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Brigadier Furdoon Siavax Byramji Mehta: Pioneer of Indian Army Aviation Corps, not averse to risk

Named ‘Duck’ Mehta by his fellow officers after the fish Bombay Duck, the Brigadier who passed away in Mumbai on March 3, on his birthday, at the age of 101 years, had many firsts to his credit.


Brigadier Mehta (centre) was nicknamed ‘Duck’ by fellow officers after the fish Bombay Duck, because he came from Bombay. (Express Photo)

Not many would be able to keep their head and keep maneuvering an aircraft especially after an enemy bullet slices through their cap, taking with it a chunk of hair. For Brigadier Furdoon Siavax Byramji Mehta (retd), however, it was just another day at the front during the Second World War and something that couldn’t deter him from flying into enemy territory again.

Named ‘Duck’ Mehta by his fellow officers after the fish Bombay Duck, the Brigadier who passed away in Mumbai on March 3, on his birthday, at the age of 101 years, had many firsts to his credit.

He was the first Indian Artillery officer to wear the wings of the Air Observation Post (Air OP), now known as Army Aviation Corps. He was the only Indian Artillery officer to have served with the 656 Air OP Squadron of Royal Air Force (RAF) in Burma and Malaya in Second World War. He was also the first Indian Commanding Officer of 9 Parachute Field Regiment, a command which he took over in 1947 at the age of just 27 years.

Born on March 3, 1920, Mehta joined the Indian Military Academy in 1938 and graduated in April 1940. He was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery and participated in the Second World War between 1942 to 1945, both in the traditional artillery role and in Air OP pilot’s role.

As a Captain, he trained as a pilot at the No 2 Elementary Flying and Training School (EFTS) at Jodhpur, which was established by then Maharaja of Jodhpur, Umaid Singh. Mehta was posted to the 656 Air Op Squadron RAF in Arakans, Burma, and later on the central front, which comprised Imphal plains in India.

He also lost his way once, in February 1945, in the thick jungles trying to help an armoured regiment’s Colonel reconnoiter and risked crashing because he was flying without a compass. He decided to land an on airstrip, which still was still embedded with Japanese landmines marked with white crosses, because he needed fuel and a bearing to get back to an Advanced Landing Ground. Recounting the day in an article in the magazine ‘Freedom First’ some years ago, Brig Mehta said, “The Colonel asked me what the white crosses meant, so I said they were only mines and said I was going in for a landing. You should have seen his face!”.

Brig Mehta had a distinguished 29 year long career during which he also served as the Military Attache in Washington, USA from 1967 to 1969.

His military career saw him graduate from the Staff College in Quetta, now in Pakistan, in 1947, command a Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, becoming the Chief Instructor in Indian Military Academy in 1953, attending the Long Gunnery Staff Course (LGSC) at Larkhill Salisbury UK from 1955 to 1956, commanding 25 Artillery Brigade Rajouri in 1957 and 27 Artillery Brigade in Jalandhar in 1958, among other achievements.

The last wish of Brigadier FSB Mehta was that an Indian Army bugler should play ‘The Last Post’ at his funeral. A wish that was honoured by the Army’s Southern Command.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh |

U.S. Consulate General Mumbai’s Notice of Funding opportunity (NOFO) announcement

The U.S. Consulate General is seeking proposals from Indian nonprofits and academic institutions for the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) below.

NOFO Number: M-NOFO-21-102

Funding Opportunity Title: Technology training to aid business development and economic inclusion of women entrepreneurs is posted on

If you are unable to access the full announcement electronically, please write to –


U.S. Consulate team


U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai

C-49, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex

Bandra East

Mumbai 400 051, INDIA
Phone: 91-22-26724000

Fax: 91-22-26724421




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From Nargol to Team India’s reserve, Arzan Nagwaswalla

Arzan Nagwaswalla is the definitely the most surprise pick in the Indian Test team.

Arzan was included as a standby player for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and the five-Test series in England.

The 23 year old is the only active Parsi cricketer in the Indian domestic cricket circuit. And the left-arm pace bowler has an outside chance to become the first Parsi cricketer in the Indian men’s team after Farokh Engineer, the swashbuckler wicket-keeper-batsman who last played for India in 1975.

Former women;s captain Diana Edulji was the last Parsi player in the Indian team, with her last international appearance coming in an ODI in 1993.

