List and detailed biography of great women of ancient Persia

Dear Friends, 

If you have not seen this before, here is a very impressive site detailing the lives and achievements of great women of ancient Zoroastrian Persia. A must read. While there you may look at the entire Website called MANI, for I am sure all Zoroastrians will find it a very interesting website

Rusi Sorabji


Double delight, pink & blue – Twins born to parsi couple, more births due

Another eight arrivals are expected by the year-end.

A central scheme that encourages Parsis to multiply has sired twins, in a double delight for the community whose numbers have been dwindling over the years.

A community veteran confirmed the new additions — a girl and a boy. “Last week, a Parsi woman from Mumbai gave birth to twins and the entire community is delighted. It is something incredible considering the fast-dwindling population,” Dadi E. Mistry, a member of the National Commission for Minorities, told The Telegraph.

So excited are Parsis that they are planning to celebrate the births on November 14 in Sanjan, a small town in Gujarat that borders Maharashtra, where members will congregate to mark what they describe as a “big step ahead”.

“Every newborn baby is a big step ahead as the community is staring at extinction. The news calls for a big celebration,” Mistry, who represents Parsis in the minority panel, said. Among Parsis, the death rate is three times the birth rate.

About the expected births, he said: “The community is waiting with bated breath.”


Click Here for more

Sohrab Modi

Of late I have shared some moments going down memory lane and, once again, having stumbled on the following, memories of Sohrab Modi as the great actor, a good friend of my father and with whom, as a young boy I had been on stage in the old Excelsior Cinema, came flooding to my mind.  — Ronnie Patel, Berlin

Fravahar Island in the Persian Gulf.

The plan for building an artificial island in the shape of fravahar in the Persian Gulf is under completion .The agreed confirmation for this project has also been issued. This island is being built on a 6 million and two hundred thousand  square meter land measuring 3×5 km.This island is located in front of the outskirts of the historical Siraf Harbour in the Bushehr province. This island includes Boarding and lodging sites,Hotels,University, Solar Energy Center ,Playground,A big cultural International Hall for cultural speech and conversations etc….

Dr.Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari(The Iranian Zoroastrians MP) being the managerial member of this team informed us that in the near future  the plan for this project which is being supervised by 60 executives will be executed after final analysis.This project being unique in its own kind will be displaying something of its own kind to the generations to come.

Click here for more


Courtesy : Zaver Bomanbehram


Book explores Tata Group’s journey

The values at the heart of the Tata Group as well as the role played in its development by the philanthropic trusts that own two-thirds of the company are explored in a new book that is a brief history of the Tatas.

How did Tata transform itself from a family-owned venture to the position it istoday in an array of unrelated businesses? What is the ‘Tata Way’, which has earned it much admiration and respect?

These are among several aspects that the book “The Greatest Company in the World?: The Story of Tata” by Peter Casey looks into.

Today, the Tata Group employs nearly half a million people, and earns revenues of $100 billion. It reported a profit of $6.23 billion in 2011-12, and controls assets valued at $77.7 billion.

“The philanthropic trusts control a majority of the Tata holding company, Tata Sons. The Tata family is a very small shareholder. Yet, the owners are only one of four stakeholders Tata sets out to serve. In addition to the owners (which include shareholders) are employees, customers, and society itself,” the book, published by Penguin, says.

The members of the Tata family have established a set of philanthropic trusts to which the majority of the family’s personal wealth has been dedicated and bequeathed.
Like their father, Dorabji Tata and Ratan Tata also donated the majority of their personal wealth to trusts they established.
The book also talks about Jamsetji Tata’s successor Dorabji Tata’s passion for sports and how he advocated India’s participation in the Olympics as early as 1919, much before the nation had established its own Olympic committee.

Click here for the full story

Defunct Tower of Silence lives on in Andheri residential colony

Defunct Tower of Silence lives on in the heart of an Andheri residential colony

In Andheri’s Salsette Parsis Association Colony, six-storey residential structures form a tight arc around a defunct dokhma. Children swing and slide just a few feet away and plans are underway to create a grassy patch alongside the tower’s wall where the colony’s youngsters can play football or an impromptu game of cricket. Residents explain that their nonchalance about living alongside this structure — which is meticulously cleaned by a band of young Parsi men every few years – stems from the fact that the 83-year-old dokhma has remained unused for well over half a century. Exactly when it fell into disuse, however, remains a matter of conjecture. “It was open for only a few years ardeshir patelbecause it was hard to get pall bearers to come all the way from Bombay to perform the last rites,” says 79-year-old Ardesher Patel, whose paternal grandfather was instrumental in setting up the dokhma. He estimates that only 10 bodies were laid to rest within the stone wall of the Andheri tower.

