A judge who knows God
Your faith in the judiciary may notch up if we tell you that justice Rohintan Fali Nariman, one of Supreme Court’s judges is an ardent man of God once his judicial duties have been meted. And if justice Markandey Katju (referring from his blog post from the year 2014) is to be believed, justice Nariman is an ordained Parsi priest who is adept at performing marriages, Navjote ceremonies and has access to enter the sanctum sanctorum like any other priest of his calibre.
The blog, http://www.justicekatju.blogspot.in, further states that apart from being an eminent lawyer, justice Nariman trained himself to be become a priest at a tender age of 12. Quoting from the website, when Rohinton was 12 years old, he was sent to a Parsi school where he lived in isolation for 28 days in an agiary. He prayed five times a day and memorised 72 chapters of the Zendavesta – a holy book of the Parsis’ and recited it in the presence of his family members for three hours at a stretch before he was given the validation to be called a true-blue priest.
The public relationship office from the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, Godrej Dotivala, confirms this. He reminisces, “I have known Fali Sam Nariman (justice Nariman’s father) since I was three years old. He had fled his country (Rangoon, Burma) due to the Japanese invasion before he came to India to settle in Mumbai.” Dotivala is one of justice Nariman’s family friend and fondly remembers him as being a bright student with an impeccable memory and tremendous faith in Ahura Mazda, the Parsi god.
During the punchayet’s felicitation programme in January 2015, it was releaved that justice Nariman was also a lecturer on the subject of Zoroastrianism and held Gatha classes, 17 hymns composed by Zarathusthra.
Ace lawyer Darius Khambata, in his speech read out at the felicitation said, “It was Rohintan who introduced me to Zoroastrianism and certain aspects of historical writings on Christianity as well. He is known to put his heart and soul into his work which is one of the characteristics of a true Zaotar.”
Justice Nariman, an alumni of the popular South Mumbai school, Cathedral and John Connon also has a lighter side. His close friend and senior advocate Jimmy Pochkhanawalla shared that justice Nariman doted his friends. And that aspect of his life is evident when they take off on their annual vacation to Mahableshwar each year during winters.
When we contacted the Bandra agiary for a comment, they were unavailable.