Author Archives: yazdi

Fali Chothia Charitable Trust now accepting Annual Scholarship Applications

The Fali Chothia Charitable Trust is now accepting applications for its 33rd annual scholarship awards. Scholarships are open to Zoroastrian students in North America enrolled in four-year or graduate-level programs. Awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular activity and community service. They are given as outright gifts or no- and low-interest loans.

The Fali Chothia Charitable Trust was established in 1988 under the Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. (ZAMWI). The Trust provides scholarships to deserving Zoroastrian students enrolled in universities in North America, regardless of their country of origin. Applications may be downloaded from:
Please contact Feroza Fitch at with queries.

ZYNA Graduation Ceremony + Professional Development Seminar


ZYNA Zoroastrian Youth of North America
ZYNA Graduation Ceremony: All Zoroastrian Youth who are graduating across North America deserve to be celebrated!
Sunday, June 11th, at 7 PM EST/ 4 PM PSTClick to: Join Zoom Meeting

Zoom ID: 818 3188 7307 Passcode: ZYNA

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How To Ace An Interview

ZYNA’s Professional Development Committee is here to help anyone who wants to ace their job interviews!

Join Roxanne Unwalla to learn some nifty tips and tricks that will help you be amazing in your interview, including mock interview sessions to really put it to the test. Event moderated by Meher Narielwala and Farah Randelia

Wednesday, June 21st, from 9 PM EST/ 6 PM PST

Zoom ID: 969 5327 567

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66th and 67th Know India Programmes

Dear Friends,

As you are aware, the Know India Programme (KIP) is the flagship programme of Ministry of External Affairs to engage and familiarise the young diaspora members, with the different facets of India and the progress in various sectors like economic, industrial, educational, science & technology, communication & information technology, heritage & culture etc. 65 editions of KIP have been conducted so far with a total of 2296 participants.

  1. The KIP programme is being expanded and revamped to reflect elements of ‘New India’ and the vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’. The Ministry plans to organise six editions of the revamped KIP in 2023-24, with higher participation of 60 youth in each to begin with. The programme will focus to highlight sectoral developments in S&T, IT, Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Startup ecosystem, Digital infrastructure, India Stack, JAM trinity, Defence and Agriculture while further highlighting cultural and civilizational heritage of India like Yoga, Ayurveda, classical dance forms & music and archaeological history.

  1. The 66thand 67thKIP programmes will be organised as per details below:

66th KIP Programme
Programme Dates 30 July to 18 August 2023
State Visit Kerala
Announcement on Website 17 May 2023
Last Date for submission of Applications 15 June 2023
Last Date for recommendations by Missions 23 June 2023
67th KIP Programme
Programme Dates 13 August to 1 September 2023
State Visit Maharashtra
Announcement on Website 17 May 2023
Last Date for submission of Applications 1 July 2023
Last Date for recommendations by Missions 10 July 2023

  1. The undersigned on behalf of Consul General Somnath Ghosh, requests you to share this information with the members of your organization and encourage potential youth (18-30 yrs age) to participate in the forthcoming Know India Programme.


Ranjit Singh

Consul (Press, Info. & Culture)

Consulate General of India


R D Sethna Scholarships ties up with Technical University of Denmark

R. D. Sethna Scholarship Fund and The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) share an
interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of higher education between India
and Denmark and promote stronger ties between the two Institutions.
To achieve this objective, R. D. Sethna Scholarship Fund and DTU have entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding. This is perhaps the first joint venture programme in India
between the two Institutions to help students achieve their scholastic pursuits.
Students who will be admitted to the Under-graduate degree Bachelor of Science (BSc) in
General Engineering ( or Master degree program Graduate – Master of Science in
Engineering programmes ( at DTU will be eligible to apply for a loan scholarship from
R. D. Sethna Scholarship Fund.
R. D. Sethna Scholarship Fund conducts one of India’s oldest and well-respected loan
scholarship programmes, assisting outstanding and deserving Indian students of all
The R. D. Sethna Scholarships are investments in young Indian citizens, to empower the
pursuit of their academic interests and careers. The loan scholarships are granted on the basis
of meritorious performance, to facilitate payment of tuition fees, academic material and
related expenses for enhancing the education experience.
Students interested in pursuing under-graduate and Masters studies at DTU can contact:
Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Website: Technical University of Denmark – DTU
Contact person: Ms. Vanita Singh, Email ID: Phone: +4545257875
Students seeking loan scholarships can contact:
R. D. Sethna Scholarship Fund,
Email: Phone: +91 22 22077044, 40028406

Come Friday, Dadysett Agiary to open once again

Come Friday, Dadysett Agiary to open once again

The agiary will soon have an elaborate religious ceremony to have the sacred fire back in the Kebla, where it will burn 24 hours.

