Parsi Presence at the Narendra Modi Megaevent at Madison Square Garden in New York City

Sunday September 28th, 2014 was the perfect Fall Sunday in New York City. It was like any other Sunday except for the fact that 20,000 Indians swarmed like bees to a honeypot. Madison Square Garden; the legendary venue that has seen the likes of Frazier v/s Ali; Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra; was to witness the first public speech by the Prime Minister of India to the citizens and diaspora of the country he officiates over. Organized by a community organisation; the event was free but the tickets sold out within a day of being open to the general public.

The Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY) that represents the Zarathushtis of the tri-state area was invited to be one of the Welcoming Community Organisations. This enabled ZAGNY to get coveted seats for its members, before it opened up to the general public.

In inviting the Zarathushtis of the area to be a part of this function; the organizers showed the right mindset and sensitivity to be completely inclusive whatever the size of the community. In a small way it reaffirms the position held by the Parsis, not only in India but in the world Indian diaspora.

Dressed in Garas and Daglis, the Parsis of New York did the community proud. Many in the crowd stopped and recognised the Dagli clad men as Parsis and were so happy to see us participating in this event.  A special thanks goes out to Astad Clubwala, the President of ZAGNY for orchestrating the complex logistics of getting everyone who signed up their tickets in time and with very clear communication. All in all, a proud day for the Indian Diaspora and the Parsi community in New York.

Click here for the full story in Parsi Khabar


Parsis of the RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is nearly eight decades old and was one of the first central banks in the developing world. While a lot has been written about this institution, little is known outside the RBI about the meritorious service by Parsis to India’s central bank. Over the years, a number of illustrious Parsis have served on the central board of the RBI. These include F. E. Dinshaw, Sir Homi Mody, N. A. Palkhivala, Jehangir P. Patel, Ratan N. Tata, J. J. Irani and Y. H. Malegam. The last three served simultaneously on the RBI board. Malegam, a current director, has completed 20 years on the board and is one of the longest serving directors in the annals of the RBI. The RBI has drawn on Malegam’s services for numerous boards, committees and groups and he is virtually a resident external adviser.

Savak Tarapore was executive director of the RBI at the time of India’s economic crisis in 1991-92 and was deputy governor between 1992-96. He assisted RBI Governor Dr. C Rangarajan through the balance of payments crisis and the financial reforms thereafter. The Rangarajan-Tarapore combine is considered to be the prime architects of initiatives in financial sector reforms.


P. N. Damry was the first Parsi deputy governor (1967-73). B. B. Paymaster, chief secretary, government of Maharashtra, served as chairman of the RBI Services Board. A. D. Shroff headed vital committees of the RBI and in fact was RBI governor Sir Osborne Smith’s first choice for the post of deputy governor. However, the British India establishment in New Delhi rejected his name as it was felt that Shroff was too close to the Indian nationalists and was a “Congress economist.”

One of the most highly regarded officers was P. J. Jeejeebhoy, head of the exchange control department, who set exacting standards of transparency in handling the rationing of scarce foreign exchange during World War II. He was an important, indeed indispensable, member of the Indian delegation on the sterling balances, a delegation which included the finance minister and the RBI governor. He was instrumental in negotiating the intricate arrangements on the drawdown of the large sterling balances built up during World War II as also the exchange rate arrangements for the rupee.

K. M. Mehta served the RBI from the 1940s to the 1970s and was eventually appointed executive director. There could not have been a more humane and soft spoken person than K.M.Mehta. True to his nature he would seek out RBI staff and endeavor to alleviate their problems. Similarly, persons from the public who came to him with a problem found a powerful ally. An oft quoted case was of a person trying to retrieve his late father’s equity shares in the then privately owned RBI; Mehta offered his personal surety to enable the person to retrieve his father’s shareholding. With the help of, A. Thanawalla headed the department of banking operations and his prompt disposal of cases was legendary.

