Ahmedabad Parsi community loses PORUS Jehangirji Karanjawala


Ahmedabad Parsi community lost one amongst their own a human being

It was a very sad day for Ahmedabad Parsi community on very important religious day – 5th Gatha, a day also called as “Pateti”, 16th August, that they lost one of their own dedicated, religious minded, true Seva Bhavi finest human being – PORUS – who died at the very young age of 54 and most importantly when he was associated with so many Trusts and Funds including an Educational institute at Ahmedabad.    

His tragic and sudden death stunned the community that many were not in a position to accept the reality of the news of his demise.   The love and affection that he carried amongst the community at Ahmedabad was so high that ALL the pre-determined fun, joy, eating programmes related to festivals and New Year and Khordadsal days were cancelled.  It was indeed a great shock within the community no one believe such a sudden and tragic death of Porus.   His funeral which had taken place on morning of the very first day of new year of the community, – Navroz -,  though the same day it rained heavily in Ahmedabad and may areas were flooded, most who loved him were there at the funeral.   Likewise people respected amd attended Sarosh nu patru as also Uthamna kriya.    

Differences are the opportunities to learn.   That was the principle he had accepted in his life.   He always valued his ethics and principles and stood by his convictions for which he was accounted as “Zero Tolerance” personality to allow wrong doing.    He had to scarify his own nomination for trusteeship of last APP – Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat election for the very reason that his ideas, ethics and principles were indeed not acceptable to many and to avoid clash which may take place at later period, he did not contest.  

He got entry into community welfare activities at very early age of 24 years and during last 30 years of his life he shouldered the responsibilities with various trusts and Funds and even educational institute as a Trustee, Committee member, Secretary, etc..   During his very active social activities in last 30 years, he held post of an Ex-General Secretary of PYLA – Parsi Youth League of Ahmedabad, as Ex-Committee member and Ex-Trustee of APP – Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat, as Ex-President of FOZYA – Federation of Zorastrian Youth Association.   At the time of his death, he was on Board of Trustee of many Parsi Charitable Trusts, few to be remembered as Roda and Savaksha Mohudawala Charitable Trust, who are known by organising Annual Felicitation of Ahmedabad based Parsi humdins in different field and Christmas eve Joy and Fun for children every year.   Also a Trust Dhanjishaw and Manijeh Gamir Charitable trust, very well known by organising Republic Day Flag Hoisting event followed by a lavish Brunch.  Same trust who have renovated the Parsi Sanatorium, at Ahmedabad, which was managed by him to bring the very dilapidated structure into a solid structure by running day and out for placing orders for supplies for the construction, receiving the same at the site, utilizing the supplies for which ordered, etc., etc..   The inauguration session with Jashan and Dinner was also arranged of the renovated structure being part of the APP properties, was handed over to APP, which generates Rs.10 lacs as annual revenue.   Such was his wisdom, thinking and very selfless work attitude that has given great opportunities to Parsi Humdins in Ahmedabad.  He will equally be remembered of the event – Parsi and Zorastrian Matrimonial Meet – which will take place on 27th and 28th October, 2018 at Ahmedabad.

A condolence meeting was organized to pay respect to Porus Jehangirji Karanjawala by Parsi humdins at Sanatorium Hall on 25th August, 2018.  It started with Jashan kriya and then there were almost 19 different personalities spoke well and remembered Porus for his work and dedicated services rendered to the community in Ahmedabad.   Known personalities included – Kersi Jhanbux Shethna, ex-President of the APP, Dr. Armaity Firoj Davar ex-trustee of APP, Chairman of Parsi Montessori School, and many more to account.   The condolence meeting was arranged by two trusts jointly where he was very active, viz.. Mohudawala and Gamir trust.   Porus was well remembered of his free, frank and fearless personalities with total dedication to do better for the community, by his co-trustee in both the above named trust, Mr.Aspy Bharucha.   Whole condolence meeting was very well compared by Mr. Ariz Bokdawala who has shared many trusts and PYLA and FOZYA with Porus for very long time.      

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Mobed Welfare – A Proposed Scheme


 For Elderly Mobed couples and Elderly Widows of Mobeds residing in India 

 

An overseas institution has expressed intent to extend financial support to economically challenged Mobeds who are either:

Ø  Elderly married  Mobed couples, above age 65, who do not have children and whose annual income including benefits received from Trusts and Individuals is below Rs 6,00,000 per annum

Ø  Elderly Widows above age 65 of Mobeds, who do not have children and whose annual income including benefits received from Trusts and Individuals is below Rs 3,00,000 per annum.