Mumbai News: Come Friday, Dadysett Agiary to open once again |
Mumbai: Come Friday, worshippers from the Parsi community will again be able to pray at the original hall used by devotees to offer their prayers at the Dadysett Agiary. The restoration of the fire temple is almost over with finishing touches being given. Said to be the second oldest Atash Adaran (agiary) in the city, its restoration took nearly three months. It included having original Burma teak wood beams in place of those that had rotten and were bending, wiring, plastering and painting, and polishing of floor.

The agiary will soon have an elaborate religious ceremony to have the sacred fire back in the Kebla, where it will burn 24 hours. It is through the sacred fire that the Parsis worship Ahura Mazdā, the supreme god. During the restoration, the fire was moved to another structure in the compound and the community prayed there.

Dadysett Agiary post renovationDadysett Agiary post renovation |

Parsis History With The Fire Temple

“At present, it is kept inside the agiary complex,” said a trustee of the Dadysett Charity Trust, which looks after the agiary.

First built in 1771, the fire temple was first close to the space where it currently stands. “It was built by the Dadysett family in Shahenshahi rights on a plot they owned,” said Ervad Darayesh Katrak, trust secretary.

The Parsis are subdivided into three groups. The Shahenshahis, the Kadmis and the Faslis. Each group differs marginally from one another due to the different period in which they came to India, the calendars they follow and the rituals they perform. When the temple was moved to its current location in 1803, it was consecrated under Kadmi rights. The agiary, however, is open to all Zoroastrians.

“For a long period we had Persian Zoroastrian priests overseeing the religious affairs of the agiary. It is believed to be the only one to have Persian Zoroastrian priests. Even some of the Atash Behrams (highest grade fire temples) did not have them,” said Katrak of the over 250 year temple, which will celebrate its anniversary on August 2,2023.

Muktads Period

Local priests took over the religious affairs only later on. It catered to a booming Parsi population that lived in the vicinity and continues to do so.

“The last family member of the Dadysett family passed away a month ago. When she was alive, she gave some money and asked that from its interest, prayers be performed for her family and her. On July 7, when Muktads start, we will be having prayers for the deceased family members of Dadysett who have no descendants now,” said the trustee.

Muktads is a period when the departed are remembered.

Ashutosh M Shukla

Reverse Orientalism, Slander and the Origins of Bombay’s Once Fashionable Capitol Cinema

The theatre, now closed, began its life as the Gaiety for the upper crust of Bombay to see plays.

It was the year 1864. The Parsi theatre, founded by respectable reformists for the moral uplift of the Parsi community in Bombay, had deteriorated into innumerable clubs that performed low-budget Gujarati productions with flying slippers, rotten eggs, and drop scenes that fell off several times over the course of a performance. Against this backdrop, Kuvarji Sorabji Nazir first appeared on stage as the founder of the amateur Elphinstone Theatrical Club – the sole troupe ‘worthy of mention’. Though hailing from a relatively poor household in the then humble neighbourhood Chandanwadi, Nazir had passed his matriculation exam with flying colours. Tall and consistently well-dressed, he was best suited for directing the Elphinstone’s English performances of the Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew that were commended by no less than Governor Bartle Frere.

Cooverji Sorabji Nazir. Photo source” Dhanjībhāi Paṭel, Pārsī Nāṭak Takhtānī Tavārīkh, p. 7 Courtesy: The Trustees, The K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai.

Much, however, was to change in a decade. By 1874, Nazir – now more businessman than Shakespeare enthusiast or patron of the arts – had fulfilled his ambition of monopolising the Parsi theatre’s greatest troupes and playhouses by becoming owner of the Victoria and Elphinstone Theatrical Companies and lessee of the Victoria and Grant Road Theatres, and owner of the Elphinstone Theatre.

