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Adab Tute To Kusti Tute

A saying from Dr. Saheb Faramroze Sohrabji Chiniwala regarding the importance of Adab is that, “Adab rakhvi e mazdayasnionu mool lakhshan che.” ” Adab tute to kushti tute.”

 

Late Savakshah Todivala (Surat) was a student of Dr. F S Chinivala. Whenever Savakshah used to see Dr. Saheb Faramroze go past his house in Surat, he would rush out of his house and ask Dr. Saheb Faramroze many questions regarding the intricacies of Zoroastrian-Lifestyle (tarikat). One day, Savakshah as his daily routine, rushed out his house when he saw Dr. Saheb Faramroze, and started asking him questions regarding tarikats. Out of the blue, Dr. Saheb Faramroze said the above statement “Adab tute to kushti tute” “Kaka sathe adab thi varto” (if your manner is not proper then Kusti tute, behave well with your Kaka). Savakshah had a very saintly Kaka (Late Ardeshir Todivala, disciple of Ustad Saheb Behramshah N Shroff) and sometimes Savakshah used to misbehave (unintentionally) with his Kaka. What Dr. Saheb Faramroze meant here was; what is the use of following all tarikats if you do not know how to behave well with everyone. The foundation of Zoroastrian-lifestyle (tarikat) to the Paak Nirangdin ceremony, is the Kusti Padiaav prayers. If the foundation (Kusti) is not proper, the edifice (tarikat, nirangdin) is going to fall down.

(This incident was narrated by Savakshah to Mr. Mehernosh Vaid.)

 

According to Oral tradition there are many instances when the Ritual Validity of our Kusti Padiaav is broken (kusti tuti gai). Few of them are mentioned below:

  • Moving barefooted.
  • Moving around bareheaded.
  • After the Gah Changes (i.e. 5 times a day).
  • After answering natures call.
  • After getting up from sleep.
  • Speaking in between Prayers or ceremonies.
  • Passing wind when praying or performing ceremonies.
  • If the Lar (tassels) of the Kusti are freed from the knot.
  • Wearing the Sudreh the wrong way (oolto).
  • Saying the wrong Roj Mah while reciting prayers.

 

“Character born out of Path Tarikat procedures tries to wield the will power in the right direction which should be then the end result of Tarikat observances. Tarikat Non-productive of character is then faulty and hypocritical a delusion for the practitioners.”

(A Sequel to Essentials of Zoroastrianism – Dr. Faramroze S Chinivala).

 

The Ritual validity (amal) of our Kusti is broken (tuti jai) when a person passes in front of us when we are doing our Kushti padiaab ritual. There is a strong oral tradition regarding this point and we observe many traditional Zoroastrian (laity and clergy) stand very close to a wall when doing the Kusti ritual. Also of note here is that the Ritual validity (amal) of our Kusti is broken (kusti no amal tuti jai) whenever there is degeneration in our Khoreh or thoughts.

Reference:

[1] Parsi Avaz article written by Jehangirji Sohrabji Chiniwala.

[2] Khordeh Avesta ba Kshnoomn Taavil by Dr.Saheb Faramroze Sohrabji Chiniwala.

 

Courtesy: Daisy Bhagwagar

 

Arash the Archer

Arash the Archer (Erekhsho khshvivi-ishush – Tir Yasht para 6)

 

“Once when he (Afrasiyaab) attacked Iran, he was defeated by Minochehr. As the victor, Minochehr suggested to Afrasiyaab a way to demarcate the boundaries between Iran and Turan. In Iran, lived an archer named Eresh. He was considered the best archer in the whole of Iran and Turan. He was no ordinary mortal. He was in communion with Meher Yazad. It was decided that Eresh would shoot an arrow and the place where the arrow fell would become the boundary between the warring countries. Afrasiyaab readily agreed to this condition. On the appointed day, Eresh climbed Mount Demavand early morning, and with the power of Maanthravani, shot an arrow. It was afternoon when the arrow fell at a certain spot near the river Vohun. This became the new boundary between Iran and Turan.” (1)

(1) : Iran Ni Tavarikh (16) – Lecture series by Late Adi Doctor Saheb that was chronicled by Hanoz Mistry. The article appeared in Dini Avaz Vol. 23 No. 2.