The WZO Trust Funds have been requested to compile and make available to them a Pan India list for their consideration.

Mobeds and Widows of Mobeds who fit the above description and who would be interested in receiving financial support are requested to fill in an application form, available at our office, giving complete details that would establish their being eligible for support under the proposed scheme and mail it to us by September 30, 2018.

Applicants will need to make available two passport size photographs and copies of bank pass books and any other relevant documents for verification. Applicants are also required to provide at least one reference known to them but not related to them.

It is to be made clear that WZO Trust Funds have only agreed to act as facilitators for receiving and disbursing the amounts received. All decisions on beneficiaries selected, amounts sanctioned, frequency of support etc, shall be at the sole discretion of the donors.

Trustees,

The WZO Trust Funds,

C-1, Hermes House,

Mama Parmanand Marg,

Opera House,

Mumbai 400 004.

What does the Kasti Symbolize?


What does the Kasti symbolize? How is it made? (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)

1) The Kasti is the thin woollen waistband worn over the Sadra, which passes thrice around the waist. It is made by weaving together 72 fine threads of lamb’s wool. In the past it was prepared by ladies from priestly families while chanting manthravani prayers. Wool is known to have the inherent property of absorbing and retaining vibrations.

2) The word kasti means a boundary, and it reminds one to keep within the boundary of religious duty. The word Kasti comes from Avesta aiwyāonghana “that which is girded around” and Pahlavi kosht “boundary (of religious duty).” The word is also derived from Avestan word karsha “spiritual boundary which keeps evil away.”

3) The Kasti is to be worn thrice round the waist. The number three, among other things, represent the principles of humata, hukhta & hvarshta “good thoughts, good words and good deeds.” While tying the three rounds, two reef knots are tied, one at the front during the second round and the second one at the end of the third round. Each reef knot includes the tying of two knots – two in the front and two at the back.

4) Hence, in the Kasti there are in all four knots. Each knot is connected to the one of the four promises given by a child while saying the Din-no-Kalmo prayer on the day of the Navjot. The four promises are; I will consider Ahura Mazda as my only God. ii) I will consider Zarathushtra as my only prophet. iii) I will consider Mazdayasni Zarthoshti as my only religion. iv) I will be faithful to my God, prophet and religion all my life.

5) The Sadra and Kasti are the religious implements of the Zoroastrians. They form an invisible circuit of prayers around physical body, which if properly kept, protects one from negative forces, and leads one on the path of piety and duty.

6) Making of Kasti: Lamb’s wool is first woven on a spindle. Then threads from two spindles are combined together in one ball. The double yarn is then twisted and passed 72 times around the loom (Gujarati jantar). These 72 threads are then divided into 6 sets of 12 strands each. It is in a circle, which is then cut by a priest while saying a particular prayer. The rest of the weaving is done by hand. 1 lar and 3 laris are made on each end. Then the Kasti is flattened, washed, dried and fumigated and folded, ready for use.

7) Most of the parts of the Kasti symbolize something and remind us of a religious teaching. Lamb’s wool symbolizes innocence. The 72 threads remind us of the 72 chapters of the holy text of the Yasna which are recited in the Yasna ritual. Hence, the number 72 represents all the sacred Zoroastrian texts and the lofty Zoroastrian rituals. The six laris (three on each side) reminds us of the six Gahambars – the seasonal festivals and teach us to be in sync with the seasons and nature.

Jam-e-Jamshed of 22 & 29-4-2018

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Kusti, Kushti

PARSI / Zorastrian House Maid for my mother – 82 YEARS


I am looking out for full time PARSI/ZORASTRIAN house maid who can take care of my mother from around 20th September 2018 till 5th November 2018 as myself and my spouse are leaving out of India.

During the above period, she will be relocated at ‘The Bandra Parsi Convalescent Home’. As my mother is semi dependent, full time house maid is required to support her for taking bath/assisting her to washroom and helping her to give medicines 3 times daily and Insulin once after breakfast.

