Category Archives: Books

The People We Know – Farrokh Suntook


How do you cope with the realisation that you never really knew the person you loved the most? This is the question driving a story set in India and Britain about a woman who struggles to keep secret a shocking discovery about the husband she had adored


Set in London, Bombay and Mahabaleshwar, The People We Know is a story about a Sikh woman, Sheela Marker, who has been harbouring a secret about something devastating she discovered a year ago about Cyrus, the Parsi husband she had worshipped as ‘the most flawless human being on earth’.  The narrative focuses on Sheela’s journey, from her desperate struggle to keep her secret to the pivotal moment when she finally finds the courage to reveal the truth about Cyrus.


The novel holds the reader in suspense, delicately handling a number of shocking revelations while at the same time dealing with a range of family and other relationships. It also addresses, quite possibly for the first time in fiction, a rare aspect of human behaviour that lies at the heart of the mystery surrounding Cyrus. This is one reason why readers have found the denouement totally unexpected.


Woven through the plot with its central mystery are a few leitmotifs that run through the book: first, how well do we know the people we know; second, the theme of intolerance of those who don’t “belong; and third, the complexity of relationships – in particular of love in all its forms – between family members, friends, people of different social classes and people from different countries, making the book a multi-layered love story.


The People We Know is Farrokh Suntook’s debut novel, although a business book of his – The Stakeholder Balance Sheet – was published some years ago. Following degrees from LSE and Columbia University, most of his working life has been in international marketing research and consultancy. He lives in London with his family, but makes regular visits to Bombay.


The People We Know has received an average reader rating on Amazon of 4.7 out of 5 and a highly favourable review in Parsiana  (see below). It also received a positive reception at two book events held in Bombay (at the Cama Institute and the Willingdon Club). The following YouTube interview – conducted by the well-known writer Farrukh Dhondy provides further background information about the author and the book.

The book is available in:



North America

Other countries

  • from Amazon

Rushad Heerjee The AI Interviewer: A book by Young Zoroastrian

The AI Interviewer: Product Manager Edition: 101 Questions and AI-Generated Solutions

– A book by Young Zoroastrian, Rushad Heerjee

With the introduction of ChatGPT (AI), the landscape of interviews are changing. It can be used to generate interview questions, help candidates prepare responses, and even simulate interview interactions.

So, we ask, can ChatGPT solve the toughest product management interview questions?

This book guides you through 101 of the most common product management interview questions and provides AI-generated example responses to help you understand how to approach and answer these. From strategy and vision to product development, analytics and data, and leadership and communication, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to formulate your answers as well as the essential skills and competencies for product management interview success. Check out his book available for purchase on Amazon- 

– – –

Rushad Heerjee is a Deployment Strategist at Palantir Technologies, where he has worked across APAC, EMEA and NA for organizations in aviation, cybersecurity and financial services. Prior to joining Palantir, Rushad led the product development of large technology solutions at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and EY where he worked with clients including Wells Fargo and Santander. Rushad holds a B.Sc degree in Computer Science and an M.Sc degree in Quantitative & Computational Finance from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also has 2 pending patents and was endorsed by Tech Nation (the UK’s technology governing body) as a Global Talent.



Who Is A Parsi? w/ Prochy N Mehta

This week on Cyrus Says, Cyrus is joined by the author – Prochy N Mehta. Prochy is here to talk about her latest book and the big question of ‘Who is a Parsi?’ Prochy Mehta is an icon in her own right. A successful sportswoman, the first lady president of the Calcutta Parsee Club, and Vice President of the West Bengal State hockey, basketball, and athletic Federations. Prochy has researched and written three books, Pioneering Parsis of Calcutta, Who is a Parsi? And a coffee table book which is a tribute to her father Rusi B Gimi. Follow Prochy on Instagram at @prochymehta




Book Launch – JOY, AWE AND TEARS

Dear Friends,

Please find below information on my “In Conversation” with the innovative classical and contemporary dancer, Uttara Asha Coorlawala.  The event, part of the NCPA Mumbai Dance Season, has been choreographed by Gauri Sharma Tripathi, noted Kathak dancer, around my book, “Joy, Awe and Tears”, which relates my forty-year experiences of artists’ management in Europe.  I am so grateful to both artists for their time and commitment to me and my book.

The event will take place on Saturday 4th February from 3 to 4.30 pm at ANKH Cube in Deonar (a thirty-five-minute run on the Eastern Expressway from Regal Cinema in south Mumbai).