 

The basic story of the bowman runs as follows: In a war between the Iranians and Turanians over the “royal glory” (khwarrah), the General Afrasiab has surrounded the forces of the righteous Manuchehr, and the two sides agree to make peace. Both reach an agreement that whatever land falls within the range of a bow-shot shall be returned to the Manuchehr and the Iranians, and the rest should then fall to Afrasiab and the Aniranians. An angel (in al-Biruni it is ‘Esfandaramad’, i.e. the Amesha Spenta Spenta Armaiti, in Middle Persian called ‘Spendarmad’) instructs Manuchehr to construct a special bow and arrow, and Arash is asked to be the archer. Arash then fires the specially-prepared arrow at dawn, which then traveled a great distance (see below) before finally landing and so marking the future border between the Iranians and the Aniranians.

 

In Talebi and Bal’ami, Arash is destroyed by the shot and disappears. In al-Tabari, he is exalted by the people, is appointed commander of the archers and lives out his life in great honor. The distance the arrow travels varies: in one it is thousand leagues (farsakhs), in another forty days walk. In several, the arrow traveled from dawn to noon, in others from dawn until sunset. A few sources specify a particular date for the event. The Middle Persian Mah i Frawardin notes the 6th day of the 1st month (i.e. Khordad of Frawardin); later sources associate the event with the name-day festivities of Tiregan (13th of Tir) “presumably” provoked by the homonymity with the Yazata Tir or tir “arrow.” (Tafażżolī 1987, p. 266)

 

The location from which Arash fired his arrow varies as well. In the Avesta (which does not mention places in Western Iran), it is Airyo.khshaotha, a not-further identified location in the Middle Clime. Islamic-era sources typically place the location of the shot somewhere just south of the Caspian Sea, variously in Tabaristan (Tabari, Talebi, Maqdesi, ibn al-Athir, Marashi); a mountain-top in Ruyan (al-Biruni, Gardēzī), Amul fortress (Mojmal), Mount Damavand (Balami) or Sari (Gorgani). The place the arrow landed is variously identified as ‘Mount Khvanvant’ in the Avesta (likewise an unknown location); a river in Balkh (Tabari, al-Atir); east of Balkh (Talebi); Bactria/Tokharistan (Maqdesi, Gardizi); the banks of the Oxus River (Balami) or Merv (Mojmal). According to al-Biruni, it hit a nut tree between “Fargana” and Tabaristan “in the furthest reaches of [Greater] Khorasan.”

 

The name Arash remains one of the most popular names among Iranians.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arash

http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Mythology/arash.htm

 

Courtesy: Jimmy Tavadia

Xerxes Desai, founder of Titan

Xerxes Desai, founder of Titan, dies

Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan.

Xerxes Desai spent four decades working across the Tata Group. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Xerxes Desai spent four decades working across the Tata Group. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Xerxes Sapur Desai, the man who founded Titan Co. Ltd and made it an internationally renowned Indian watch brand, is no more.

The 79-year-old died in Bengaluru on Monday because of acute gastroenteritis.

“He was not only our founder, but also our greatest advocate. Over the years, his guidance and dogged pursuit of perfection helped make Titan a household name and a market leader,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“He was big thinking, iconoclastic, meticulous, insightful, humanitarian with a enhanced sense of style and taste, articulate and quality conscious. A passionate rationalist who believed that ‘Yesterday’s truths are today’s heresies,’” said Bhaskar Bhat, Managing director, Titan.

A graduate of Bombay and Oxford Universities, Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan Co. Ltd (part of Tata Sons), after enduring years of resistance from state-owned and now defunct HMT Watches.

But that is not his only contribution to the world, those who knew him pointed out.

Desai was an “amazing, eclectic entrepreneur,” and “a passionate fighter for Indian cities,” said Titan board member and urban development expert Ireena Vittal, who praised his “inspirational design sensibility that helped lay down the foundation for Titan and earlier Taj.”

Like many others, Vittal called him a fine gentleman with lovely stories and great dogs. Desai, who loved western classical and jazz, often brought his two dogs to work.

“I will so miss him,” Vittal said in an e-mail.

Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy shared the sentiment.

“He was a wonderful person and the city will miss him,” said Murthy, who met him on many occasions over the years. “He was a perfectionist, a disciplined man and always on time.” Murthy fondly remembered the time when Infosys distributed custom-designed watches to 25,000 employees when it celebrated its “Billion Dollar Day.”

