On this auspicious New Year’s day, I would like to wish my fellow Parsis ‘Navroz Mubarak’. Yes, that’s the correct form, and not ‘Pateti Mubarak’. That would translate into ‘Greetings for Sinning’. Pateti is actually the last day of the year, and is set aside to ask for atonement for past sins of commission and omission. Commission does not mean the 30 per cent for brokering that deal. Omission does not mean minusing a clutch of double-yolked eggs from your morning menu. Yes, when the rest of the world is switching (albeit unhappily) to egg-white fritata, we thumb our long noses at cholestrerol, and actually provide a market for this dual damnation.
Naturally, on this auspicious day, we will have eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with every other ingredient of excess of course. The sweet vermicelli ‘sev’ we send out to neighbours on lace-covered trays will be ringed with these hard-boiled fellows. If new brides or a baby finally born into the family come visiting, in the ‘achhu-michhu’ ritual to ward of evil, we will circle a raw egg around their head and break it on the doorstep before said entity enters. We will also do the same ‘achhu-michhu’ to the new car we have acquired on this blessed day, but, unlike, ‘tamota/ papeta/ bheeda (tomatoes/ potatoes/ okra) pur eeda’ which we love to eat, this is not called ‘Skoda pur eeda’.