Author Archives: yazdi

Tatas go by the book

Sir Dorab and Sir Ratan Tata travelled around the world and collected valuable artefacts, housed in a museum now. A new book chronicles the legacy :

If you’ve marveled at all the ‘stuff’ you have brought home from your trips around the globe, this might just give you an inferiority complex. For it was with great passion that scions of industrialist Jamsetji Tata, Sir Dorab and Sir Ratan Tata collected art from their worldly travels.

All of this now rests at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalay (the Prince of Wales museum), though we wonder why they didn’t build one for themselves! In a first such publication, historians and aesthetic gurus have chronicled 151 prized pieces from the ‘Tata collection’ in a book, East meets West.

Click Here for the full story and some great pics from Mumbai Mirror

Parsee Muktad Silver Bowl

Monumental & Extremely Rare Parsee Muktad Silver Bowl
Rangoon, Burma
late 19th century

diameter: 34cm, height: 20.2cm, weight: 2.533kg

This extraordinary ceremonial bowl, commissioned by the Alpaiwalla family, a wealthy Bombay-based Parsee family of bullion dealers, is decorated in unusually high relief with Parsee/Zoroastrian themes. A near identical bowl (there are slight differences) is in Mumbai’s F.D.  Alpaiwalla Museum and illustrated in Godrej & Mistree (2002) on page. 696 and also on the front and rear inside covers. The Museum’s bowl was commissioned by F.D. Alpaiwalla as a muktad
flower vase in the name of his father-in-law Bhownagree. The bowl here most likely was commissioned at the same time from the same silversmith in the name of another Alpaiwalla family member. (Silver is a sacred metal among Zoroastrians; it symbolises purity.)

Muktad vases are used during the Parsee ceremony of muktad, the annual prayers for the dead, celebrated in the last ten days of the Parsee calendar. The muktad days are set aside to remember the fravashis or spirits of the dead. One vase is commissioned for each deceased family member and during muktad, in a room set aside for the purpose, the vases filled with flowers, are placed on tables and  blessed. A small fire is kept burning in the room for the ten days. Typically, vases are plain and not necessarily made from silver, making this bowl all the more extraordinary.

Click here for more information and some great pictures

Stanford-India Biodesign Fellowship


Announcing a fellowship opportunity under the Stanford­India Biodesign (SIB) program for the year 2011 .

About us:

The SIB program explores the basics of biomedical technology innovation and entrepreneurship through an intensive one year fellowship at the Stanford University, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The program is sponsored by Department of Biotechnology (Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India) and Stanford University, USA in partnership with Indo-US Science & Technology Forum.


Candidates with graduate or postgraduate degrees (engineers, doctors, business professionals, others) having passion for invention and early-stage development of new medical technologies addressing the clinical needs in India are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be Indian citizens, and must be able to devote full one year at the Stanford University, USA and the SIB Center, AIIMS, New Delhi. Shortlisted candidates will be called for final interview at New Delhi.


Fellowship pays stipend, tuition, travel and health benefits. Fellows are mentored by experts in the USA and India.

Duration: One year; starting January 2011 (Full time)

Apply online:

Last Date of Application: Mav 15, 2010

Queries should be addressed to:

Navjote – Some Useful Tips


By late Mrs. Shehnaz N. Munshi

A child, of Zoroastrian parentage is initiated into the faith after he or she completes six years of age. Some perform the initiation ceremony at the age of 9 years, and in the case of boys, in exceptional circumstances the ceremony can be performed even at the age of eleven. In Iran the traditional age for initiation was 15 years. The child should be at an age where he or she understands the importance of the ceremony and can learn the prayers by heart. However, it is incumbent that the ceremony is done before the child reaches puberty.

This very important Zoroastrian ceremony of initiation is called the Navjote (Nav= new; jote= initiate), when the new initiate is taken into the faith through the investiture of the sacred sudreh and kushti.


Yatha Ahu Vairyo; AshemVohu;-Kem Na Mazda; Ahura Mazda Khodae; Jasa me avanghe Mazda; Nirang I Gaomez (ie Shikasteh Shikasteh Shaetan); Sarosh Baj; Ahmai Raeshcha; Hazangrem; Jasa Me Avanghe Mazda; Kerfeh Mozd; Diva No Namaskar; Doa Tandarosti; Din ­no Kalmo

In the past, the child was also made to learn the Patet Pashemani, but sadly this does not happen any more. It would be very beneficial if the child is also made to learn the two short, but very important Zoroastrian prayers, viz. The A Airyema Ishyo and the Yenghe Hatam. Apart from making the child recite these prayers, it is also important that the child practises the tying and the untying of the kushtiwith a piece of cord, long enough to go thrice around the waist. Read more

Coaching Class Assistance by BPP



Parsi / Zoroastrian students who are attending Private Coaching Classes or taking special Private Tuitions for selected subjects for better results in the SSC/ICSE/NOS/CBSE of March 2011 would be eligible for a part reimbursement of the fees, based on economic criteria from the Bombay Parsi Punchayet as Coaching Class assistance.

