Marzban Giara’s new book – contributions invited

captureMarzban Giara has authored The Contribution of The Parsee Community During World War I 91914-1918) published in March 2016.

He is preparing his next book on the Contribution of Parsee Community in the defence services from 1919 to 2017. He needs life sketches and a passport size photo preferably in uniform of those Parsis who served in the armed forces, police, fire brigade as also those who helped in times of war and peace with resources, funds, volunteering. The information can be provided in about 250 words giving full name, date of birth, date of joining, date of resignation/retirement/death, rank, areas served, war experience, military service, awards received, IC no.

He would prefer to receive by e-mail: by 15th March 2017. Those who do not use e-mail may send the information and photo by post/courier to Marzban J. Giara, WZO Senior Citizens Centre, Pinjara Street, Malesar, Navsari, Gujarat. Pin 396445 India.


National Digital Library (NDL)


Ministry of Human Resource Development under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology has initiated the National Digital Library (NDL) pilot project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Filtered and federated searching is employed to facilitate focused searching so that learners can find out the right resource with least effort and in minimum time. NDL is designed to hold content of any language and provides interface support for leading vernacular languages (currently Hindi and Bengali). It is being arranged to provide support for all academic levels including researchers and life-long learners, all disciplines, all popular form of access devices and differently-abled learners. It is being developed to help students to prepare for entrance and competitive examination, to enable people to learn and prepare from best practices from all over the world and to facilitate researchers to perform inter-linked exploration from multiple sources. The pilot project is devising a framework suitable for future scale up with respect to content volume and diversity to become a full-blown National Digital Library of India over time. It is being developed at IIT Kharagpur.

Click Here to Register and Browse the Library

Bollywood’s Parsi power!

And no, says Sukanya Verma, the list doesn’t start and stop with Boman Irani!

Often caricatured on celluloid, there’s more to the small but solid Parsi community than quirks and accent.

Quite a few of them have made an invaluable contribution to the Hindi film industry with their artistic vision and compelling talent.

In Rangoon, an ambitious period drama directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Saif Ali Khan’s character is named Rustom Bilimoria, a Parsi film producer.

Here’s looking at Bollywood’s best known Bawas 🙂

Amyra Dastur



Photograph: Kind courtesy Amyra Dastur/Instagram

Amrya, who made her debut opposite Prateik Babbar in Issaq, recently got a taste of international cinema in Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga.

Boman Irani

IMAGE: Boman Irani in 3 Idiots.

Although he entered the industry in his 40s, Boman has proved his versatility through a range of characters and performances in Munnabhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Main Hoon Na, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, 3 Idiots, Cocktail, Don, Being Cyrus, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi and Jolly LLB.

Daisy Irani

IMAGE: Daisy Irani, extreme right, in Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi.

As the cute, curly-haired moppet constantly pampered by the likes of Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari in a series of films like Bandish or Bhai Bhai, Daisy Irani made an early impression as India’s answer to Shirley Temple.

After staying away from the screen, following her marriage to movie writer K K Shukla, Daisy resurfaced to perform supporting roles in films (Aastha, Housefull, Happy New Year) and television (Dekh Bhai Dekh, Shararat).

Honey Irani

IMAGE: Honey Irani with son Farhan Akhtar. Photograph: Abhijit Mhamunkar

Honey, Daisy’s younger sister, followed her footsteps in films like Masoom, Talaq and Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan.

As a teenager, she did character roles in Seeta Aur Geeta and Kati Patang.

Around then, she quit the movies to marry movie writer Javed Akhtar. They had two children, Zoya and Farhan, before the marriage ended.

Honey has written the screenplay for films like Aaina, Lamhe, Darr, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Krrish 3, but never attempted to direct after the debacle of Armaan.

Aruna Irani

IMAGE: Aruna Irani at the Filmfare Awards in 2011.

The eldest child of an Irani Parsi father and a Maharashtrian mother, among eight siblings, Aruna was required to work in the movies and fend for her family.

Except her memorable journey from child artist in Dilip Kumar’s Gunga Jumna to a seductive vamp in Jeetendra’s Caravan to Amitabh Bachchan’s leading lady in Bombay to Goa, Mehmood’s partner-in-crime in numerous movies to playing mommy to Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Govinda is the stuff success stories are made of.


IMAGE: Daisy Irani and Shammi in Shirin Aur Farhad Ki Nikal Padi.

Dil Apna Preet Parayi, Half Ticket, Ittefaq, Rangeela — the list is endless.

Yet the bubbling energy and comic timing of Shammi, real name Nargis Rabadi, as the sometimes snoopy, sometimes endearing, often Anglicized character in over 200 films is still fresh in public memory.