Please connect directly to Jehangir Gilder – Contact number 9619106301 or 9004226706 or 022 28389525

Professor John Hinnells : Obituary


Determined expert on Zoroastrianism who founded degree courses on world religion and zipped across the world on crutches

As a child sick with tuberculosis of the bone, John Hinnells spent the best part of seven years isolated in hospital. When he was as young as six years old he was placed on wards full of adults. Only on Saturdays could his parents visit and John would weep as they left. He made sporadic appearances at school, missing months of teaching. “You’ll never work when you grow up” was a frequent taunt. Yet Hinnells, the son of a Derbyshire miner, possessed grit and resilience. Briefly suspended from school for tripping up his tormentors with his crutches, he left with the equivalent of 3 O’ levels. This proved no obstacle to a glittering future in academe.

Published in The Times London

john-hinnells

Once a novice monk, he was drawn east to study the roots of Christianity. Later he became an authority on Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest faiths, which originated in Persia (modern-day Iran). Sometimes obliged by his ailment to lecture from a wheelchair, Hinnells founded four degree courses in world religion at Manchester, Newcastle, the Open University and Soas (the School of Oriental and African Studies). Remarkably he also managed, while using crutches, to zip across the world from Zanzibar to Canada to survey the Zoroastrian diaspora. Staying with modern followers of the Persian prophet Zoroaster, he asked searching questions of their religious beliefs while savouring slow-cooked aromatic curries. He relished Bombay, once missing a flight because an elephant was squatting on the road to the airport. And he found Indians especially kind when they saw his physical difficulties. His frame was contorted, with one leg shorter than the other. Stoically he endured his knees being replaced and many operations on his feet. With a stiff, straight leg secured by pins he was unable to sit down, and could only perch on chair edges. By his thirties doctors suggested to Hinnells that he consider amputation. He always refused, and at a party met an orthopaedic surgeon who suggested that Hinnells should try a hip replacement, an operation then in its infancy, at the Wrightington Hospital, Wigan. “I’d like to do something I haven’t been able to before,” announced Hinnells, after successful surgery. Fearlessly he embraced white-water canoeing with his wife and sons. He had never let physical difficulties get in the way of adventure. Once with a friend he scaled Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale in Derbyshire, encased from chest to toe in plaster. Reaching the summit, he decided that navigating down on crutches was too tricky. So he gleefully slid down on his bottom, burning a hole as he did so in his plaster.

John Russell Hinnells was born in August 1941 in Derby, the only child of William, who after mining worked on the railways, and Lillian (née Jackson), a dinner lady and school cook. At the age of 13, Hinnells won a place at Spondon Park Grammar School in Derby. He taught art after taking a course at Derby and District College of Art. Sensing a call to priesthood, he began training in Cumbria then entered Mirfield Monastery near Leeds. His plans for a life with the Anglican Community of the Resurrection changed the day he met Marianne Bushell, a visitor whose cousin was at the monastery. Smitten, within 24 hours of first meeting they vowed to marry. Marianne (always known as Anne) and Hinnells married in 1965 after he had obtained a degree in theology from King’s College London. She taught literacy to children, and was a calm counterpoint to her husband’s taste for debate. Around the dining table of a home adorned with brass lamps and vibrant Bombay rugs, Hinnells sparked discussion with his sons, Mark and Duncan, on the increasing importance of world faiths because of global migration. How, he asked in a light Derbyshire burr, might religion influence social policy? Hinnells had obtained a lectureship at Newcastle when he was 26 and from 1970 worked at the University of Manchester, where he was made the professor of comparative religion. In 1993 he received the chair of comparative religion at Soas in London and became the founding head of its department for the study of religion. Geographers and sociologists alike were intrigued by Hinnells’s 30-year investigation into the world’s Zoroastrians that was published in 2005. More than 1,800 answered a questionnaire he devised that pinpointed religion as a key marker in the identity of migrants from southeast Asia.

As an adviser on religions to Penguin, Hinnells also edited succinct guide to faiths, including the Penguin Dictionary of World  Religion (1984). Other scholars offered the project felt swamped by its scope. However, by 8am daily Hinnells was in his study rattling out letters on a manual typewriter requesting contributions from the world’s most prestigious religious scholars. He asked Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Jews to write of their beliefs, at a time when accounts of world faiths were largely penned by western Christians.

