Monthly Archives: August 2021

The Parsi chef who wants to introduce Delhi to real Parsi food shorn of cliches!

I am proud to present Kainaz Contractor, Delhi based chef, in this episode of #FoodocracyForHer.
In this chat you will get to hear about how Kainaz studied advertising in Mumbai and then moved into the hotel industry as she wanted to work in food. She did not find what she wanted and became a part of the editorial team of the then newly launched BBC Good Food Magazine. Her next move took her to Delhi where she opened Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu. “The aim was to expose Delhi to day to day Parsi food, shorn of cliches and caricatures,” says Kainaz. She and her partner, Rahul Dua, a sommelier by training ,have run the kitchens and acted as consultants for brands such as Blue Tokai and Cafe Dori. A year back they launched Bhawan Delhi. “The aim is to introduce Delhi to the variety of street food and chaat that you get across India, including non-veg ones,” says Kainaz.
#FoodocracyForHer is a chat show on #FinelyChoppedTV featuring interviews by Kalyan Karmakar of women entrepreneurs in the food and beverage business.
Please share the video so that more people can know about the story of Rustom’s Bhonu and Bhawan Delhi, click on like as it helps the video be discovered and do subscribe to the channel to catch future episodes.

Pestonji’s White Horse, 1983

“Pestonjee Ka Ghoda”

White horse outside ‘Bank of Baroda’, Pestonjee Building, Kothibagh, Residency Road

I knew this one was going to be a special book but what I didn’t expect was an image of a prized memory of Srinagar City: Pestonji’s White Horse.

Raghubir Singh’s ‘Kashmir: Garden of the Himalayas’ (1983) has the photograph explained as, “The white wooden horse was a joke-present from one polo-playing Maharaja (Jaipur) to another (Kashmir). A White Horse whiskey dealer rescued it from a junk heap and installed it in front of a building in Srinagar which he rents to a bank.”

Although the book does not mention it, yet I had heard so much about it (although not the story about its origin), I knew I was looking at the famous Pestonji Ka Ghoda. 

Pestonji name figures in history of Kashmir right from late 1800s to the early times of Sheikh Abdullah (Jinnah and his wife apparently stayed with him during a trip to Srinagar in 1920s).

A shopping mall now stands in its place.