Persis Khambatta

IMAGE: Persis Khambatta in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The stunning Miss India-turned-model-turned-movie star made her screen debut in K A Abbas’s Bambai Raat Ki Baahon Mein before making her move to Hollywood, most notably as the bald Lieutenant Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Persis is the first Indian to present an award at the Oscars.

Sooni Taraporewala

IMAGE: Mira Nair and Sooni Taraporevala at The Reluctant Fundamentalist premiere.

What do Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, Such a Long Journey and The Namesake have in common?

Sooni Taraporewala, of course!

The immensely insightful writer of these films turned director in 2008 with Little Zizou.

In 2014, she was honoured with a Padma Shri for her work in cinema.

Homi Adajania

IMAGE: Homi Adajania at the Madaari screening. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

With his first three films — the unapologetically dark Being Cyrus, the sweet and sassy Cocktail and a delightfully zany Finding Fanny — director Homi Adajania has established himself as one of Bollywood’s exciting contemporary minds.

Cyrus Broacha

IMAGE: Funnyman Cyrus Broacha is all suited up!

One can never get enough of funnyman Cyrus Broacha’s witty take on entertainment or politics.

Before he pranked unsuspecting ‘bakras‘ on MTV or powered the satirical TV show The Week That Wasn’t, Broacha made his debut as a school-going drug addict in the Naseeruddin Shah starrer, Jalwa.

Cyrus Sahukar

IMAGE: Cyrus Sahukar at the Kaun Kitne Paani Mein screening. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

Fellow veejay and namesake, Cyrus Sahukar has quite a few significant gigs to his credit, mostly as the bumbling pushover.

Remember Rang De Basanti, Aisha, Delhi 6?

Ronnie Screwvala

IMAGE: Ronnie Screwvala, movie producer, businessman and now do-gooder.

Founder and CEO of the UTV Group, Ronnie’s is a name you can’t claim to not know unless you live under a rock.

Credited for streamlining the way movies are made in Mumbai and creating a perfect blend of content and commerce, his role is evident in the success of his company’s brand boosted through choices like Jodhaa Akbar, A Wednesday, Dev-D, Kaminey and Chennai Express.

And the starry turnout at his daughter’s wedding recently is testament to his standing and good will.

Dinyar Contractor

IMAGE: Dinyar Contractor in 36 China Town.

A well-known face in Mumbai theatre circles, Dinyar made quite an impression as the goofy professor in Abbas Mustan’s Khiladi and the spoiler alert material of the director duo’s 36 China Town.

Shernaz Patel

IMAGE: Shernaz Patel in Guzaarish.

Stage or screen, Shernaz Patel’s natural grace makes her a delight to witness on any medium.

Right from her debut in Mahesh Bhatt’s Janam opposite Kumar Gaurav to playing Emraan Hashmi’s mum in Azhar, Patel’s journey as an actress is steady even if a little unsung.

Tanaaz and Delnaaz Irani

IMAGE: Tannaz Irani with her husband Bhakhtyar, Delnaz Irani with her husband Percy. Photograph: Kind courtesy Tannaz Irani/Instagram

An effervescent presence on small screen ever since her breakout turn in Zaban Sambhal Ke, Tanaaz continues to juggle between movies, reality shows and TV serials.

In comparison, sister-in-law Delnaaz is more prolific on the celluloid front, especially as Preity Zinta’s sulky best friend Sweetu in Kal Ho Naa Ho.

Perizaad Zorabian

Photograph: Kind courtesy Perizaad Zorabian/Twitter

The sophisticated beauty and her dazzling smile didn’t go unnoticed in unique scripts like Bollywood Calling, Jogger’s Park and Morning Raga.

But when nothing major came out of it, Perizaad opted for domestic bliss.

Shenaz Treasurywala

Photograph: Kind courtesy Shenaz Treasurywala/Instagram

Model, veejay and actress, Shenaz Treasurywala played the hottie to the hilt in movies like Ishq Vishk and Delhi Belly.

Right now she’s concentrating on the Netflix comedy, Brown Nation where the 35 year old plays an Indian-American married woman chasing star-studded dreams.

Shiamak Davar

IMAGE: Shaimak Davar at his Summer Funk 2014 show in Mumbai.

Shiamak Davar’s choreography in the songs of Dil To Pagal Hai and Taal stunned many.

Kaizad Gustad

IMAGE: Kaizad Gustad, Sunny Leone, Shah Rukh Khan and Sachiin Joshi at the Jackpot screening. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

None of Kaizad Gustad’s films besides Bombay Boys garnered much appreciation, but Bollywood is forever indebted to him for discovering Katrina Kaif in Boom.