At home he relished entertaining ministers of all faiths, including the Parsee High Priest, who was one of his friends and was often spotted in Hinnells’s garden lobbing a cricket ball to his sons. After Marianne’s early death from cancer in 1996 a devastated Hinnells left Soas and took up a visiting fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge. Later he invited Alison Houghton, the widowed former librarian of Robinson College, to share his bungalow. She had Alzheimer’s disease and they made a solid team — he was the memory, she was the manpower. Hinnells would remind her to switch off the gas before they left for trips to the Buxton opera festival. She carried the bag he could not pick up. Later Hinnells moved near his older son, Mark, who works for the engineering firm Ricardo. Although he was frequently unwell, his death was unexpected. After falling ill while sharing a meal with Mark, he was diagnosed with septicaemia in hospital. Surgery was planned, but Hinnells asked if he might sample his favourite beverage. “No,” said the doctor. “It’s nil by mouth if we operate.” The next morning he said that Hinnells was not well enough for surgery. Agreeing and aware that this meant death was imminent, Hinnells merely replied: “Can I have that Diet Coke then?” The many letters sent to his sons since his death speak of how often he helped others, whether that was with securing a university place, a book deal or a lectureship. “Dad saw what people were capable off,” recalled his son Duncan, who is a solicitor. Perhaps his own struggles inspired him.

Hinnells’s mother once bumped into her son’s former headmaster. He mentioned hearing that Hinnells had become a university lecturer. Assured that this was untrue, the headteacher replied, “I thought not,” only for Lillian to gently smile. “John,” she replied, “is now a professor.”

John Hinnells, professor of world religion, was born on August 27, 1941, and died on May 3, 2018, aged 76.

https://parsikhabar.net/individuals/professor-john-hinnells-obituary/18182/

WZO Grand Patron Ambassador Jamsheed Marker passes away


21 June 2018

WZO Grand Patron and World’s longest-serving Pakistani Ambassador Jamsheed Marker passes away

WZO Grand Patron and veteran Pakistani diplomat Jamsheed Marker passed away in Karachi on 21 June 2018 in the morning.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon of Pakistan, while expressing deep sorrow over the sad demise of Ambassador Jamshed K. Marker said,” Pakistan has lost a true and noble son and a brilliant icon.”

The veteran diplomat was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been “ambassador to more countries than any other person” .

Marker with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Photo: Jamsheed Marker/ Herald

He was Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for more than three decades and earned the distinction as the “world’s longest-serving ambassador”.

The Hilal-e-Imtiaz recipient was also an accomplished cricket commentator and was fluent in English, Urdu, Gujarati, French, German and Russian.

Marker with his wife

Photo: Jamsheed Marker/ Herald

He is survived by his daughter and wife.

Marker’s funeral ceremony will be held at 3:30pm in Bath Island, Karachi after which his body will be taken to the Tower of Silence in Mehmoodabad.

We at WZO offer our sincere condolences to the family.

May his soul rest in Eternal Peace in Garothman Behest and may his exemplary life inspire future generations.

Kind Regards,

Shahpur F Captain

Chairman

chairman@w-z-o.org

Roshan Khursheed Bharucha part of six member federal cabinet in Pakistan


A six-member caretaker federal cabinet appointed by interim prime minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk was sworn-in on Tuesday.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered oath to the interim cabinet at the President House in Islamabad.

The cabinet includes former governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Shamshad Akhtar, former Pakistan ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon, former senator Roshan Khursheed Bharucha, Mohammad Yousuf Shaikh, Mohammad Azam Khan, and Syed Ali Zafar.

 

Roshan Khursheed Bharucha

Roshan Khursheed Bharucha served as a minister in the Balochistan Assembly between 2000 and 2002, in various departments, including those of social welfare, information, population and information technology.

Bharucha then worked as a senator between 2003 and 2005, during which she developed strategies for basic health, education and women empowerment.

 

https://www.geo.tv/latest/198053-interim-cabinet-members-take-oath-at-president-house

2 Photos – 2 Navjotes in HongKong – Old Reminiscences


Photo # 1 1934
My two brothers’ Jal and Fram, had their Navjote  at the Parsi Club, Hongkong around 1934. The photo was taken on the roof of the “Parsee Club”, the original Zoroastrian Building in Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, completed in 1931 and was the center of Parsi social life in Hong Kong.
Notice the Fire Symbol  ( afrinagan). which was very prominent and seen from the roadside. Also the Parsees included their maid-servants (Amahs) in the photo. The guests include Parsees and non-Parsees.

Your readers may  recognize some of the the prominent Parsees of Hongkong, like the Pavris  the Shroffs, the Ruttonjees, the Dhabers, and others.