Another leading light is Chandi J. Batliwalla, who for long was the public face of the Parsis in the RBI. Her career straddled the RBI and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Her outstanding work received encomiums from a number of RBI governors as well as managing directors of the IMF. She had not one, but two five-year stints with the IMF, and also wrote the history of the RBI’s role in managing India’s external sector for the the RBI’s official history. But all the achievements of her career in the RBI and IMF pale into insignificance when one considers her outstanding work with the Red Cross over the last three decades. Even now this octogenarian (she is in her late eighties) thinks nothing of venturing into remote areas to help the disadvantaged segments of society.

Pilloo Mirza (the aunt of KekiMistry, vice chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Housing Development Finance Corporation), was the first Parsi to work in the IMF (on deputation from the RB I). She was one of the most painstaking and reliable workers in the RBI and her seniors would often say that once Mirza had processed a case no further examination was necessary. Kara Patel who was a junior officer in the RBI was famous as a reputed homeopath and had his clinic on Princess Street. Top officials of the RBI were his patients.


Courtesy : Bakhtiar Dadabhoy – Parsiana


Tribute to Adi F Doctor

Sad News : Mr Adi F Doctor passes away

Dear Zarathushti humdins,

We regret to inform that Mr. Adi F. Doctor, veteran Zoroastrian scholar and lecturer, and a true defender of traditionality and orthodoxy, passed away today Khorshed roz, Ardibehest mah, YZ 1384 (Sat, 27 Sept 2014) at 5:05 pm in the evening.

May Ahura Mazda grant him Garothman behest and may He give solace and comfort to the aggrieved family members.

The Paidust is scheduled for tomorrow Sunday morning.

Our heartfelt condolences to the family members of Mr. Doctor.


TZML Admins.


It is with a deep sense of loss and grief that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Adi F. Doctor, one of the stalwarts of our community. Mr. Doctor had not been keeping good health since the past few months.

Many of us on this group knew him on a personal basis, and also as a religious scholar, lecturer, and the Editor of the Dini Avaz and The Parsee Voice for many years. His knowledge of our religion and ability to explain things in simple terms made him a speaker par excellence, and attracted many of our humdins at religious lectures organised in Mumbai. 

May his Ruvan be under the panah of Sarosh Yazad and may its journey towards the higher realms be safe and quick and may it cross over to Dadar-e-Gehan and may it achieve Tan-e-Pasin. The Paidust is tomorrow morning 28th. Sept. 2014 at the Upper Bhabha Bungli, Doongerwadi.

Behram P. Dhabhar


A light that shone so brightly has been extinguished today… after reading this news, I am so disturbed…..I never had the privilege of meeting Adi Uncle in person, but I’m sure he was and is precious to all who have known him.   Me and my entire family offer our sincere condolences on his untimely death.   He was an inspiration to all of us and his death is a great loss to everyone.   He left us quietly, but He left us with a memory of which we are proud to own.
 In our heart Adi Uncle you hold a place no one could ever fill.  We were blessed to have you in our lives and you shall and will be remembered in our hearts forever; and as the time goes by we will miss you more for no one can ever fill your vacant place.
Daisy has expressed it best.
Adi Doctor was one of my best religious teachers. I met him whenever we came to Mumbai. Most unpretentious, simple, humorous and to the point, when answering religious questions. We could have done better with more like him. He was always like an old friend every time I met him
His life and talks have been an inspiration to me. The world is almost barren today, with few oeople left, like him, we and I can really talk with, who are on the same wave length as us in religious matters. With the Grace of AhuraMazda, this person was placed in Dadar Parsi colony or in Bandra when on his visits to Mumbai from California and could drink from the wine of KSHNOOM from his lips. wITH GRACE, I STILL HAVE 2 OR THREE PEOPLE OF OUR MOLD TO CONFIDE WITH IN  CALIFORNIA.
HIS SOUL IS ON IT’s WAY TO FARSSOHOGAR AND we should be happy for him.
With condolences to his family and near ones
Huge loss to ILK .One of the most noblest souls that I and everyone else would agree knew.
May his soul rest in eternal peace and continue to guide us.
Suggest a memorial meeting. for ILK community .
Huge loss to ILK .One of the most noblest souls that I and everyone else would agree knew.
May his soul rest in eternal peace and continue to guide us.
Sam Billimoria