Kurush Deboo

IMAGE: Kurush Deboo in Munnabhai MBBS.

Shah Rukh Khan’s obliging pal in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Sanjay Dutt’s key to attaining a medical degree in Munnabhai MBBS and innumerable Parsi characters in various movies aside, few remember Kurush Deboo’s impressive debut in and as Percy.

The NFDC produced drama won a National Award for Best Gujarati film in 1989.

Ardeshir Irani

An original game changer and cinema all-rounder, Ardeshir Irani set up Imperial Studios and introduced Indian audiences to the magic of talkies with the first sound film, Alam Ara.

Other landmarks include the first Indian colour film, Kisan Kanya and the first Farsi talkie, Dukhtar-i-Lor.


J B H and Homi Wadia

Though their family business concerned itself with shipbuilding, filmmaking is what attracted Surat’s J B H Wadia and his younger brother Homi.

Along with distributor M B Bilimoria and the Tata Brothers, Burjore and Nadirshaw, they founded the hugely successful Wadia Movietone, which produced hits like Lal-E-Yaman, Jai Swadesh, Black Rose, Return of Toofan Mail, Hunterwali and Miss Frontier Mail, Hunterwali Ki Beti, Mela and Sampooran Ramayan to name a few.

Homi married the studio’s most sensational discovery and star Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia.

Under JBH’s keen eye, Wadia Movietone added many feathers in its cap — from the first Indian film without songs (Naujawan) to the first English language talkie (The Court Dancer).

Sohrab Modi

IMAGE: Sohrab Modi in Sikandar.

Be it the stage or screen, the Dadasaheb Phalke recipient’s sumptuous filmmaking and spellbinding baritone is unmistakable.

Much of Sohrab Modi’s inspiration stems from a deep love for historicals as evident in his studio Minerva Movietone’s classic productions, Pukar, Prithvi Vallabh, Mirza Ghalib, Jhansi Ki Rani and Sikander.

The late legend’s Parsi theatre roots reflected in his love for the verbose and production aesthetics.

IMAGE: Farah, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Sajid Khan’s happy selfie. Photograph: Kind courtesy Farah Khan/Instagram

Did you know filmmaker siblings Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, their first cousins Farah and Sajid Khan, action hero John Abraham and the late veteran Farooque Shaikh are all Parsi from their mother’s side?


Nowruz Open House

Save the Date

Nowruz Open House




1:00 pm- 8:00 pm


15316 Barnesville RD

Boyds, MD 20841


Everyone welcome to light a candle

Tea and sweets will be served

Any family who is interested in holding a start of the year “Porseh” remembrance for their deceased please contact Parmis Khosravi at


Nowruz Function




6:45 pm-11:45 pm


15316 Barnesville RD

Boyds, MD 20841


More information will be provided in our feature emails.

For any questions please contact Parmis Khosravi at


Unforgettable Gujarati Old Songs

Unforgettable Gujarati Old Songs sung by Geeta Roy, Asha Bhosle & Mukesh in Original Gramophone..gujarati-songs

Raakhna Ramakda

Nazar na Jaam Chhalkavine


Pankhida Ne Aa Pinjroo

Tari Aankhno Afini

Tame Thoda Thoda

Courtesy : Dolly Contractor

All Parsi Fozawac Tennis Tournament


The annual all Parsi Fozawac tennis tournament is scheduled to be played

on 25th and 26th March at Wodehouse gym

9,30 am to 4.30 pm on Sat
9.30 am to 3 pm on Sunday

events are;

1] girls/women’s singles (minimum 4 entries)
2] girls/women’s doubles ( minimum 4 pairs)
3] men’s singles
4] men’s doubles
5] veterans singles above 45
6] veterans doubles above 45
7] Seniors singles above 60
8] Seniors doubles above 6
9) mixed doubles
10) if there are kids U10-12-14 we can make another age group
pls send your entries by email to Naheed / me, clearly mentioning which events and name of partner.

also pls spread the word around the Parsi community and players you know – more the better.

pls email your entry to:

Shireen Sabavala: 1924-2017 – A sepia-tinted elegance fades to black  

Shireen Sabavala, wife of late modernist master Jehangir Sabavala, passed away on Saturday
shireen-unnamed-1The passing away of Shireen Sabavala marks the end of a chapter in the city’s tony history. The graceful wife of late modernist Jehangir Sabavala had been ailing at the Parsee General Hospital for over two months. The 92-year-old, survived by daughter Aafreed, breathed her last on Saturdayevening. Always nattily dressed, the rather articulate doyenne was a fond chronicler of a sepia-tinted Bombay that is slowly fading away. She was replete with delightful anecdotes and stories from the gilded era she belonged to. Artist Meera Devidayal knew the Sabavalas for over four decades. She shares, “She was the perfect consort for Jehangir from every point of view. She took the charge of the other side of his art life, which most artists neglect.“ Gallerist Geetha Mehra, who represented Jehangir in the latter half of his career, concurs with Devidayal. “She was very much part of Jehangir’s career; he painted from home and she was part of the discussion of every painting. They were a wonderful team. She was completely committed to his work and archived it meticulously.“In fact, Sabavala even ensured that the last six canvases of her illustrious husband, including an unfinished work that he created between 2009 and 2010, found a home at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. She also bequeathed a substantial, but undisclosed, sum to the museum to pay for the upkeep of these paintings.

“The works would just be sitting here, wrapped up,“ she told the Mumbai Mirror in an interview two years ago. “We’d rather share it with the city.“

The Sabavalas’ home in Altamount Road echoed of this generous sentiment. The tasteful apartment was an open house for young art enthusiasts and poets. “She always gave time for people, especially the younger generation. It’s a rare quality to see nowadays. She was warm and extremely hospitable,“ says auctioneer Dadiba Pundole. “Though we were part of the same community, I got to know her a little late in life.She was a practical woman and a no-nonsense lady, which was a nice thing about her.“

A great follower and a teacher of the Bihar School of Yoga, Sabavala would spend a lot of time at the centre in Munger and remained committed to this way of life right till the end.“It was through the Bihar School of Yoga that she grew concern for the larger cosmic frame of belonging.

“She had an independent sense of the world. She was a student at the London School of Economics and survived World War II. She picked herself up and went on with life,“ says poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote. “She was a woman of great strength.“

Reema Gehi

Zoroastrian Survey from Dr. Howard Gontovnick

This is to introduce Dr. Howard Gontovnick of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York, and his very important survey of the current beliefs and practices of the North American Zoroastrian community.

Dr. Gontovnick writes: “As a professor of world religions, I am looking to better understand the current role of a religion in the daily life of Zoroastrians today. Over the past few years, even though my students would express their lack of knowledge about Zoroastrianism, they would genuinely convey a great appreciation of the tradition expressed in the ethical and lifestyle guidelines. Consequently, I made every effort to go beyond the usual text book description and strive to include more real life content.”
More and more researchers and scholars’ in the academic world have tried to understand the current practices as they all feel that, although ancient, our faith has more relevance to today’s world. Therefore it is my hope that you will promote the completion of this survey to the members of your community. This research will not only benefit an educational program, but also for the Zoroastrian community to reflect on it as well.

Homi D. Gandhi
President, FEZANA


Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to invite your participation in this very important survey designed to learn about the current beliefs and practices of the Zoroastrian community throughout North America. If you live outside North America and would like to share your thoughts, you are most welcome to participate and indicate on the survey that you live outside of North America.

My name is Dr. Howard Gontovnick and I teach World Religions at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York. Zoroastrianism is a tradition that is an important part of my course and an essential tradition to understanding other global religions. It is my desire to better understand the current realities and expectations of Zoroastrians throughout North America and at the same time share this knowledge.

Recognizing the significance of this research, I wish to highlight what I believe this survey can accomplish;

  1. To provide a clear and current understanding of the beliefs and practices of adult Zoroastrians living in North America in 2017.
  2. In some respect I believe this can be considered a measure of the future of Zoroastrianism in North America – revealing the expectations of the community
  3. To provide the Zoroastrian and academic community (scholars and students) an up-to-date picture as to the role Zoroastrianism plays in a practitioner’s life.

This survey was created in consultation and the helpful assistance of Dr. Dolly Dastoor, (Editor of FEZANA Journal) Ervad Gev Karkaria, and Homi D. Gandhi, (President – FEZANA). The data attained from this survey will only used to provide a better understanding of the community and its supportive role for the practitioner in North America. Upon completion, my goal is to share all my findings with the Zoroastrian community and hope to present a paper on this theme to an international conference on religion at some future date.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you at any time on any issue. I wish to acknowledge my sincere appreciation to everyone who participates in this educational project and recognize the individuals previously mentioned who have been vital to developing this research project. If you would like to contact me, please do so at the following email:

Best wishes & thank you for your cooperation,
Professor Howard Gontovnick, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
State University of New York (SUNY)
Plattsburgh, New York
Interdisciplinary Studies
101 Broad street,
226 Ward Hall, Plattsburgh
New York, 12901-2681

*Please keep in mind that this survey will conclude at the end of April 2017.