So too had he managed to make innumerable enemies along the way: he had sabotaged the Alfred Theatrical Company that refused to divulge the secrets behind their mechanical scenery; he was the target of several significant lawsuits and a landmark copyright case (possibly the first in the subcontinent’s theatre history); and he was responsible for the irrevocable break-up of the Victoria due to his allegedly domineering ways. Despite or perhaps because of his garrulous nature, Nazir had become a man of considerable wealth. Worn by the Parsi theatre’s first tour across North India (when, during a performance, a sliver of metal from a prop sword pierced his eyeball), performances for Indian royals during the Prince of Wales’s visit; and the general liability of running two large theatre companies, Nazir gave up his position as owner of the Victoria and Elphinstone. Yet he found it tiresome to be idle for long.

Bombay’s lack of a theatre to house travelling European troupes became a matter of national embarrassment when the Prince on his return to Bombay from his tour of the subcontinent asked Lord Carrington if he could visit a theatre. His Highness was informed that neither a respectable theatre nor troupe existed in the so-called Urbs Prima in Indis (the first city of India). Travelling companies from England and Australia famously bypassed the capital of Western India in favour of Calcutta in their eastward journeys prompting the entrepreneurial Nazir to commit a very costly blunder.

On July 19, 1879, the Times of India announced that the Government had allotted a fine site at the end of Hornby Row facing the Victoria terminus to Nazir for the construction of an accessible and commodious theatre for the European residents of the city, the travellers passing through, and the ‘enlightened native community’. Designed by John Campbell from ‘the most recent models’ keeping in mind the requirements of Bombay’s humid climate, the playhouse – known now as Capitol Cinema – was constructed of teak, bricks and Mangalore tiles in a style of architecture termed composite Italian, accommodated 1,000 persons and cost Rs 36,000 to build. Prior to the theatre’s opening, Nazir declared in the English-language press:

The auditorium will comprise 23 private boxes, including the double box of His Excellency the Governor, on the upper tier, two large stage boxes and two orchestra boxes on the lower tier, 220 orchestra stalls and a spacious gallery and pit. Ample accommodation has been provided in the private boxes, which will be divided by partitions and handsomely furnished…Especial regard has been paid to coolness, and as the sides of the building are pierced by numerous ventilators, there will be nothing to stop the breeze in any part of the house. I purpose to open the theatre under the name of the GAIETY on Saturday evening, December 6, 1879.

Capitol Cinema, previously the Gaiety Theatre. Photo courtesy: Zubin Pastakia

Capitol Cinema, previously the Gaiety Theatre. Photo courtesy: Zubin Pastakia

The Gaiety with its eclectic combination of hierarchical seating, curtains in boxes for the women of the zenana, and ‘special regard for coolness’ was a perfect specimen of a theatre of Empire. Nazir had made arrangements for a first-rate comedy and burlesque company with a theatrical agent from Covent Garden for the theatre’s opening. The following letter from Mr Blackmore, confirming the engagement, was published in the Times of India:

London, March 28, 1879.
Dear Sir, – In reply to your favour of the 1st instant (to hand on the 22nd), relating to the formation of a comedy and burlesque company for Bombay for a season of a guaranteed period of twenty weeks, there is little doubt that, if reasonable time is given me…, I can procure artists thoroughly qualified for such a purpose, taking care that the ladies shall, in conjunction with the necessary ability, possess good personal appearance… 

The ‘good personal appearance’ of the burlesque company’s ladies would however become a matter of deep contention. After numerous advertisements, the English Comedy and Burlesque Company comprising the actresses Agness Birchenough, Edith Wilson, Madge Antoinette, Gertrude Dore, and Minnie Hampton arrived in Bombay to perform James Albery’s celebrated comedy The Pink Dominos on December 6, 1879. Curtains were hung up, matting laid down, the last chairs placed and numbered, and the ‘well-dressed, fashionable audience’ was finally admitted. Everything, according to the Times of India, ‘was perfect and in order.’ ‘The auditorium presented a scene bright, animated, and business-like as that of any theatre in the Strand on the first night of an anticipated triumph.’ It was, according to an English correspondent, almost impossible to avoid thinking we were again in the midst of civilisation in the West End of London.

Postcard of the Gaiety Theatre, undated, author’s own.