Pestonji’s White Horse, 1983

Anybody who grew up in Srinagar in the good old 1970s and 80s must be familiar with the famous Pestonjee Ka Ghoda on the Residency Road. The Pestonjee Ka Ghoda or the White Horse was installed outside the Pestonjee Building which was next to the Building which housed the famous Mahattas Photographers as well as the Grindlays Bank. As a kid I was always fascinated by this White Horse and used to see it quite often whenever we went to that side of Town. We didnt really care who Pestonjee was or what was the exact purpose or significance of this White Horse but we just liked it. It was like a Monument of a different kind in a City which didnt have many Statues in Public Places. Come Rain or Sun or Snowfall Pestonjee Ka Ghoda was always there.
That was the only connection that we had with the Parsi Community in Srinagar as there were hardly any left. Not much to the Parsi connection in Kashmir except our beloved Pestonjee Ka Ghoda. Or so I thought.
And last night I came across the pics of a Parsi Cemetry or an Aramgah in Kashmir. I was amazed to see that and till now I didnt know of its existence. And on top of that what surprised me even more was the excellent condition the place was in. There was even a list with Names of all the Parsis who had been laid to Rest in the Aramgah. The Graves were clean. The Garden looks well maintained. The Hedges were trimmed properly and since there was no mention of the location in Kashmir i started to search around and realised that this was somewhere around Badami Bagh. Now Badami Bagh as some of you must be aware is the Main Cantonment of Srinagar. And as such is a high security area so one cant just go looking for this place inside.
The fact that the place was so well maintained was a pointer to the fact that it was under the Army’s maintenance. So in order to get more information with Saleem Baig saab who is an authority on the Historical Stuff in Kashmir and shared the pics with him and even he was pleasantly surprised to see the pics. Baig Saab has already written on the subject of Parsis in Kashmir hence he bought some facts to my Notice. As it so happened the Parsi Aramgah mentioned in Historical contexts was somewhere near Pantha Chowk and beyond Pantha CHowk there were large Parsi land holdings in the area which houses the Khunmoh Industrial Estate now. And most of the Parsis lived in this area.
The Pantha Chowk area lies near the Badami Bagh Cantonment and this explains how the Aramgah came under Army’s maintenance. And the fact that its existence isnt so well known is due to the fact that its a High Security Zone and Civilian access is strictly controlled. And Baig Saab mentioned how Parsi Lands were acquired by the State as younger Parsis decided to move away especially after Independence. And as of today there are no Parsis in Kashmir and their only lasting legacy is this Aramgah and of course Pestonjee Ka Ghoda.
So what exactly was the Pestonjee Ka Ghoda story ? Well the thing was Pestonjee was a Trader and one of the things he dealt in was Imported Liquor. And of course one of the main selling Liquors was of course Scotch Whisky. And one of the main brand that Pestonjee dealt in was White Horse Scotch Whisky. What better advertisement for his Whiskey brand than putting a White Horse outside his Shop. The legend goes that the White Horse was imported all the way from England and installed outside the Shop where it became the legendary Pestonjee Ka Ghoda.
So what happened to the Pestonjee Ka Ghoda you may ask ?
Well the legendary Pestonjee Ka Ghoda is still there though now it has moved to an ugly Mall on the Residency Road and it stands in the Foyer in the Mall. The surroundings have changed but even today when I see it, it brings a flood of memories of the good old days. I am sure if Pestonjee Ka Ghoda could speak he would agree with me.
Credit To The Photographer Who Took These Pics. And SearchKashmir for the Pestonjee Ka Ghoda pics.
Courtesy: Jehangir Bisney

Ahura Support


Ahura Support is a secular registered charitable trust working with differently abled individuals and their families. They work towards bettering the lives of individuals with developmental or congenital disorders, most of who are mentally challenged. At their Day Care Centre and Residential Home, they endeavour to maximise opportunities for these individuals to discover their abilities, empower themselves, gain independence and live with dignity in an inclusive environment.

For more details contact Call on: +91-9821043319 || +91-9819859987

Email :

Host – Dr. Mazda Turel

Guest Speaker – Ms. Hutoxi Doodhwala

Location – Mazda Studios

Director of Photography – Rehan S. Daruwalla

Directed by – Aarish S. Daruwalla

Produced by – Sarosh K. Daruwalla Mazda Multimedia

Ahura Support Film Shot by – Rehan Daruwalla

Edited at – Mazda Studios.


Jashan to Welcome Positivity at ZAC Athashkadeh

It was the first time in recent times that all of the 5 High Priests/Vada Dasturs came together to give blessings and a message of love, peace, joy health, long life, and prosperity. They addressed the Global community after the Behram Yazad Jashan performed by Ervads Jal Birdy, Zerkxis & Zarrir Bhandara at the ZAC LA Atash Kadeh on Saturday, September 4th, 2021.

Courtesy: Parsi Times

Zoros launch Good Deeds Club to support seniors

Twice Weekly Service in East and South Auckland

“I was inspired by Dr Ashley Bloomfield,” says Viraf Todywalla who is seen here with Director-General Health and Secretary and Chief Executive, Ministry of Health at the Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Lecture held on August 16, 2021 (INL Photo by Narendra Bedekar)

The Zoroastrian Association of New Zealand (ZANZ) has just launched its new facility for the senior members of the community residing in the East and South Auckland region.

Called, ‘Good Deeds Club,’ it is a free pick up and drop service of groceries and other items every Sunday and Monday between 11 am to 5 pm.