Not being part of the IPL Arzan could not garner much attention. But the Gujarat fast bowler caught the selectors’ eye not only with his pace but also with his ability to pick wickets, having finished with 41 wickets last season with three five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.

Arzan, who hails from the village of Nargal, close to the Maharashtra border — recalls how he had to travel around 350 km for his training in Ahmedabad in the initial days. In the village too, pursuing cricket was not easy as the players themselves had to roll the pitch and plan the practice sessions themselves.

It is no surprise that his role model is Pakistan’s pace bowling legend Wasim Akram.

After being named as the standby player in the Indian Test squad, Arzan Nagwaswalla spoke to‘s Harish Kotian on his journey in cricket so far.

Did you expect this call up?

Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect it so early. Obviously, you do expect to be picked in the Indian team, but…

When did you know of the selection?

Actually, the secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association had called me in the morning itself that ‘You might have to go to England so just be ready.’

That time I didn’t understand what he was talking about. So when I heard about the selection now, I understood what he was saying.

How did your family react?

I haven’t reached home yet. I am travelling and on my way home.

Are you excited to get to practice and hopefully play in England which has the best conditions for fast bowlers?

This is the first time I am travelling there so there is a lot of excitement. It feels like a dream come true to get a chance to travel with the Indian team.

You had a good season in domestic cricket last year, picking up 41 wickets in the 2019-2020 Ranji Trophy season with three five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.
Tell us the improvements you made as a bowler in your second season.

There was not much of a difference in the last season. I was just focusing on the process whether it be bowling or in practice and the results are there for everyone to see.

What were the changes if you can point out in the second season that brought you success?

It was more of a mental aspect I would say in terms of how to approach a game, how to play and similar things.

So it was more of the mental side of things and other than that there were no any changes.

You played under Parthiv Patel who has a lot of experience and has taken Gujarat cricket to greater heights in the last few seasons. What was his advice to you?

He used to constantly tell me that ‘You are doing well so be ready as opportunity can come anytime.’

I was also focused on my game whether the opportunity comes or not, I just looked to give my best every time I went out to play.

Arzan Nagwaswalla

IMAGE: Arzan with his parents. Photograph: BCCI

Did it also help a young player when you play in a successful team like Gujarat?

It was about the team environment, the bonding between the players. There was no biasness in the team, whether it was a senior player or junior player, everyone played together as one unit.

I think that is the main reason behind our success.

Our coach used to tell us that we should work as a team and focus more on the team goals rather than individual goals.

Who is your childhood coach?

My childhood coach is Kiran Tandel, who is a former player for Gujarat. He hails from my village Nargal (close to the Maharashtra border). In fact, he lives next to my house and he is also a fast bowler. So I learnt a lot of things from him.

Were things difficult for you at the start because you hail from a small village?

I used to training in my village in Nargal when I started off, but for the camp I had to travel to Ahmedabad which is 350

km away.

In Nargal village, we used to prepare the pitch and even today we work on the pitch and practice ourselves, we have to do everything.
The travelling was a bit of struggle, but that was fine as it helped me improve.

The training in Ahmedabad helped me work with good coaches and they helped rectify the errors in my bowling and that played a big part in my development.

Along with getting picked for India, playing in the IPL is the next big target for all Indian domestic players. You did well in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament with nine wickets from five games but were not picked in the IPL even though were part of it as the nets bowlers for the Mumbai Indians. Were you disappointed?

No, it was not disappointed. I knew there is a time for everything, so when the time is right, I will also get there.

In the last one year, there was not much of domestic cricket. How did you stay in touch with the game?

We had a few camps in Ahmedabad so there we got a chance to practice and improve our skills. The physical training part, we were doing at home and the cricketing part we practiced in Ahmedabad.

Webinar – Challenges faced by full-time practicing Parsi Priests

Challenges faced by full time practicing Parsi Priests
Jiyo Parsi invites the community to witness the narrative of our priests. The Empowering Mobeds programme aims to develop priests as leaders, counsellors and teachers. Resilience is built in the DNA of a Zoroastrian priest by virtue of performance of liturgical ceremonies. Their courage has been amply displayed through the tough pandemic. The positive outcome of lockdown has been uniting priests and behdins on digital platforms, a first in the history of our community.
Meeting ID: 990 252 6711
Passcode: jiyoparsi


              Oprah Winfrey had rightly said : “ Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focussing on what excites you.” Passion is something an individual needs always as only a passionate and ever ready to learn individual can achieve success in life. One such example is Mathemagician cum Memory Development Trainer Minoo Jokhi.