Desai’s journey in building one of the largest indigenous brands in the country was not an easy one. While the idea of Titan came about in 1979, it took him seven long years to finally set up a factory in Hosur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, in 1986 with support from the Tamil Nadu government.

“It was a time,” Desai recalled of days in the 60s in an earlier interview with Mint, “when one had to write an application to HMT to get a watch you see. One couldn’t buy it in the open market. You then got a letter of approval from the department and then over a couple of weeks you had to go to a store to collect it.”

Before Titan, Desai spent four decades working across the Tata Group—TAS, Tata Press, Taj Hotels—fighting odds and making a case for businesses to flourish in a closed economy.

Varun Sood and Sharan Poovanna contributed to this story.

Tributes to Dasturji Peshotan Mirza

Vada Dasturji Dr. Peshotan Mirza passed away today after a tenacious battle with cancer. The entire Parsi community mourns the loss of this splendid and erudite Zoroastrian – one of our finest Vada Dasturjis.

Till the end he served the community with integrity, scholarship and commitment.

May his glorious soul find Garothman Behest – and may his family find solace in their hour of grief.

 

Courtesy :‎Yezdi Maneck Bhathena‎

*******‎

 

 

 

Traditional Zarthustis have lost a great personality [on 26-06-2016]. An ideal HEAD Priest. A very humble and low profile soul. My sincere prayers for his Ruvan to proceed towards Garothman Behest in Sarosh Yazad ni Panah.

Courtesy : ‎Godrej Sachinwalla

******* 

A pic that speaks a thousand words…cud not help sharing.

May the divine soul of Dasturji Peshotan Mirza attain the highest heaven – Garothman Behesht.

Courtesy : ‎Jasmine Sahukar


Dr. Peshotan Dastur Hormazdyar Mirza is fantastic combination of religious fervour and technical excellence. Born at Udvada in November 1944, Dr. Peshotan Mirza acquired his priestly Education and Training at:

Seth Sorabji Manekji Damanwala Madressa, Udvada.

The M.F. Cama Athornan Institute, Andheri.

Ordained the Zoroastrian Priestly orders of Navar, Maratab and Samel; performed higher liturgical services and ‘Boi’ ceremony of Holy Iranshah Atash-Behram, Udvada. As for his academic and theological education; he passed SSC examination and joined St. Xavier’s college Mumbai and obtained B.Sc (Honors), M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Bombay.

He studied Avesta-Pahlavi and Iranian History at Sir J.J Zarthosti Madressa and Mulla Firoze Madressa, Mumbai alongside University studies in Science.

He was appointed to the exalted position of Dastur (High-Priest) of Iranshah Atash Behram; Samast Anjuman, Udvada on 13th May 2004.

Apart from being a priest of the highest calibre, few in the community know that he was a lecturer in Chemistry at St. Xavier’s College; Mumbai Development and Documentation Scientist at International Draxon Industries, Tehran, Iran.

Retired from the post of General Manager – Technical Services in a Chemical manufacturing company in Mumbai.

Former member -Science and Technology Sub-committee, Bombay Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Member – Research Committee – The K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai

Member of Managing Committee – M.F. Cama Athornan Institute and its ex-student Association.

Trustee – Athornan Mandal and Udvada Anjuman.

Besides discharging religious duties as a high priest of Iranshah Atash Behram Udvada Anjuman, he is also presently working as a technical advisor in a chemical manufacturing company in Mumbai.

He has attended and participated in religious and technical seminars and conferences. He was an invitee to the world conference on spiritual regeneration and human values at Bangalore in January 2003, and addressed the gathering there on Spirituality and science. He also attended a conference of world religions dialogue and symphony at Mahuva, Bhavnagar in 2009.

A great orator, he has lectured on Zoroastrian religious and historical subjects at various places of Parsi settlements in India, Singapore, Dubai, Karachi and Iran.

Dr. Peshotan Mirza is a shining jewel of our community. A man of not only great virtue, sincerity and spirituality, but also of technical excellence. May his tribe increase with the divine benedictory of Pak Iranshah Atashbehram, our prophet Zarathushta and Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda. Atha Jamyat Yathra Afrinami! He studied Avesta-Pahlavi and Iranian History at Sir J.J Zarthosti Madressa and Mulla Firoze Madressa, Mumbai alongside University studies in Science.