Parents of those students who are interested, should send applications latest by May 28, 2010 to :

Mr. C. S. Panthaki

Senior Executive (Welfare) Bombay Parsi Punchayet

209, Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001.

Along with Xerox copies of: .

  1. 8th & 9th Standard’s results of the student.
  2. Latest Income Tax Returns I Salary certificate of the earning family members (Husband & Wife).
  3. No. of total family mer;nbers.
  4. Rent – Receipt.

5a. Coaching Class fee receipt OR

5b. Pvt. Tuition fees receipt preferable on Tutors letterheads with complete address with phone

numbers OR

5c. A simple receipt from Tutors on plane paper mentioning their complete address with phone numbers.

Incomplete applications without proper enclosures would not be considered.

Vacancies at BJPC


33, Maharshi Karve Marg, Opp. Chami Road Railway Station, Mumbai – 400 004.
1. Principal 01 01-0PEN
2. Lecturer Commerce 01 01-0PEN
3. Lecturer Accountancy 01 01-0PEN
4. Librarian 01 01-0PEN
5. Lectu rer Maths & Stats (P.T.) 01 01-0PEN
6. Lecturer Economics (ET.) 01′ 01-0PEN
7. Lecturer Computer ProQ. (P.T.) 01 01-0PEN
8. Lecturer B. Law (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN
9. Lecturer ‘B. C. (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN
10. Lecturer EC. (C.H.B.) 01 01-0PEN

The above posts are open to all; however candidates from any category can apply for the post.
Reservation for women and disabled persons will be as per rule. Candidates having knowledge of Marathi will be preferred.

For the post of Principal ten years approved teaching experience at under graduate / postgraduate level for Reader grade and 15 years Professor grade plus Ph.D or equivalent published work. However a person who is already working as Principal in any college and whose appointment has been approved by the University as per the qualification and eligibility conditions prescribed for the post of Principal prior to 04.04.2000 can also be considered eligible for the post of Principal. The selected candidate shall be provided with rent-free accommodation or HRA as admissible.

For the post of lecturer and librarian NET/SET shall remain minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of lecturer in University / Colleges/ Institutions.

Provided, however, that candidates who are or have been awarded Ph.D degree in compliance of the University Grants Commission (Minimum standards and procedure for award of Ph.D. degree), regulation, 2009 shall be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SET for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent position in Universities/ Colleges/ Institutions.

Applicants who are already employed must send their application through proper channel. Applicants are required to account for breaks, if any in their academic career. The details of the qualification pay-scale & allowance will be supplied on request from applicants.

Application with full details should reach the Trustee, 33, Maharshi Karve Marg, Opp.Charni Road Railway Station, Mumbai – 400 004 within 15 days from the date of publication of this advertisement.



Gift and Loan Scholarship for 2010-2011


Applications are invited from Zoroastrian Parsi / Irani Students for award of Gift and Loan Scholarship for the Academic Year 2010-2011 for Post~Graduate Studies Abroad as well as in India, for the Fall 2010 or Spring 2011 Semesters in all disciplines and subjects preferably Engineering, Technology, Science, Medicine, Management, Commercial and Education Courses. Candidates must be a Graduate of a recognized Indian University with a consistently good Academic Record.

Students in the Final Year of Degree course and awaiting results and / or admission / offer Letters from Foreign Universities are eligible to apply. However, the sanctioned Scholarship will be subject to their passing the Final Degree Examination and securing admission.

Prescribed Application Forms are available at Committee’s Office at Bombay Parsi Punchayet, 209, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001 effective April, 2010. The completed Application Forms should be submitted at the Office ofthe Committee not later than May 7,2010.


Totem Pole, Ottawa — Also a Salute to Parsis

Totem Pole, ByWard Market, Ottawa ——ALSO A SALUTE TO ALL PARSIS

Look at the top of the Totem pole. It is the Farohar which we  wear round our neck or place in our homes

Click for more…Totem Pole at the Byward Market




(An extract from a leading Indian publication)

No Indian community internalized the civilizing mission of the
British as did the Parsis.

Only 50,000 remain in Bombay today, mainly in South Bombay, the most disciplined and cultured part of India


In South Bombay, the cutting of lanes by drivers is punished,  jumping a red light is impossible, parking is possible only in allotted areas, roads are clean, service is efficient, the restaurants are unmatched – civilization seems within reach. South Bombay has some of the finest buildings in India

, many of them built by Parsis.

The Parsis came to Bombay after Surat ‘s port silted over in the 17th century. Gerald Aungier settled Bombay and gave Parsis land for their Tower of Silence on Malabar Hill in 1672.

The Parsis made millions through the early and mid-1800s and they spent much of it on public good.