 Shapurjee Johki, Parekh, Jehangir and son Dhun Ruttonjee , Behram Tavadia, Jal Patel, Dhabars,Norshir Pavri, the Shroffs,Talatis, Dr. Karanjia, Vasania, and others.
The #2 photo was taken at my sister Shirin and I (Pesi (that’s me) Navjote, which took place in the Ballroom/Dining Hall on the 8th floor of  the Gloucester Hotel, Hongkong in 1947. The war in Hongkong was over in 1945, and strict food rationing was enforced.I guess all the Parsees wanting to celebrate the first  get together of all Hongkong Parsees must have pooled their food ration coupons for this occasion.
It was a Gala event decorations, drinks and dinner-dance. I doubt if any Parsee was left out or not invited.
Some of the same people that attended in the 1934 Navjote Ceremony are also in the 1947 photo.

The Mobeds or Dastoorjis names (of the 1935 Navjote) I do not have.But I’m sure there were none in the 1947 one too but our Hongkong Parsees like Nari Pavri and others who were qualified to perform Zoroastrian Ceremonies. { (I am seated on the floor 3rd from left). My two sisters are in the center.And behind her is my Mom. My Dad is center top row. }

Regards
Pesi Jehangir Mahuvawalla

Message of Zoroastrianism must be heard worldwide: Iran President


 Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has sent a message to the 11th World Zoroastrian Congress, expressing hope the meeting could help spread the message of divine religions the world badly needs.

In a Saturday message to the event, which was started in Perth in western Australia on Friday and will last until Monday, Rouhani said the congress is a source of pride for Iran, the birthplace of the Zoroaster and the first home of Zoroastrians.

The president said Zoroastrianism is a divine religion highly similar to Islam and other monotheistic religions, whose message needs to be heard.

“The world today needs moral teachings of prophets, including Zoroaster. The world ought to pay attention to [basic Zoroastrian] tenets of Good ThoughtsGood Words, Good Deeds,” he said.

“These tenets point out that our deeds are affected by our thoughts and we need to correct our thoughts before correcting our deeds and words,” he said.

The president said Zoroastrian teachings have greatly affected Iran’s culture, inspiring prominent intellectuals from Iranian polymath Avicenna to renewed poets Hafez and Rumi.

“The Zoroastrian teachings have been incorporated into Iranian culture … and have become parts of characteristics of Iranians from all ethnicities and races,” he said.

“We must be grateful for these common roots that connects us together and shape our deeds and behaviour”, he said.

“I hope such gatherings could [help] convey the message of this great religion to the whole world,” the President concluded.

Rouhani finally wished happiness and prosperity for all Zoroastrians in the world, particularly the Parsi community of India.

https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/06/02/message-of-zoroastrianism-must-be-heard-worldwide-iran-president/

 

 

 

Meet the Kavinas, one of the only two Parsi families in Kerala


Dressed in regular ‘nighties’ with a dash of sacred ash on their forehead, Rathi and Dhan Kavina could easily pass off as Malayalis.
But a look around their modest flat reveals a picture of Prophet Zarathustra on the wall, as well as a prayer note with the Faravahar (symbol of Zoroastrianism), pasted behind the front door. The sisters, into their seventies, are the only remaining members of the Kavina family, one of the only two Parsi families in Kerala today.
But neither Rathi nor Dhan are too concerned about their Persian roots, or the fact that they don’t share a God with many others in the State. “God is one, only the names are different,” says Rathi, the older of the two, a perpetual smile playing on her lips. On a shelf in the bedroom are pictures of Gods of all religions, besides that of their late parents and brother, with rows of small lamps before them.

“We celebrate all festivals including Onam, Christmas, Vishu besides Zoroastrian festivals,” they say. In fact, when their brother was alive, they used to go on pilgrimages to various temples, as well as the Anjuman Baug, the only Parsi Fire Temple in Kerala, situated near SM Street, Kozhikode. “We worship the fire and recite a prayer in Gujarati to Ahura Mazda (the Lord of Wisdom) every day. But we don’t have a holy book. Our only motto in life is: good words, good thoughts and good deeds,” says Rathi.
Their family settled in Kerala after their parents moved to Thrissur from Ahmedabad, home to one of the largest communities of Parsis. Their father, Padamsha Kavina, had come to work in a textile mill in Thrissur, and the two sisters were born here. “We attended school and college in Thrissur, and have lived here all our lives,” says Rathi. While their brother started a textile business later, where Rathi assisted him, Dhan has been a home-bird all her life. “I’m the one who does all the shopping and banking, but I don’t even know how to make a cup of tea. Dhan is a great cook and homemaker,” Rathi says with a laugh.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/parsi-by-birth-malayali-by-choice/articleshow/64160110.cms