He was appointed to the exalted position of Dastur (High-Priest) of Iranshah Atash Behram; Samast Anjuman, Udvada on 13th May 2004.

Apart from being a priest of the highest calibre, few in the community know that he was a lecturer in Chemistry at St. Xavier’s College; Mumbai Development and Documentation Scientist at International Draxon Industries, Tehran, Iran.

Retired from the post of General Manager – Technical Services in a Chemical manufacturing company in Mumbai.

Former member -Science and Technology Sub-committee, Bombay Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Member – Research Committee – The K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai

Member of Managing Committee – M.F. Cama Athornan Institute and its ex-student Association.

Trustee – Athornan Mandal and Udvada Anjuman.

Besides discharging religious duties as a high priest of Iranshah Atash Behram Udvada Anjuman, he is also presently working as a technical advisor in a chemical manufacturing company in Mumbai.

He has attended and participated in religious and technical seminars and conferences. He was an invitee to the world conference on spiritual regeneration and human values at Bangalore in January 2003, and addressed the gathering there on Spirituality and science. He also attended a conference of world religions dialogue and symphony at Mahuva, Bhavnagar in 2009.

A great orator, he has lectured on Zoroastrian religious and historical subjects at various places of Parsi settlements in India, Singapore, Dubai, Karachi and Iran.

Dr. Peshotan Mirza is a shining jewel of our community. A man of not only great virtue, sincerity and spirituality, but also of technical excellence. May his tribe increase with the divine benedictory of Pak Iranshah Atashbehram, our prophet Zarathushta and Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda. Atha Jamyat Yathra Afrinami!

 

Courtesy : Khushru Variava

Jiyo Parsi scheme treats infertile couples

Jiyo Parsi scheme treats infertile couples, raises hopes of rise in Parsi population

By Aishik Chanda

Published: 23rd June 2016 06:17 AM

Last Updated: 23rd June 2016 06:17 AM

HYDERABAD: Jiyo Parsi! The scheme launched last year by the Union ministry of minority affairs to arrest the falling numbers of Parsis by treating infertility of couples has raised the hopes of the Hyderabadi Parsis to increase their dwindling population, albeit marginally.

“While a Parsi child, who was born out of a formerly infertile city Parsi couple, turned one year a month ago, another formerly infertile Parsi couple is expecting a child soon. In all, over 40 Parsi children were born after the launch of the scheme in 2015 throughout India but majorly in Mumbai,” says Jehangir Bisney, trustee of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman of Hyderabad and Secunderabad (PZAHS).

Anjuman is the nodal agency for implementation of the central scheme in the city which is home to around 1,200 Parsis who live mainly in and around Parsi fire temples in Secunderabad and Tilak Road, Abids and also at Bapubagh.

“Most of the city Parsis have been made aware of the programme through social media and Parsi magazines and also by sticking of posters at fire temples, in Parsi-dominated areas and at the Parsi Dharmasala near Paradise junction in Secunderabad,” adds Bisney who is a chartered accountant by profession.

“The programme has been received well by the Parsis of the city. During a two-day workshop held at Parsi Dharmasala on December 5 and 6 last year, some 300 Parsis and non-Parsis attended the first-day orientation and 24 Parsi couples were counselled on the second day,” recalls Omim Debara, grandson of Dinshawji Dadabhoy Italia, the first Parsi MP from Hyderabad.

The scheme is being implemented nationwide in assistance with Parzor Foundation of New Delhi and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Under the scheme, medical and financial assistance and counselling are provided to infertile couples who have to first register themselves online at the Union ministry of minority affairs’ website by furnishing income proof.

The case is transferred to the Anjuman in Hyderabad, which then connects the infertile couple to gynaecologists who screen them and provide necessary treatment. The identity of the couple is kept strictly confidential.

“Any Parsi couple with an annual income less than ` 10 lakh is provided with a ` 5 lakh medical assistance and the aid continues till the woman conceives. An amount of about ` 10 crore has been earmarked for the scheme,” adds Bisney.

“As over 60 per cent of Parsis are above the fertility age, any work done to increase our numbers is welcome. As against every 18 to 20 Parsis dying in Hyderabad every year, only two to four children are born. This might marginally change now,” hopes Debara.