Minoo Jokhi is a Memory Wizard Mathemagician par excellence based in Mumbai, India. He has trained thousands of individuals of all ages right from 4 to 80 years  and more age and shows them how to increase their Memory-Power and once and for all shatter the myth that Memory is neither good nor bad and in reality is trained or untrained.


But to think that Minoo was a born progidy is wrong. Minoo was not a wizkid from birth but someone who had a terrible childhood. He was so weak in his school days that he couldn’t do simple tables of 6 or 7 or add single double  digits properly. He had practically lost hope that he would ever do something in his life till 1992 when an amazing transformation took place.


People normally avoid their weaker areas. But Minoo was different who made his weakest point his GREATEST STRENGTH. Minoo was very unhappy that he was so terrible in Maths. Being ridiculed by his teachers and all children around him; Minoo started to learn basic TABLES uptil 20. He would add and subtract bus numbers and car numbers.  This small exercises when done regularly became a  regular Number Crunching Habit with Minoo. Encouraged by his mother Kety; Minoo soon began a passion for Numbers which has increased multifold today. His mother totally backed him and she brought up Minoo and his younger brother Hoshang up single handedly amidst lots of problems really well. And once the amazing transformation took place; people were stunned to see Minoo’s Amazing Transformation.


          A Hebrew quote says: “ When you have no choice, mobilize the spirit of courage. Minoo is a shining example of this quote. From being a reserved,timid kid of a broken home with an uncertain future; the Minoo of today is dramatically different. Today Minoo remembers tables up to one crore, can also multiply huge figures mentally at amazing speeds, can remember over 2000 telephone numbers, mobile numbers and date of births, can tell you the day of any date from 1st January 1600 to date; e.g. 15th October 1993 was a Friday. He also remembers Cube Roots up to Hundred Crores and does many such mental feats. He has been featured in over 95 Newspapers, has written over 45 Articles on various aspects of Memory Development and has come over 15 times on Television. He has performed over 850 Mathemagic Shows for Schools, Colleges, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Corporates and Institutions and of late he has performed Online Shows and Classes too with ease.

The world has seen massive destruction in the last 16-17 months due to Coronavirus. Over 150 million people worldwide have been infected and very sadly over 3 million have lost their precious lives. This has terribly made Minoo very unhappy but being amazingly a positive man; Minoo is confident the pre corona world will return and he urges all not to panic but have FAITH IN GOD and not give up and go into depression. Having seen many unhappy moments in his 44 years life; Minoo is a very brave human who will not accept defeat. He leads by example. He says to all to drink warm water; do steam inhalation; sanitise hands often and ofcourse wear the mask and don’t be timid but firm in belief that Coronavirus will be VANQUISHED. He is really unhappy the way Mumbai, Maharashtra, Indian people as well as others all over the world have faced deaths; a massive loss to the unfortunate families; the struggle to get a hospital bed, oxygen crisis and the massive suffering people have undergone but Minoo is of TOTAL FAITH that the whole world will survive this horrible scenario.


Minoo Jokhi is the second person after General Sam Maneckshaw to have been conferred the prestigious Honorary Membership of the Rotary Club of Bombay Hills South. He has performed abroad too on 11 occasions; at the 7th World Zoroastrian Congress, USA in the year 2000 and at the International Medical Congresses held in Sri Lanka in 2002, 2003,2004 2005 ,2007 and 2012. He performed 6 Mathemagic Shows in Colombo in March 2014. He was invited to attend and participate in the Parliament of World Religions held in Spain, Barcelona in July 2004 and represented India as the only youth Speaker at the Quest for Global Healing Conference in Indonesia in May 2006.  H also performed a series of shows at the 14th North American Zoroastrian Congress held in Toronto, Canada in July 2007 before over 550 delegates . Minoo  loves Canada a lot and is extremely fond of various places in this beautiful country.  He has also performed in many parts of India like Bangalore, Dharampur, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Navsari, Chennai, Kerala, Kolkata, Chennapatna and Lonavala. Having performed live before many crowds; Minoo does’nt have any stage fear and now due to Coronavirus; Minoo can’t at the moment do physical SHOWS but has adopted to the ONLINE mode very well. He has in the last one year done MATHEMAGIC SHOWS as well MEMORY CUM MATHS CLASSES ONLINE really well.