The Parsis understood that philanthropy – love of  mankind -recognizes that we cannot progress alone.  That there is such a thing as the common good. They spent as no Indian community had ever before, on building  institutions, making them stand out in a culture whose talent lies in renaming things other people built.The Parsis built libraries all over India , they built the National Gallery of Art.

The Indian Institute of Science was built in 1911 by Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the Tata Institute of  Fundamental Research was built by Dr Homi Bhabha, the Tata Institute of Social Science was built in 1936 by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.

The Wadias built hospitals, women’s colleges and the five great low-income Parsi colonies of Bombay .

JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College were founded by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.

By 1924, two out of five Indians – whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsi – joining the Indian Civil Services were on TATA scholarships.

They gave Bombay the Jehangir Art Gallery, Sir JJ School of Art, the Taraporevala Aquarium.

The National Center for Performing Arts, the only place in India where world-class classical concerts are held is a gift of the Tatas.

There are 161 Friends of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) – 92 of them are Parsi. For an annual fee of Rs 10,000, Friends of the SOI

get two tickets to any one recital in the season, they get to shake hands with artistes after the concert and they get to attend music appreciation talks through the year.

The  Parsi dominates high culture in Bombay are always full in halls and this means that a concert experience in the city is unlike that in any other part of India . Classical concerts seat as many as two thousand.

Zubin Mehta, the most famous Parsi in the world, is director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  since 1969. He conducts the tenor Placido Domingo, the pianist Daniel Barenboim and the soprano Barbara Frittoli. Four concerts are held at the  Jamshed Bhabha Opera House and then one at Brabourne Stadium with a capacity of 25,000.

No other city in India has this appetite for classical music and in Bombay

this comes from the Parsi. Despite their tiny population, the Parsi presence in a concert hall is above 50 per cent. And they all come. Gorgeous Parsi girls in formal clothes – saris, gowns -children, men and the old. Many have to be helped to their seats. Most of them know the music.

The people who clap between movements, thinking that the ‘song’ is over, are non-Parsis. Symphony Orchestra of India concerts begin at 7 pm. Once the musicians start,  latecomers must wait outside till the movement ends.

The end of each movement also signals a fusillade of coughs and groans, held back by doddering Parsis too polite to make a sound while Mendelssohn is being played. No mobile phone ever goes off as is common in  cinema halls: his neighbors are aware of the Parsi’s insistence of form and his temper.

The Parsis were also pioneers of Bombay ‘s Gujarati theatre, which remains the most popular form of live entertainment in Bombay

. Any week of the year will see at least a half dozen bedroom comedies, murder mysteries, love stories and plays on assorted themes on stage.

The Parsis were the pioneers of this, writing and acting in the first plays of Bombay. They also built the institutions that supported  this.. Bombay

‘s first theatre was opened by Parsis in 1846, the Grant Road Theatre, donations from Jamshetjee Jejeebhoy and Framjee Cowasjee making it possible.

The  Parsi in Bollywood caricature is a comic figure, but always honest, and innocent as Indians believe Parsis generally to be, rightly or wrongly.

In the days before modern cars came to India the words ‘Parsi-owned’ were guaranteed to ensure that a second-hand car  listed for sale would get picked up ahead of any others. This is because people are aware of how carefully the Parsi keeps his things. His understanding and enthusiasm of the mechanical separates him from the rest. Most of  the automobile magazines in India

are owned and edited by  Parsis.

The Parsis are a dying community and this means that more Parsis die each year than are born (Symphony concert-goers can also discern the disappearing Parsi from the rising numbers of those who clap between movements).

As the Parsis leave, South Bombay will become like the rest of Bombay

– brutish, undisciplined and filthy. The British left when they had to, but they left some of their civilisation behind and the best of it remains in the possession of this great Indian community, the Parsis!

Preserve this race…..You are privileged if you have a Parsi Bawa as your friend…He/She is indeed a “Heritage” to be treasured for ever.


Courtesy : Jimmy Mehta

Holiday Program for Youth (HPY)

“Striving for Excellence”

24th Holiday Programme for Youth – 2010 invites Parsi Irani Students who have appeared for their S.S.C., I.C.S.E.; C.B.S.E. Exams in March 2010 to enroll as Participants for a Vocational-cum-Educational-cum ­Leadership Training Programme, full of fun and learning, specifically designed to suit their needs.

The duration of the programme is from Sunday 2nd May 2010 to Sunday 30th May 2010 will be held at The B. J. P. C. Institution, 33, M. Karve Marg, Opp. Charni Road Rly. Station, Mumbai 400 004.

Registration Forms are available on any working day between 10.45 a.m. & 1.00 p.m. and 2.45 p.m. & 5.30 p.m. with-

Mrs. Bakhtavar P. Dastur Assistant Executive,

Bombay Parsi Punchayet Office,

209, Dr. D. N. Road, Fort, MUMBAI 400 001.

Kindly register before 23rd April 2010.

Click Here to visit the website

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