We so look forward to welcoming you amidst us.  Please do forward this mail to your Mumbai contacts.

With my thanks and warm wishes – Shireen Isal

The event will cover my very personal experiences in managing Indian artists in Europe, from the giants of Indian music to young and upcoming musicians and dancers, the joy, awe and tears, as the title so aptly suggests.  I will also discuss the situation of the Indian classical performing arts – it’s scope, audiences and organisers’ reactions – on the ground in Europe.  Lastly, but not least, I will offer an overview of the profession of an impresario (for Indian artists), a fascinating but all too rare and under-represented one in both India and the west.

Poster design: Tarini Tripathi

Parsi Book – Jarthostio ni rojindgi bandagio

Our daily Kusti prayers from Khordeh Avesta are published with its explanation in Gujarati language in this little book “જરથોસ્તીઓની રોજીંદી બંદગીઓ – ખોરદહ અવસ્તા” (ગુજરાતીમાં સરળ સમજૂતી સાથે). Some of my Gujarati articles are also included in this book with a noble aim of increasing faith in our good religion.

Rayoman Ilavia

Click Here to download the book in PDF format

Ancient Parsi Recipes Come to Life in This New Cookbook From Chef Farokh Talati

“I decided to write this book out of a sense of duty,” says Farokh Talati. The head chef at London’s St. John Bread and Wine may have spent his career working in the U.K.’s most venerated kitchens (with the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Angela Hartnett, to name a couple), but Talati looks inward at his family history with this latest project—a new cookbook titled Parsi: From Persia to Bombay: Recipes & Tales from the Ancient Culture, out December 6 (Bloomsbury).

Parsi culture has early roots, dating back to the 7th century when a group of Zoroastrians, a pre-Islamic religious group, fled persecution in present-day Iran and eventually landed on the west coast of India, in the town of Sanjan. Their language, way of life, and culinary traditions mingled with local customs, creating what is today known as Parsi culture.

Talati grew up in a Parsi household in London, and his first cookbook feels like an artful heritage project—a show-and-tell of the recipes he was raised with, the dishes his parents ate in India before emigrating to the U.K., and present-day Parsi home chefs in Mumbai, where most Parsis live today. It’s inspired by his own travels back to India to learn more about his roots, but fosters a mission of showcasing and preserving Parsi cuisine—for those who’ve never heard of it, and for new generations of Parsis alike. “This book represents a very important aspect of the Parsi community and shows it to a new audience,” says Talati. “My hope is that Parsis who do not know how to cook the foods their mums, dads, and grandparents used to cook will pick up this book and learn to make these dishes and reconnect with their heritage.”

Whichever camp you fall into, the stories and 150 recipes that adorn this book’s pages offer ample inspiration. There are lamb stews, quails stuffed with biryani, mango desserts, and even tips on how to crack coconuts open at home. (Talati’s favorite recipe is Dinaz Aunty’s curry; more on that below.) There are also images of Parsi libraries and places of worship; informal breakfast cafés and markets. Importantly, though, the book provides a portrait of the Parsi community, and what their culture looks like in today’s India—not to mention the Parsi dishes to seek out on your next trip.

Below, we share a selection of images from the book, taken across the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and the stories behind them—courtesy of Talati.

Click Here to view more, including some stunning photographs


The Parsi Religion by John Wilson


As contained in the Zand Avasta


Propounded and Defended by the Zoroastrians of India & Persia

Unfolded, Refuted and Contrasted with Christianity



President of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and Missionary of the Church of Scotland, Bombay

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The People We Know – Farrokh Suntook

How do you cope when, overnight, you discover you never really knew the person you loved the most?

This is the crisis facing Sheela Marker, a Sikh woman confronted with a shocking revelation about her Parsi husband Cyrus. Her response is to hide what happened, but the secret weighs so heavily on her that a year later she attempts to kill herself by jumping off a cliff in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station near Bombay. Her attempt is scuppered by Clarissa and Max Alexander, an English couple who have been touring India. Sheela’s burgeoning friendship with the couple allows her finally to reveal the truth about Cyrus. But with that friendship she also finds the freedom to discover herself – and change her life – in a way she could never have imagined.

This is Farrokh Suntook’s first published novel – and it is a tour de force, delicately handling a number of shocking revelations while holding the reader in suspense while dealing with a range of family and other relationships. Easily switching between life in India and in London, we become immersed in Sheela Marker’s life – and how she learns to accept what has happened. Born into a Parsi family in Bombay, Farrokh, married with a daughter and two little grandchildren, has spent most of his life in London, barring a spell in New York, where he did his MBA at Columbia University. Most of his working life has been in marketing research and consultancy, a by-product of which was a business book, The Stakeholder Balance Sheet, published by Wiley.