Minoo forte and expertise foremost is in conducting classes in Memory Development where he has various levels of Memory Enhancement Techniques Courses starting from the Basic Course and he taught students from the age of 4 and he has also taught seniors in their eighties. He sees to it that his students understand how the Memory has to be trained and how things learned once can never be forgotten. His course is FUN CUM LEARN.  He also teaches Personality-Development, Public Speaking, Mathematics and Basic cum Advanced English and is not just a teacher but also a friend cum guide to his students.

             Minoo too is a Numerologist and provides 7 pages Numerology Consultations.  He is an Actor too having acted in T.V.Serials, Webseries, Plays and Short Films. He is a very proficient Lawn-Tennis Player having won the Vazirani National Sports Academy Singles Title a record  8 times and is currently the most successful player there. He has played various tournaments and has been Runners-up on 8 occasions and has also reached Semi-Finals and Quarter-Finals on many occasions. He also loves to play Cricket and is an All-Rounder and has played Practice Matches at Maidens with the season ball and has also run 11 kilometres and 21 kilometres Marathons. He has been on ALL INDIA RADIO on 3 occasions.He also is a LIC and GIC Insurance Agent. For the readers benefit; the Math Genius shares a MATH TRICK: what is 125 multiply by 125. First multiply 5 and 5 which is 25 and take the first digits 12 and multiply it by the next number 13 and the answer is 156 and total answer is 15625.


Minoo can be contacted by anyone who desires his services. He lives in Mumbai in India and his number is 9821407519 and his email is        His website is









SHÂHNÂMEH – help required

I am currently rewritting the Shanameh through an open source project:
This project produces automatically a web site that represents the final shanameh book:
I am looking for people that can help me by provinding whatever is relevant to grow up this project.
Henri d’Orgeval

ZARATHUSTRA: The Man and The Message

The worlds oldest religion, the Zoroastrian faith, has influenced all the major world religions. Research has determined that Zarathustra, the founder of the Zoroastrian religion, lived centuries before Moses and Abraham. Zarathustra was the first in human history to introduce the belief in one God. He was also the first to put forward ideas of states of existence such as heaven and hell; judgment day; resurrection; and the idea of apocalypse. Over time, Zarathustra’s teachings were corrupted by his followers. This book, based on extensive study and research, aims to dispel the myths and beliefs the Prophet’s followers introduced that have no bearing on Zarathustra’s profound teachings. Many Zoroastrians have never read or just have a cursory understanding of the Gathas, verses Zarathustra composed, for humans to live a productive, harmonious life. The Gathas are simplified based on the works of Gatha scholars. The book covers historical background of the religion as well as offers meanings behind abstract concepts that are often taken literally.

The book can be purchased by writing to Arnavaz Sethna at The cost of the book is $10.00 plus postage and handling. Arnavaz Sethna will inform the interested buyer of the cost and payment arrangements. The author is donating the entire profits to the Library Committee of the Zoroastrian Association of Houston (ZAH.) There is no monetary incentive far the author in this self-published book. The Library Committee of the ZAH is dedicated to advance knowledge in all aspects of the Zoroastrian faith, history and culture.

About the Author
Meheryar N. Rivetna retired from Merck & Co., Inc. and now devotes his time to research and the study of the Zoroastrian religion.
He is an active member of the library committee of the Zoroastrian Association of Houston (ZAH) as well as on the FIRES (FEZANA Information Research Education System) committee. The ZAH library committee is dedicated to advance knowledge of the Zoroastrian faith, history and culture to keep the flame of Zarathustra’s teachings eternally burning and bright.

Click Here to visit the website for more information

Behram Yazad Jashan

A Behram Yazad Jashan will be performed at the ZAC Atashkadeh/Agiyary to receive a divine intervention on  Behram roj, Sunday 2nd May at  7:30 PM IST.

This Behram Yazad Jashan is performed to achieve Victory over the virus in India and to bring about Health,  Strength, Wealth, Longevity, and Happiness amongst our community members and all human beings. Please participate in this Jashan, Humbandagi, and a brief talk to bring the powerful vibrations of our prayers into your homes by clicking on the following Zoom link

Topic: Behram Yazad Jashan to Achieve Victory over the virus in India & to Bring about Good Times

Time: Sunday, May 2, 2021, 07:30 PM IST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 7853 7350

Passcode: prayers

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