More

Courtesy : Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman of Secunderabad and Hyderabad

“Ghee Khichri”..Event

NAVSARI- a small place in Gujarat State…..is known for an event which is called “Ghee Khichri”..Boys go from.one house to another, asking for uncooked rice, dal, oil, ghee and also other uncooked products….the ladies pour generous portions in their colkection bags, they also splash water on them, which the boys collecting these ingredients have to dodge carefully……Later this uncooked food is gathered at one location and is cooked into yummy food….each street hears the echo of the wonderful words sung which goes like this….
GHEEE KHICHRI NO PAISO

DORIYAA NO RUPIYO
VARSAADJI TOH AAYEGA
DUMRI SHER LAAYEGA
DUMRI TAARI OAT MAA KHARA PAANINET MAA
OTTI KE POTTI
REL AAVI MOTTI
ALLAA GOCAL PAANI MOKAL
VARSAADJI NU PAANI TOH MITTHU NE MITTHU
This ritual goes on with full gutso only and only in Navsari….on BOHMAN mah and Bohman Roj.

In today’s jet age where customs and traditions are almost gone….Navsari is the place which has kept this ritual alive…..The ritual is supposed to be dedicated to Rain Gods & Also we Parsees would not eat Non veg for the next 30 days.
Now this is what I call Navsari Dharam ni Tekri….
Come on folks keep this ritual alive and keep it going……Proud to belong to this place….NAVSARI

A WA fwd by Mrs A. Patel.

Vegetarianism in Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion

Vegetarianism in Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion:

Does the religion enjoin eating flesh foods?


Written especially for the Month of Bahman

Pervin J. Mistry

 

“The concept of vegetarianism since long has been an interesting subject for discussion in the Parsi community and the Zoroastrian Religion. As a majority of the members of the Parsi community are non-vegetarians, the general belief therefore prevails among several members of the community, as well as among the members of other communities, that the tenets of the Zoroastrian Religion themselves might be in support of the concept of non-vegetarianism. But this belief is then a serious blunder. In the past as well as in the present times, it has been explained threadbare, that even though the majority of the members of the community may be having non-vegetarian food, but according to the tenets of the Zoroastrian Religion, vegetarian is the only natural food for mankind.” Ervad Dr. Rooyintan Peshotan Peer writes these memorable words in the Preface of the book, “Vegetarianism – From Zoroastrian Religious Point of View”, written by – Ervad Dr. Peshotan Framarz Peer.

 

There is irrefutable proof that in the beginning, mankind only subsisted on vegetarian food. The Immortal Shayeran–e Shayer of Iran, Firdowsi Tusi, writes in the Shahnameh that it was Ahriman, disguised as a cook named Iblis, who first served the tyrannical King Zohak, dishes made of the flesh of birds and animals. Ahriman’s evil intent was to destroy all life on earth so the Divine Event of Frashogard will not be achieved. He started by killing animals and birds but then he proceeded to the killing of human beings to feed the two serpents that grew on both the shoulders of Zohak. The two snakes were fed two human brains daily. According to Firdowsi, this is the beginning of eating non-vegetarian food. Subsequently, humanity became habituated to eating animal flesh.

Click the link to continue reading Vegetarianism in Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion

 

Courtesy: Hushang Vakil

 

Frazan Adil Kotwal

yderabad shared Jam-e-Jamshed‘s post.

Jam-e-Jamshed's photo.
Jam-e-Jamshed's photo.
  • Jam-e-Jamshed added 2 new photos.

     

    ‪#‎Jame‬ ‪#‎ParsiAchiever‬

    Frazan Adil Kotwal, a 23-year-old Mobed from Pune, is also an Opera singer (baritone).

    Frazan has performed all over Europe and participated in music festivals, via scholarships.

    He has been accepted into the Musik und Darstellunde Kunst (maestro Zubin Mehta’s former school) as an ausordentlicher (extraordinary) student and the Musik und Kunst üniversität (formerly the Konservatorium). He will be choosing the Musik und Kunst.

    Frazan is mostly self taught and has done a few master classes. He also plays the violin and viola. He organises music groups for youngsters to learn and understand music.

    Most importantly, every year he prays in the Agiary during Muktad days.