ZANZ Vice-President Viraf Todywalla, who we understand initiated the concept, said that ‘Good Deeds Club,’ will serve the senior citizens of the Zoroastrian (Parsi) community.

Lockdown Four Service

“We have commenced this service to commemorate the International Senior Citizens Day which was marked all over the world on August 21, 2021. Our aim is to help senior citizens of our community transporting their groceries, medicines and other essentials during the Covid-19 lockdown four,” he said.

Mr Todywalla said that for logistical reasons, the service is currently restricted to East and South Auckland area and only certain services will be rendered.

The service will be subject to terms and conditions prescribed by ZANZ.

“We will be able to provide only pick up and drop service. We are not able to undertake shopping or paying for the cost of groceries, medicines and other essentials. We are also not able to transport our seniors from place to place at this stage,’ he said.

Viraf Todywalla and Roshni Daruwalla (second and fourth from left) with their ZANZ Committee 2021-2023 (Photo Supplied)

Terms and Conditions

Among the conditions for provision of the service would be (1) Only to Elders living alone without any support or assistance (2) On flexible time- the timing cannot be ‘sharp,’ and will be subject to traffic and other factors (3) On first-received-first served basis; the requirement must be by text at least three days in advance-ideally the Thursday before (4) Upon confirmation by the President and Vice-President of ZANZ (5) On no physical contact basis as per the Covid-19 and other regulations in force (6) On the number of requests at hand; overflowing requests will be held over to the following week

“We will not handle cash or conduct any financial transaction. This service is only to transport day-to-day needs of our seniors and restricted to goods that can be easily carried. ZANZ Committee reserves rights to make any changes or discontinue the service at any time without prior notice,” Mr Todywalla said.

Please contact ZANZ President Roshni Daruwalla on 021-2675397 or Vice-President Viraf Todywalla on 021-0424245