With the Gaiety’s opening ‘a new era in the history of the British drama in Western India’ commenced, albeit one that would not last very long. While the Times of India described the performance as worse than those of itinerant American troupes, the Rāst Goftār rebuked the building as ‘ugly’ in comparison to those in the surrounding precincts, prompting Nazir to threaten to close the entire undertaking. Good tidings should have been in the offing on Nazir’s benefit night on April 13, 1880 when Miss Antoinette performed the popular part of the ‘Parsee Girl of the Period’. However, the event would be memorialised in the annals of Indian theatre history not only for the paltriest amount ever raised for a benefit (Rs 10) but also for the beginnings of the ruin of one of the founders of the ‘modern’ Indian theatre.

Mr Nazir had, as we expected, the best and most fashionable audience of the season to welcome him last night, when he took his benefit…The curtain fell amidst a round of good-natured applause, and it seemed as though all was going as merry as a marriage ball, when Mr Nazir came before the curtain to deliver a personal address…He said it was a night of “prayer and thanksgiving,” of prayer to the Governor to reduce his ground rent by Rs 200 a month, of thanksgiving to…those gentlemen who had come to his aid financially…And then he committed the most extraordinary error, involving the gravest want of taste, of which any theatrical proprietor has ever perhaps been guilty. Possessed by some infernal spirit, he said with all the emphasis he could muster, that the promises of the London Agent who engaged the company had not been verified, and that he had been most signally disappointed in the personal appearance of the members of the company. The extraordinarily candid opinion of the personal charms of the ladies who had enabled him to make his benefit such a noted success was greeted with howls and hisses, and Mr Nazir retired amidst such a roar of disapprobation as has never before greeted a theatrical proprietor on the night of his benefit. A long interval occurred during which these marks of displeasure continued, and it was believed that some of the ladies of the company would refuse to appear again. At last Miss Antoinette made her appearance, and one of deference to her good nature, ill-timed or not, the performance was permitted to be continued.

That a Parsi theatre manager had the temerity to criticise the physical appearance of several English women before a thousand spectators not only conflicted with the Gaiety’s ostensible objective as upper-class entertainment but also constituted a landmark moment in colonial cultural history – a stunningly public yet completely forgotten form of reverse orientalism long before nationalist politics came to the fore. Not unsurprisingly, though Nazir tendered a public apology, the damage had been irrevocably done. Almost immediately after his benefit, the Parsi manager was waylaid with a protracted and onerous series of legal suits with the theatre’s contractors for Rs 24,000; Major Cowper and C.W.L. Jackson for a debt amounting to Rs 27,000; and Somejee Parpia, a dealer in furniture, for Rs 4000, culminating finally in a warrant for his arrest. The next year the Jame Jamshed published,

an Appeal on behalf of Mr. Nazir (..) especially [to] the European patrons of drama in this city, to extricate [him] from the pecuniary embarrassments consequent on his enterprise. The Jame thinks Mr. Nazir would not have come to grief, if he had contented himself by building the Esplanade Theatre. His ordering out a company from England, says the Jame, involved him further. The Parsee paper suggests two alternative plans for Mr. Nazir’s relief, and trusts the Europeans will not entirely ignore the claims of a former protege who did so much towards their amusement.

The Europeans however did just that. On November 14, 1881, the Deputy Sheriff put up for sale by auction Nazir’s much older Elphinstone Theatre. ‘No bids were at first forthcoming and the sale was about to be close when a purchaser made his appearance, and had the property knocked down to him for [the absurd amount of] Rs. 1,800,’ prompting the debt-ridden Nazir to revoke his retirement from the stage. Shortly after Nazir’s ruin, the Original Victoria usurped the Gaiety for its performances of the more popular Hindustani Shura-re-Ishk, after which the theatre was bought over in 1893 by Chhotalal Mulchand Kapadia of the Gujarātī Nāṭak Maṇḍalī. Although this marked the end of Nazir’s all-too-brief fortune and Bombay’s only theatre for the European and ‘enlightened native’ communities, the edifice – as lovers of old Bombay know only too well – had a long, illustrious, quasi-magical life through the course of the late 19th and 20th centuries, witnessing the heyday of Parsi theatre, the advent of cinema and beyond.

Capitol Cinema, previously the Gaiety Theatre. Photo courtesy: Zubin Pastakia

Rashna Darius Nicholson (Twitter: @rashnanicholson) is assistant professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Her book The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage: The Making of the Theatre of Empire (1853-1893) is the first comprehensive history of the Parsi theatre. Her next monograph is on the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations’ cultural work in India during the Cold War.