     

    Courtesy : Pervin Merchant

Nari K Rustomji – Idealistic bureaucrat

Idealistic bureaucrat

May 16 was Meghalaya’s first chief secretary Nari K Rustomji’s birth anniversary. Glenn C Kharkongor recalls his contribution to the Northeast

 NARI K Rustomji studied classical Latin and Greek, was secretary of the Musical Society and played the piano and violin at Cambridge University. Such a background would be considered unusual for a bureaucrat today. Perhaps it was these sensibilities that made Rustomji one of the most endearing political administrators of his era and his affection for the tribals of Northeast India is legendary.

This week is the 94th birth anniversary of the first chief secretary of Meghalaya, who died a decade ago.

The Northeast has all but forgotten this remarkable bureaucrat, whose grasp of geopolitical matters and understanding of tribal cultures made him one of the most sympathetic and understanding administrators of the Northeast in the transition to and in the early post-Independence era. He and Verrier Elwin were often described as romantics. They were close friends and Rustomji in fact, edited a volume of Elwin’s selected writings. Their advice was relied upon greatly by Nehru and resulted in a policy for the Northeast that has been described as Nehruvian humanistic paternalism. Sadly, that benevolent policy has lapsed and has been replaced with a chaotic and befuddled mindset in Delhi, which results in cultural aggression and headlong underdevelopment, characterized by insensitivity and greed.

Rustomji was influenced greatly by Plato and Socrates, and intended to become a school teacher, but was persuaded by his teachers to apply for the ICS. It was during World War II, and at the interview he was asked about his contribution to the war effort. At the time he was a member of the Royal Observer Corps, keeping a tally of enemy planes that flew overhead. When he mentioned that he was a plane spotter, the examiners inquired how many planes he had spotted the previous week. His reply was a solemn “I’m sorry sir, that’s top secret”. There was an amused murmur of approval among the greybeards and he felt that he had clinched the appointment.

At the end of his ICS probationary training in Dehra Dun, Nari K Rustomji was assigned to Assam, which he accepted whole-heartedly.  One of the main reasons for this enthusiasm was Assam’s proximity to Sikkim and Bhutan. He had been introduced to these countries, India’s neighbours in the Northeast, by his friendship with the crown prince of Sikkim, Thondup Namgyal and his cousin, the prince of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji who were probationers along with him in 1942. These lifelong friendships were cemented during Rustomji’s posting as Dewan of Sikkim from 1954-59 and when he was appointed as Adviser to the Government of Bhutan in 1963.

Rustomji spent most of his career in the Northeast, spanning from his first appointment as district publicity organiser in Sylhet during the Second World War, a kind of propaganda post to develop and deliver positive messages to the public in favour of the Allies, to being the first chief secretary of Meghalaya in 1972. In between he served in various administrative posts in Maulvibazar, Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh. Perhaps the most noteworthy position that he had was adviser to the Governor of Assam on tribal affairs, during which time he exerted considerable influence on the formulation of policies for the hill areas.

He was associated with the implementation of the early seven-year plans in Sikkim and Bhutan.  Significant in these development efforts were a visionary intent to protect the environment and biodiversity of the region and to protect the region from unwanted kinds of development. He was also careful to ensure that cultural traditions and sensitivities were protected in implementing the Plans.

Rustomji was deeply drawn to the tribals of the region. In his book Enchanted Frontiers, Rustomji says, “The people of the hills have had for me a special pull. I feel utterly and completely at home with my (tribal) hosts. I am at heart, very much a tribal myself. I share much of the bewilderment and loss of identity of the tribal of today”. He learned the local language at every posting and even wore indigenous costumes to work. Much of his scholarly writing are on the anthropology and sociology of the tribes and these articles have appeared in journals such as Himalayan Environment and Culture brought out by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

As Dewan of the Chogyal of Sikkim and adviser to the Government of Bhutan, he immersed himself in the cultural milieu of those countries, learning the Sikkimese and Bhutanese languages and wearing the local costumes. He would wear the Sikkimese gown, the ko, even during his trips to Delhi. This led the foreign secretary to comment wryly that while the Dewan might wear Sikkimese dress in Gangtok, he failed to see the point of his wearing the gown in Delhi.

