Monthly Archives: March 2018

Lost Worlds’: Parsi ‘Çultures’ And Strongmen In Twentieth Century Bombay

The Board of Trustees and Members of the Governing Body



invite you to a lecture along with a power-point presentation


“‘Lost Worlds’: Parsi ‘Çultures’ And

Strongmen In Twentieth Century Bombay


          Dr Namrata Ganneri

       Research Fellow

Avabai Wadia Research Fellowship in memory of Phiroz Mehta


6 pm on Wednesday, 14th March 2018

in the Dr Sir J J Modi Memorial Hall of the Institute

136 Bombay Samachar Marg, Opposite Lion Gate, Fort,

Mumbai – 400 023

Dr Louiza Rodrigues

Professor, Department Of History,

Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College, Mumbai

will preside

Do join us for tea at 5.30 pm


RSVP 22843893 / 08879253893                     E-mail:

Right of Admission Reserved


‘Lost Worlds’: Parsi ‘Cultures’ and strongmen in twentieth century Bombay

Parsi patronage as well as participation in most modern ‘organised’ sports is well- documented and discussed, but their participation in ‘physical culture movement’ remains obscure and under-investigated.  The ‘Physical Culture Movement’ emanating from the North-Atlantic world consisted of various combinations of gymnastics, calisthenics, weight-lifting and dieting to develop  muscular, healthy bodies and  had adherents all over the world by the first few decades of the twentieth century. Consequently, ‘Physical Culture Homes’ or ‘Çultures’ were founded and physical culture became a craze amongst many Parsi men (and some women) in the city of Bombay.

This lecture traces the history of ‘Physical Culture Homes’ and some iconic strongmen and physical culturists who emerged from these institutes. Many of these men were ‘local heroes’ and are still alive in ‘community memory’ though their histories have not been recorded in any conventional historical archive. The lecture also retrieves traditions of Parsi involvement in ‘índigenous’ wrestling and allied sports and comments on continuities with older traditions of body-building.  Finally, the lecture will also be an opportunity to   showcase the wealth of material collected during interviews with elderly physical -culture enthusiasts and strongmen of the community.

Ceremony on the 6th day (CHHATTHI) after the baby is born.

Ceremony on the 6th day (CHATHI)  after the baby is born.

On the 6th day Light a Divo in the evening at around Dusk time (late evening).

What you need to keep ready:

Ful ses with khoomchi, soparo, pigani, kankoo dani, floweres, glass for batti, Karek, sopari, badam,  sakar, rice grain.

Plain Sheet of white paper, and new Red Pen (keep the pen open do not put on the cap)

Preferably Red Dress, panty/Baba Suit.


If  Baby Girl preferably small red 3-5, bangles to be kept on the Sopara

Loban  or  agarbatti would do

What to do:

In the evening take a head bath. Clean the place, put chowk (optional if you are abroad)

In big Plate/Khoomchi put the Red clothes for the child, you may put any  jewelry if you like chain, pendent, Gold/Siver coin etc.  On the top of the Sopara put Bangles if girl (it is a sign of good luck for the girl child)

On the Sheet write with a red pen (not the new one) ‘Chaathimai mara dikara/dikri ………(write name of the parents) bachaa na sara lekh/nasib lakhi jasoji  you may write what you wish for the child eg. Long, happy, successful life with good health etc… Take ovarna with rice

Place the White plain sheet next to it and light the Divo, Agarbatti.  Leave the paper and open pen on  the sheet overnight.

Say a small prayer wishing the parents and child well.

Let everything be there, once the Divo extinguishes you may pick up everything and put away the clothes to be worn by the baby after the 40th day Nahan and going to Agiary.

Courtesy : Thrity Tantra