Wadia Family Business Empire | Unstoppable Case Study

Wadia Family Business Empire is Rising since 1736, Ness Wadia is the 11 generation of the Wadia family. This video is about How Wadia is expanding its business empire for the last 300 years. You will explore “What is the business of the Wadia family?” & how they rose from a single business to more than 50 business You will also explore the Philanthropy of the Wadia family like “How many Colleges & Hospitals Wadia Family built”



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For You And Your Family
On Sunday June 4, 2023
VohuKhashtra Gatha 

Do Join Us For This Very Special Webinar 
With Our BaHumata Super-Stars 
Mobedyar Bomi Damkevala (USA)
Ervad Ardavan Solan (Pakistan)
Kimia Ziafat (Canada & Iran)
Darius Mistry (New Zealand)


This 30th Thought Provoking Inspirational Webinar 
Will Be Conducted By
 Our Very Own Zarathushti Neuro Scientist 

from Cambridge University in United Kingdom

Dr. Karishma Koka, PhD 

Founder, Host And Moderator of Ba Humata

Please Reserve Your Time For A Milestone Experience Of Your Life.


On Sunday, June 4, 2023

8:00 AM Pacific Time

11:00 AM  Eastern Time

4:00 PM UK Time

6:30 PM Iran Time
7:00 PM  UAE Time
8:00 PM Pakistan Time

8:30 PM India Time

11:00 PM 
Perth Australia, Singapore And Hong Kong Time


3:00 AM 
New Zealand Time (Monday June 5, 2023)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 834 0882 6220

Passcode: BAHUMATA
The Facebook stream will be available at
Click On – Watch Video To Join The Webinar



ZYNA FEZANA Zoroastrian Exchange Program

ZYNA Zoroastrian Youth of North America
ZYNA & FEZANA are excited to announce the first of it’s kind Zoroastrian Exchange Program for youth aged 14-18 years of age.


The ZYNA FEZANA Zoroastrian Exchange program will offer Zoroastrian youth between the age of 14-19 years, an opportunity for a stay with a host family in another city/country.

Each participant gets an opportunity of spending 1 – 2 weeks in a different city/country than the one they live in. Zoroastrian host families in various cities will be paired with potential youth participants. The selected participants will play an active role in being a part of the daily activities and events with their Zoroastrian host families and if the opportunity arises also with local Zoroastrian associations.


Through this project, the Zoroastrian Youth would get an opportunity to live with a Zoroastrian family in a different city/country, learn about new traditions, customs, culture, language, food, etc. and truly become global citizens.

Continue reading on the FEZANA Website….

This is a pilot project and we reserve the right to tweak the program as necessary, in its initial stage.

If you are an eligible youth and would like to participate, reply to this email with all the information we have requested on the link above.

If you would like to be a host family, please reply back to this email with all the information requested at the link above.

If you have queries and would like clarifications, reply back or write

2023 FEZANA Scholarships Application Open

The FEZANA Scholarship Program was started in 1998 to recognize academic excellence and provide Zarathushti students in university programs financial assistance to study at institutions in the U.S and Canada. Each year, FEZANA gives more than $80,000 of scholarships in various areas. We currently offer scholarships for undergraduate studies, graduate studies, performing and creative arts, fine arts, and culinary arts.
The application portal for all scholarships opens in April of each year and closes on July 15th. Scholarships are awarded for the upcoming academic year. Apply here.

Our scholarship program is supported by generous donors. If you would like to contribute to the Scholarship Fund, please visit our Scholarship Donation page. If you would like to inquire about an endowing a scholarship, please write to Dr. Dolly Dastoor & Dinsha Mistree at

Application Deadline: July 15, 2023

Apply For FEZANA Scholarships

ZEDF Scholarship

for Studies with a major or focus in Entrepreneurship

ZEDF is now accepting applications for funding of a ZEDF Scholar interested in pursuing graduate studies leading to a Master’s degree with a major or focus in Entrepreneurship from a recognized accredited university.

Other Educational Scholarship

Many other FEZANA Member Associations and other institutions give scholarships for education specifically to Zarathushti students in the United States and Canada.

Here are links to some of them:

Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY)

Zoroastrian Society of Ontario (ZSO)

Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C.(ZAMWI)

Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia (ZSBC)

Fali Chothia Charitable Trust

Vakhshoori Foundation

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