A deep loss to ilme khshnoom anjuman very difficult to find his calibre. A very humble and softspoken person and always ready to answer any of our queries any time of day or night.Extremely knowledgeable and he lived by the priciples of khshnoom in day to day life. Sarosh yazad Panah baad dear Adi uncle.

In grief

Firdosh Sukhia


It is with a great sense of loss and sorrow that I announce the passing away of Mr Adi Furrokh Doctor, the Editor of the religious newsletter, The Parsee Voice. He was 76 years old. He is survived by his sister, Miss Rita Doctor.
He had been ailing for the last few months and was in and out of hospital. The end came ​on last Saturday evening (Sat, 27 Sept 2014). His mortal remains were consigned to the Dakhma ​the next morning.
A noted exponent of Ilm-e-Khshnoom, Adi Doctor enthralled audiences for many years with his lucid explanations on various hard core religious topics covering the entire spectrum of the Zarathoshti religion.
​His writings on religion and community politics showed his prowess over the subjectand he could inject wit and humour even in the most difficult issues. ​
He was  deeply concerned for the protection and preservation of Zarathoshti religious institutions, traditions and practices and always led from the front when it came to the matter of their protection. He never hesitated to take up cudgels
​on behalf of Atashbehrams, Agiaries and Dakhmas ​when they ​were under attack and always sought to place facts in public domain to enable the common Parsees to learn about the truth. This gave rise to ‘The Parsee Voice​’, which, in its second avatar, has completed 10 years in the service of the community.
His many enlightened articles and write-ups ​will serve as a beacon of light to future generations in matters concerning the Zarathoshti Daena.
Some of us who ​had the good fortune of knowing him intimately and interacting with him closely, will always ​experience
a sense of loss due to his untimely departure ​ because not only was he a loving Ustad to us but also a very dear friend.​
We pray that his holy Ravan ​may get the protection of Sarosh Yazad  and may ​progress from Tanasakh to Tanpasin at the earliest.
​In grief
​H. M. Mistry

Welcome to Niloufer’s Kitchen

Born and raised in Karachi, I started to bake when I was 8 years old. I taught my first solo class at 17, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It soon made me realise it is a wonderful way to make friends; food shared is a special kind of experience. We moved to Dubai soon after I was married and I managed to organise cooking demonstrations. This made my 6 years there enjoyable and memorable. Moving to Canada, it made my resolve stronger to start the same, my happy way of making new friends, who all enjoy cooking as much as I do. I enjoy doing fundraisers through my demonstrations, continuing to support a couple of charities through the years.

Fortunately, my daughters enjoy cooking and eating, my husband is my source of truth and inspiration. My mum, who is a baker par excellence, does not hold back on her critical analysis, which has pushed me to excel. My brother, who started me off on this journey with positive encouragement, continues to be my ardent supporter. My Villie fui, who has taught me so much, having shared her own wealth of experienced knowledge that I would not be able to find anywhere else in this world. But nothing would have been possible without my dad’s sincere belief in me. The bribing, cajoling and unconditional love started me off on this journey for which there is nothing but loving gratitude. I miss him every day but also know that he is smiling down while enjoying this journey with me! For my childhood friends who have always believed in me, thank you.

Decades of passion and teaching cooking have now prompted me to write e- cookbooks. This technological approach comes from keeping young adults in mind. Many live in small spaces. These e-books are the solution. Preview it and buy with a simple click. The result is a cookbook library stored within your Kindle reader!

The books may be menu or cuisine based. I have now managed to publish 8 e-cookbooks. Each one is available on Amazon. I also have a facebook page under the same name of Niloufer’s Kitchen which is interlinked to this blog for easy reference.

