Will the Parsi community survive ?


Will the Parsi community survive, asks Farrukh Dhondy at JLF

Writer Farrukh Dhondy (Photo: Sonu Mehta/ HT)

 Farrukh Dhondy’s latest project is a film he has written on the survival of the Parsi community in India. Entitled ‘The Faith of Zarathustra’, the 75-minute feature film has been helmed by debutant director Oorvazi Irani.

“It is not the kind of film you can make with Amitabh Bachhan or Amir Khan,” said Dhondy, who has written the screenplays of films like Bandit Queen and Split Wide Open.

Dhondy was speaking at the ‘Parsiana’ session presented by Hindustan Times, that featured readings and a conversation between Dhondy and Keki Daruwala, winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Award. Both spoke of their writing and the impact of their Parsi upbringing on their work and outlook.

‘The Faith of Zarathustra’ is about a girl who encounters Persian characters from the past. Through them, she tries to find out how to keep the flame of the community alive.

“There are multiple characters from the past who haunt her and raise crucial questions about the community,” Dhondi says.

One of the characters, Mazdaq, is named after the Zorastrian priest who believed that all property should be held in common. The issue with the theory he propagated was that women too were considered as property.

The film may have its share of controversies, Dhondy said, as it argues that the Parsi community should do away with the Zoroastrian funeral ceremony of feeding their dead to vultures.

“The film puts forth the point that such properties like The Tower of Silence in Malabar Hills, Mumbai, should be used for community funding.

Danish Raza, Hindustan Times , New Delhi

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