Sarosh Yazad Panah Baad! – How Divine Help saved a devout Parsi family – part 1

The Bharuch Mansion (picturized, not real)
The Bharucha Mansion (imagined, not real)

It was a quiet evening, of an yet un-eventful day, the 23rd of July, 1922. Those were the days when Mumbai was still a cluster of the main city and the distant suburbs made up of small villages. In the hamlet of Marol, situated in the suburb of Andheri, Putlibai and her husband Ardeshir Merwanji Bharucha, along with their children, and Ardeshir’s brother, Darabsha, had just finished their dinner. They settled down in their sprawling mansion, called Shapur Baug, nested amongst many acres of verdant land covered with numerous trees and gardens.

The property had been acquired and built by their illustrious relative Sir Shapurji Bharucha, a self-made man and one of the leading stock brokers of his day, well known as the person who had gifted to charity, in those days of easy prices, the staggering sum of Rs. 25 lakhs. In admiration and recognition of this astounding charity, which was given for both Parsi as well as cosmopolitan purposes, the British Empire had knighted the gentleman.

Sir Shapurji Bharucha

An intensely devout and very traditional Parsi family, the Bharuchas, despite their great wealth and prosperity, never forgot their humble roots. The expansive mansion was built in such a way as to enable the easy practice of all the Tarikats of purity and ritual cleanliness of the faith. The family had also installed a small Atash Dadgah, which was kept burning perpetually and also kept on the estate a full time Priest to tend to the Fire and offer Boi at regular intervals. Of the many rooms in the mansion, one room had been specially set aside and was out of bounds for any non-Parsi or any non-family member. In this room, was kept a very heavy, fire-proof safe where the many riches of the family were stored. On top of this giant safe was kept a perpetually burning Divo along with a framed picture of Prophet Asho Zarathushtra. Next to the safe was also kept a photograph of Sir Shapurji Bharucha who had passed away recently. This room was cleaned and maintained only by the family members and no servant or non-Parsi was allowed to enter.

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