full story with pics

The Edalji Five

Roger Oldfield, ‘Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes’ (Vanguard Press)


I would be very grateful if you could advise me on how to contact any Parsis who might be interested in this book.  A major ingredient is a biography of Shapurji Edalji, who was brought up a Parsi in Mumbai.  I appreciate that many will be saddened rather than impressed by the fact that he converted to Christianity and eventually became probably the first person from South Asia to serve as Vicar of a Church of England parish in England, but I hope that some will still want to know more about this notable figure born into the Parsi community.


His name became famous when his son George, born in Staffordshire in England, was imprisoned in 1903 for ripping open the belly of a pit-pony.   This was the eighth in a series of gruesome outrages against horses, cattle and sheep in the Edaljis’ home village of Great Wyrley.


In 1907 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes, marched into battle to prove George innocent.  His passionate campaign provoked huge excitement.  It seemed as if Sherlock Holmes had taken on a real-life case, and newspapers from Mumbai to New York followed the story for months.  Of the dozens of letters to the Daily Telegraph in 1907, one, from a Chowry Muthu, reported that ‘All India is watching… and for the name and honour of England justice must be done to Mr. Edalji.’


Shapurji’s own life was no less remarkable.  He attended the Elphinstone Institution, at which Dadhabai Naoroji taught at the time and where he was a classmate of Dinshaw Eduljee Wacha.  In 1856, at the tender age of about 15, he outraged the Parsi community by converting to Christianity, and his parents disowned him.  The man who had captured him was the Free Church of Scotland missionary John Wilson, whose College Shapurji later attended.   He ended up as a missionary among the Warli people north of Mumbai.


Then he angered the Free Church of Scotland by going over to the opposition, the Church of England network in Mumbai.   Under its influence he travelled to Canterbury in England to train as a Church of England missionary.


My book covers Shapurji’s Mumbai years in detail.  In his time there he had made a notable contribution to its life. Two of his books, A Gujerátí and English Dictionary and A Grammar of the Gujerátí Language, were still in use many years after his departure.


Once his Canterbury training was over he infuriated his new masters by refusing to go to India as a missionary on their terms.  They abandoned all interest in him when he stayed in England and was ordained as a priest inOxford.    After years travelling the country as a curate he was finally made Vicar of Great Wyrley, where he served until his death 42 years later.   No author has ever pointed out that he could well have been the first South Asian to be made a Vicar in England.  His is a remarkable story.


Again, many in the Parsi community may be discomforted by the fact that Shapurji married a Christian, but in historical terms it was a significant marriage,.  The Anglo-Asian couple (Charlotte and Shapurji) produced three children, George, Horace and Maud, all brought up in the isolated English coal-mining village of Great Wyrley where attitudes were shaped by British imperialism.    Each of their lives was blighted by the consequences of that attack on a pit-pony in 1903 which was made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s intervention.


The Edalji name has been made world-famous once again by the publication of the novel Arthur and Georgeby top writer Julian Barnes, which almost won the Man Booker prize in 2005.  ‘Arthur’ is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and ‘George’ is George Edalji.   The book has been translated into many languages and is to be seen on book-shelves around the world.  


I myself believe however that there is far more to the story of Shapurji and his family than has been told by all those who have written about George’s case over the last century.  I was once Head of History at GreatWyrley High School and knew descendants of players in the Edalji family drama.   I hope my book will bring the lives of Shapurji and the rest of the Edalji five into the light of public attention.


I am also hoping that the description of Shapurji’s Parsi upbringing and of the pressures on the Parsi community in the mid-nineteenth century will be of interest to some Zoroastrians, despite the fact that Shapurji abandoned his boyhood faith.  I would be very pleased to receive comments so that improvements can be made if and when there is a reprint.


Full details of the book are available at



Roger Oldfield

Jazyl Homavazir

Jazyl is a 25 year-old aspiring Animator from Mumbai, India with a passion for concept art designing & animation. A self-taught illustrator and 2D animator, he runs a weekly web-comic  The Beast Legion

Beast Legion bagged the Comic Con India Award for ‘The Best Webcomic Series’ . He says he is humbled at all the support people have shown from across the web for the manga be it Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else. It’s truly a motivating factor to keep the comic going.

“I was kinda stunned when I was asked to inaugurate the WACOM Bamboo Manga tablet by none other than Wacom India’s Country Manager Mr. Rajeev Nagar who was gracious enough for giving me the opportunity. Another highlight for me was a chance to meet & gift a set to Mr Chris Oliveros of the ever popular Drawn & Quarterly.

Also I was expecting a huge crowd at the Comic Con , but WOW there were 35000 people who visited the convention over a 3 day period & we sold around 400 copies in the time frame. Here’s a few pics from the event.More to come..”

Check out more at and his blog at

Cyrus Cylinder – Video presentation

Video presentation on Cyrus Cylinder by British Museum director Neil McGregor :

Courtesy : Maneck Bhujwala
My daughter pointed to me the following website  where there is a youtube lecture on Cyrus Cylinder presented by a British Museum  director, so I heard his lecture and put in my comment that although the lecture  was good, I was disappointed by the fact that he did not mention anything about  the religion that Cyrus followed, and I gave a brief introduction to educate the  readers. There are several other comments since then that may be of interest  also.

Grants Available – Informational Webinar on 28 February 2012

February 28, 2012 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST
Open Spaces Sacred Places Awards Initiative:
$4 Million in Grants to Study the Healing and Restorative Power of Nature
Space available.  Reserve your seat now.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer


For more information on the awards program, visit