Though the Tower of Silence was completed in 1931, its foundation stone was laid on April 24, 1927. About 10,000 Parsis — that is a fourth of Mumbai’s current Parsi population — attended the three-hour-long ceremony, which had not been performed since the last Tower of Silence was erected in Bombay more than 80 years ago. A Parsi battalion worked alongside troops of Parsi Boy Scouts and Girl Guides to control the crowd, and the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (BB&CI) arranged to run “six special trains” to ferry the visitors to Salsette.

Reclaiming the Swastika

For most people in the West, the swastika remains inextricably linked to the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the last century. But there have been calls to reclaim the symbol from its Nazi links and restore its origin as an ancient symbol signalling good luck. Many people find the idea deeply offensive.
So can these two views ever be reconciled? Mukti Jain Campion examines the symbol’s long and surprising pre-Nazi history and discovers how the Nazi adoption of it is based on a mistaken interpretation of ancient Indian texts.
She talks to historians, visits the world’s oldest identified swastika in Ukraine, meets a tattoo artist in Copenhagen with a mission to revive the ancient symbol and hears what the swastika means today to a 93 year old Jewish holocaust survivor.
Produced by Mukti Jain Campion.
A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio
BBC Radio Broadcast on
Reclaiming the Swastika
Forwarded By:
Behram Pastakia

Call For Participants at the United Nations

The FEZANA UN-NGO Committee is looking for participants to attend the 59th Commission on the Status of Women Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 9-20, 2015.

This year’s theme is, ” The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.”

Individuals interested in attending the conference, are requested to submit thierresume and letter of intent by Nov. 30th, 2014.  Please send the e-mail to boththe following individuals:

Behram Pastakia (bpastakia (@)
Afreed Mistry (afreed.mistry (@)

While FEZANA, as an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]  and the  Department of Public Information (DPI), will facilitate registration to the CSW Conference, the selected participants are expected to make their own financial arrrangements regarding visas, tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation in the city. Details about the vision, mission and activities of the United Nations can be accessed at

Dated: 26 October 2014


Netagiri Reloaded – Cyrus Broacha


Cyrus Broacha is a morning person. He also seems to be one of those people who have a plan for each day, a schedule they rigorously follow. Coming up against that side of his personality can be surprising, especially if you take the persona he’s cultivated over his many public appearances and TV shows over the years — the eternal prankster, bumbling funnyman, a modern-day Bertram Wooster — to represent who he really is. But within minutes of a conversation, you see quite another side of Cyrus.

In a way, Cyrus’ own books are biographies too, sketches of the characters he and (his close friend and frequent creative collaborator) Kunal Vijaykar inhabit in the public sphere. Netagiri diverges but little from his previous books like Karl, Aaj Aur Kal and The Average Indian Male, in its chronicling of a type of male protagonist, in that sense. So, how about setting a story around a female protagonist? “Well I barely even understand men!.. so writing about women…”

Also, what he writes, and how he writes has a lot to do with why he writes, Cyrus adds: “People write for different reasons. I write because I want to make people smile.”

Click Here for more

The myriad influences of Parsi food – Hyderabad & Secunderabad

We take you on a culinary tour of traditional Parsi delicacies that are hard to find in the city todayCapture

There are around 1,161 Parsi families in the twin cities. However, finding a restaurant serving authentic Parsi cuisine is well, impossible. That’s because there just aren’t any left. Connoisseurs of Parsi fare would recall a restaurant called Spenta which opened at Paradise circle over a decade ago. But the place shut shop soon, because the city couldn’t quite appreciate its hot and sweet taste palette, some say. But the Parsis beg to differ. “It was shut because of shortage of staff,” reckons the community. “Your best bet to get a taste of Parsi gastronomical delights like mutton dhansak, salli marghi is to get invited to a traditional Sunday lunch in a Parsi home,” quips fashion designer Zubin Vakil, who lives in his 100-year- old family home in Secunderabad.

Click Here for the full article