Being a teacher at heart, detailed explanation and generally writing how I would verbally teach is the format I have chosen. Trivia and Tips make it comfortable for the learner and the expert. It is an art form of narrating my life story perhaps. My series is called Niloufer’s Kitchen.
I hope you get a chance to browse through my books and enjoy cooking it too.

Click Here to go to Niloufer’s kitchen

Nankhatai – The Dying Indian ‘Biskoot’

The soft crumbly nankhatai brings back many a fond memory. The word ‘Nankhatai’ comes from the Persian word ‘Nan’meaning bread and ‘Khatai’ probably comes from ‘Catai’ or ‘Cathay’, the older name for China. Thus, translating as ‘Bread of Cathay’. Another version from Northeast Iran or Afghanistan is a type of biscuit, also referred to as Kulcha-e-Khataye.


Origin of nankhatai

The history of the nankhatai in India is quite interesting. Towards the end of the 16th century, a couple of Dutch dudes set up a bakery in Surat to cater to the needs of the local Dutch populace. When the Dutch were leaving India, the owners handed over the bakery to a very enterprising employee, a Parsi gentleman Faramji Pestonji Dotivala. Since the bread was made with palm toddy for fermentation, it didn’t find favour with the local Indians. In order to save his bakery, Mr. Dotivala started selling the old bread and puff, which became dried, at a really cheap price. This dried version became so popular that he started drying the bread before selling it. Later, the dried version came to be known as the ‘Irani Biscuit’.

Click Here for the full story

Chowder Singh

Why Kainaz Messman’s Theobroma tastes like heaven

When Kainaz Messman decided to become a chef, nothing could come in her way. Not even a severe back injury that threatened to jeopardise her career. As Theobroma celebrates a decade next month, the foodie-at-heart tells Deepali Dhingra that her greatest joy lies in feeding people and making them smile. What makes her day, however, is an early morning cup of tea lovingly prepared by her husband.

Kainaz Messman, Owner and Chef, Theobroma As a kid, I would often read Enid Blyton books and fantasise about having midnight feasts of ginger bread, scones and tinned pineapples, just the way the girls in her St Claire’s series did. But for Kainaz Messman, the owner of Theobroma, these midnight feasts were a reality and a big part of her childhood. “My mum, who ran a fast food business when I was a child, would often wake up my sister and I in the middle of the night for ice-cream sundaes with crème de menthe poured over them and other goodies. At other times, she would wake up all of us early morning and we would go for a drive to Lonavla, have breakfast at Fariyas hotel and drive back,” says Messman, reminiscing about her idyllic childhood.

Click here for more

How Tata gave India its first airline

Decades before the mudflats of Juhu were in the news for housing Bollywood celebrities, they made history with the landing of India’s first commercial airline—Tata Airlines. It was on 15 October 1932 that the enterprising 29-year-old Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (JRD), landed his de Havilland DH 80A Puss Moth aircraft there, on the inaugural flight of India’s first scheduled air-mail service from Karachi to Bombay.

The plane had been shipped from England to South Bombay’s Alexandra Docks. There, JRD’s friend, industrialist Nusserwanjee Guzder, had the dismantled airplane transported to the Juhu Flying Club, where it was painstakingly reassembled.

Tata’s landing that day was the culmination of a schoolboy fixation with flying that began in France. He spent his formative years at his father Ratanji’s seaside cottage in Normandy.  A little along the beach lived the dashing French pilot Louis Blériot—the first man to fly across the English Channel. Blériot’s daredevil adventures captivated the young JRD; from that point on, all he wanted to do was fly.

FEZANA Bulletin – Sep. 2014

Dear All
The FEZANA Bulletin for September 2014 can be viewed here:

Feel free to share the FEZANA Bulletin with your association members, family and friends.

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Best Wishes

Katayun Kapadia

FEZANA – President