The People We Know is his debut novel and it brings another dimension to the books published by Bite-Sized Books.

Here is a review by Shireen J Vakil on the debut novel in Parsiana 21st September – 6th October 2022
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Captain Jim Agnihotri and his new bride, Diana Framji, return in Nev March’s Peril at the Exposition, the follow up to March’s award-winning, Edgar finalist debut, Murder in Old Bombay.

1893: Newlyweds Captain Jim Agnihotri and Diana Framji are settling into their new home in Boston, Massachusetts, having fled the strict social rules of British Bombay. It’s a different life than what they left behind, but theirs is no ordinary marriage: Jim, now a detective at the Dupree Agency, is teaching Diana the art of deduction he’s learned from his idol, Sherlock Holmes.

Everyone is talking about the preparations for the World’s Fair in Chicago: the grandeur, the speculation, the trickery. Captain Jim will experience it first-hand: he’s being sent to Chicago to investigate the murder of a man named Thomas Grewe. As Jim probes the underbelly of Chicago’s docks, warehouses, and taverns, he discovers deep social unrest and some deadly ambitions.

When Jim goes missing, young Diana must venture to Chicago’s treacherous streets to learn what happened. But who can she trust, when a single misstep could mean disaster?

Award-winning author Nev March mesmerized readers with her Edgar finalist debut, Murder in Old Bombay. Now, in Peril at the Exposition, she wields her craft against the glittering landscape of the Gilded Age with spectacular results.

Sophia Rose’s Review

While I picked up the first book for the setting and circumstances, I continued with the series for the author’s writing, attention to historical backdrop, and the well-developed, diverse cast of characters led by the complex bi-racial, Jim Agnihotri, and his Parsi wife, Diana.

Perils at the Exposition is book two in the Captain Jim Agnihotri series.  The book works best in order, but could be read without much difficulty, standalone.

Perils at the Exposition begins when, honeymooners, Jim and Diana are settled in Boston.  Diana is adjusting to living in a tiny apartment without the comforts and social status she once had in a wealthy Zoroastrian Persian family in Bombay.  She and Jim are starting over and for all her struggles to figure out American ways, her new place and household, and being a wife, she is excited to be with Jim.  Jim has been teaching her the art of detection he learned first from his beloved Sherlock Holmes books and now his own experience studying and applying detecting skills while working for the Dupree Agency.

This is good because Diana must put her newfound knowledge to the test finding her own husband in Chicago where he was last known to be investigating a murder down on the docks.

Diana learns that behind the exciting and pretty façade of the fair, there is a dark side to wealth and progress.  Rough unions, ruthless bosses, and anarchists who want to make their mark at the fair.  Diana and Jim must follow a shadowy, path to not just a killer, but a tangled web of nefarious people to not just save other lives, but their own.

The author painted a full, rich and colorful picture of life in 1893 Chicago and America.  After the Civil War, the peace came at painful cost and still smolders in some hearts. Then there are the relatively unregulated big businessmen driving the industrial era with little notice or care for the workers who live on pittance and are put in dangerous situations that they have to accept if they want to provide any form of food and shelter to their families.  Unions are rising to counter this and the clash with the bosses is another brutal war.  Add to this, the influx of immigrants from all over the world looking for new opportunities and sometimes only finding more of what they left behind.

Diana was reared in a relatively sheltered environment, but she charges into the lower levels of Chicago to find Jim.  She meets many colorful characters in the process. For those wondering, yes, the pair do eventually join up and work the case, sharing the narration. Captain Jim appreciates his wife and respects her intelligence and abilities, but Diana’s fearless decision to involve herself had Jim struggling to not put her on the first train east and out of danger. I didn’t expect Diana to have such a strong role in the book, but welcomed getting to know her as an equal narrator with Jim.

The mystery was complicated by many characters and many motives. Learning what was going on and who was involved was as big a mystery as the murders, which only got solved when Jim and Diana worked out what was happening in the bigger picture. There was wonderful heart-stopping action at times for both of them.

All in all, it was a solid follow up entry in the series and I sincerely hope there are more mysteries for Jim and Diana to tackle. Historical mystery lovers sit up and take notice.

Peril at the Exposition by Nev March

Amazon | Audible


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