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 26, 2021

Zoros launch Good Deeds Club to support seniors

Dr. Mickey Mehta will be stepping into super sixties

On August 29 2021 – Dr. Mickey Mehta will be stepping into super sixties.
Four decades normally seem very long, but for Dr. Mickey Mehta it seems they flew pass like a breeze. Yes this year as he steps into 60th birthday, he also completes 40 years as the pioneer of wellness industry on many counts. The first holistic health columnist in India , first fitness TV radio presenter , first one to bring fitness to reality shows ( Indian idol junior , fame gurukool , nach baliye, channel V get gorgeous ,channel V pop stars and many more ) ,  first personal trainer of India , first one to promote equipment free training in India , first one to coach miss India / Mr. India / supermodels etc. He also has a world record in teaching swimming in 24 hours.
Incidentally he also completes 51 years of practicing yoga. Yet when we ask him are you a yogi? Pat comes the answer, “no am just an ordinary bhogi.”
He feels very fortunate as being appointed the FIT INDIA MOVEMENT champion and he also got the original Indian Olympics t-shirt to make videos for cheering the Indian Olympians.
Being a part of Indian merchant steering committee for holistic health there is lots India can expect post pandemic with his intended ventures HEALTHY INDIA WEALTHY INDIA.
As he steps into his 60th year, the Fit India movement turns three- . Is it a coincidence you ask? “And he says … I am simply blessed! ….”.
So what’s new we wonder? “Every moment, newness depends on your creativity driven by your own enthusiasm and getting inspired from within “. And he quickly opens up his cell phone with childlike enthusiasm, shows me the cover of his new book with global super chef Sanjeev Kapoor and the book is called, “IMMUNITY PLUS” where Chef Sanjeev Kapoor has contributed with health food recipes. Immunity plus also has a 4 week program of workouts, breathing, meditation, mind science, affirmations and prayers. In his own words it is a fully loaded club sandwich of well-rounded IMMUNITY all the way.
And knowing our mighty Mickey we certainly knew that wasn’t it at all. He once again pulls out his research paper on IMMUNITY FOR HUMANITY ‘by UGC- UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISION’  for which he was assisted by Dr. Havovi Rana under the guidance of Dr. Ali Irani- HOD PHYSIOTHERAPY NANAVATI HOSPITAL, DEAN NMIMS COLLEGE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY and his assistant Dr. Mansi Mehta. And yes this is Dr. Mickey ,Mehta’s second medical research paper , the first being the monu- mental code – Vedic Wisdom, published in SCI VISION JOURNAL.
Wow now we have 2 global Parsees in the business of immunity from our community. One – Mr. Adar Poonawala and second – Dr. Mickey Mehta. He quickly remembered his first meeting with Adar Poonawala at the Serum institute of India 2020 march 17 just 5 days before the lockdown to be precise and he says the idea of work on immunity germinated there.
And in his own words he says, work and communicate, to the world and let maximum people get the benefit. So what’s the noise we ask? And yes he says a campaign of wellness revolution for human evolution on radio one, fever and nasha parallelly around STEPPING INTO SIXTY, and that’s not it, hold on; a campaign on Tata sky by Dr. Mickey Mehta “freedom from fat” was launched on the Independence Day.
On his birthday itself 29th August, Tata sky will run a special tribute for the legendary global leading holistic health guru Dr. Mickey Mehta – SUPER FIT SIXTY…completing 40 years of professional journey.
Parsees are known for caring and sharing and Dr. Mickey Mehta has just launched a brand new 360 degree holistic health healing center at Bhulabhai Desai Road Mahalaxmi chambers south Mumbai.
And you ask him any community related service ,and he says “ I serve the Maharashtra police , the BMC, the immigration , the customs , army , navy , air force time to time and have now started serving senior citizens from Zoroastrian community every Friday 6 pm at captain colony.
So does legendary mean THATS IT? And he says “I have just begun, I plan to live forever and contribute forever. I share my passion of social impact with my brother Jimmy Mistry and yes we both are driven by purpose. “
Then comes the line from the wordsmith’s mouth, “don’t chase your dreams …pursue your purpose and the universe will fulfil your dreams”
The project closest to his heart is DELPHIC GAMES of Greece it’s like the Olympics of art and culture. This was launched at the governors house on Saturday the 21st of August  by joint commissioner Gst Sahil Seth, Hema malini ji , veteran actor Paresh Rawal, music directors Salim Suleiman , choreographers Bosco – Ceasar, MD BMG Crescendo and above all the grandmaster of physiotherapy Dr. Ali Irani, just to name a few. As a chair of holistic health for Delphic games,   it seems he has the responsibility of starting a “SWAST BHARAT MAST BHARAT MOVEMENT”
It was time we had to close the interview and he appealed like a child that I have four more lines please and of course who could refuse that innocent face with a charming and a mesmerizing smile.
And then he says, “My vision is, LET WELLNESS BE THE RELIGION NUMBER ONE.
Yes of course Mickey – we are mesmerized and are Mickeymized ….
Thank you.
Warm Regards,
Mickey Mehta – Chairman & Managing Director.
+91 9223405929
Awarded as Health and Wellness Icon of India by Economic Times.
Awarded as one of the World’s Top 100 Impactful Wellness Leaders at the World Wellness Congress. 
Get Naturalized , Get Maximized … Get Mickeymized !!

Celebrations of Festivals – Parsi New Year

Rotary Greetings

Very happy to connect with you.

We are having a small celebration of Parsi New Year over Zoom on 31st August 2021 Tuesday at 6.30pm, with a simple  purpose of bringing Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Rotary.

Starting with Parsee we will move on to celebrate many such Indian Festivals to bring the communities in touch with Rotary and back.

We would like to invite you for the same while, also with your  help, invite as many Parsis to this event as possible for this event.

Looking forward to connecting with you.

About Rotary

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. For for more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.


Dr. Namrataa Srivastav  <>

RID 3142 2021-2022 Avenue Chair

WIRI group Coordinator Fellowships 2021-22

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