During the governorship of Sri Prakasa, he played a pivotal role in obtaining the accession to India of the maharajas of Manipur, Cooch Behar andManipur. Though varying amounts of duress were exerted in these efforts, Rustomji came out each time with the respect of the maharaja.  On each occasion his services were requested as the first Chief Commissioner of the accessed kingdom.

He had a part in the negotiations with the Naga and Mizotribals. He tried to convince the Government that “right principles, rather than force of arms” was the right policy. He spoke out against the tendency of officers to pontificate patronizingly about “uplifting our tribal brethren”.  Himself a Zoroastrian, he tried to convince the tribals that they were free to practice the religion of their choice, by arranging special broadcasts of Christian services on Sundays in English and in the various Naga languages. He describes his poignant interaction with a Naga prisoner, discussing letters that the prisoner had written about a cat who was his sole companion in jail.  He discussed with General Shrinagesh about a sympathetic approach to the hearts and minds of the tribal people. Sadly, they were not many in the political and military establishment that shared his statesmanlike approach.

In 1951, when he was stationed in Shillong as advisor to the Governor of Assam, Rustomji got married to Hilla Master, daughter of Jal Ardeshir Master, chief conservator of forests, Madras Presidency. They had met in Bombay the previous year; he was 31 and she was 23. Their daughter Tusna was born at Welsh Mission Hospital in 1952. Sadly, Hilla died of complications soon after. He married again in 1963 to Avi Dalal, someone the family had long known.

An unfortunate outcome of Partition was the closure of trade between the Khasi Hills and the contiguous areas of East Pakistan. Perishable oranges and betel nut from the border plantations now had no outlet market and Rustomji approved the request of the local traders for an airstrip in Shella, so that the produce could be flown to Calcutta. Regrettably, this never happened.

As chief secretary in the new state of Meghalaya, he determined to set up an efficient administration, leading by example. Each morning he walked from his residence, Lumpyngad, followed by a clerk, who dutifully took down notes on the way to the Secretariat. He once visited a district headquarters unannounced and found the deputy commissioner absent from his office. Rustomji sent for the absentee officer, who on hearing that the chief secretary was around immediately declared himself sick. Rustomji then sat in the DC’s chair and spent the day disposing of pending files.

If you Google his name and browse the internet, only snippets about Rustomji appear, brief lines in a scholarly article or a blog. Most of what is available are accounts in the five books he has written. In these idealistic, analytical and balanced accounts, he carefully blends the history, culture and politics of this complex region as a background for governance and administration.

Surely the man deserves weightier evidence of his contribution to the Northeast.  Indeed such an analysis would provide clues to achieving better solutions to the continuing myriad problems of the Northeast, many of which can be traced to the post-Independence era in which misguided and heavy-handed policies were framed.  The politicians and mandarins of today seem to continue in the same vein. They should study Rustomji’s books.

Read more at http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2013/05/26/idealistic-bureaucrat/#UQFFXWW1H9J1xuur.99

Courtest : Tusna Park

“My Mother Used to Say”

 “My Mother Used to Say”–Great gift for Mother’s Day

 

Dear friends
The 2nd (and updated) printing of this delightful book is now available (the first printing sold out in a couple of months just by word of mouth).  They make great gifts for family and friends.  Order now to get in time for MOTHER’s DAY.
SIncerely,
Roshan and Dinaz

MY MOTHER USED TO SAY
Parsi and Persian Quotations and Vignettes
of their Inimitable Language and Lifestyle

by
Roshan Rohinton Rivetna and Dinaz Kutar Rogers
Illustrations by Kaizin Pooniwala
Hardcover, published by FEZANA, 2015.
$10+shipping
(Shipping in USA: $4 for the first book plus 50c for each additional book)
To order contact FEZANA Office, Zenobia Damania, admin@fezana.org
or purchase at fezana.org
https://fezana.org/publication/books/my-mother-used-to-say/

This delightful compilation captures and records — lest future generations growing up in the West forget — priceless heirlooms, including over 1000 Parsi and Persian quotations and fun phrases to timeless words of wisdom, ingenious home remedies for all ailments, and nostalgic memories of growing up in Parsi ‘baugs.’ It is a great way to remind and regale those who grew up on the Indian subcontinent and Iran about a part of their heritage they left behind.  New generations born and raised in the Western Diaspora will be enlightened and entertained, and all readers will appreciate the wisdom our parents and grandparents dispensed in their own incomparable way.

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