Category Archives: Miscellaneous

How a photograph of a decked-up Parsi woman found its way to the Pope’s palace

Dosebai Cowasjee Jessawalla was one of the first women in India to receive a British education. She recounts her travels and adventures in ‘Story of My Life’


Every room or landing was guarded by two soldiers, and after passing through six orseven we reached a magnificent hall where I was told to sit down. This room and the furniture it contained were all of uniform colour—bright red—and the guards who patrolled here were dressed even to their boots in the same flaming hue.

Presently the priest returned, and requested me to kneel down on receiving the Pope’s benediction and to kiss the fingers of his hand which he would extend to me instead of his foot. He then brought me to another hall painted and furnished entirely in milk-white colour; here I saw a venerable person of angelic appearance coming towards us at a slow measured pace. At sight of this thrice holy man we dropped on our knees and made humble obeisance which he graciously acknowledged. At that moment I felt such ecstatic joy as could not be described—what I suppose one would experience in converse with a prophet or being of another world.

The Holy Father had the majesty and winning mildness of aspect which we attribute to angels, surely beloved of God must he be to be exalted so high above his fellow-men! He wore white robes and had a white cap upon his head. His dress exactly resembled that which we Parsees prepare on a death anniversary for our departed, and for the first time I saw it on the person of a living man. The Pope wore no flowing beard to enhance the majesty of his well-proportioned form.

In a clear melodious voice he poured his benedictions upon me and my son, after which he condescended to converse with me.

Our conversation was carried on by the Cardinal interpreting for us, and the following is the substance of it. After placing his blessed hand on my head he said: “May you live long and be firm in your faith whereby all your best aspirations will be fulfilled.” I humbly requested him to transfer the first part of his blessing—the long life—to my son who was with me and whom he had mistaken for my husband. Taking out my watch and showing him the beautifully enamelled portraits of my dear husband and daughter on its lids I besought him to bless them with long life and vouchsafe to me the blessing of closing my eyes while these—my all-in-all—should be in the full enjoyment of health and happiness. With a smile beaming on his heavenly countenance he blessed me in these words: “May God fulfil your best wishes and may you reap manifold advantages from your long and arduous travels when you shall have reached your own shores in peace and safety.”

“Pray hand me your card,” he said, “that I may remember you in my prayers and invoke the assistance of God on your every laudable undertaking.” He continued: “You must assuredly have been much pleased with the beautiful churches of St Peter and St Paul,” whereupon I respectfully informed him of my having seen both these celebrated buildings of which the imposing appearance would ever live fresh in my memory and the few days spent in Rome would rank amongst the happiest of my life. He then asked me to stay for a month when his Cardinal would introduce me to the reigning Sovereign of Italy. Gratifying as this gracious proposal was, I had to decline it as my stay in the Eternal City could not be prolonged.

“The great honour you have done me,” I supplicatingly said, “by this interview has made such a deep and grave impression on my mind, akin to what we mortals feel when holding discourse with an angel that I am under a debt of the greatest gratitude to Your Holiness. Believing you to be an emissary of God, I invoke your blessing on me.”

On hearing this, the Holy man said: “God always helps the righteous. My heartfelt benedictions be ever on your head.” I further informed His Holiness that I had at first only intended to stay but two days in that imperial city, but having been favoured by an interview with such an exalted, estimable and worthy potentate as His Holiness I had resolved to stay a few days longer, though all my luggage having been sent off to Brindisi, I had taken the liberty to appear in his august and holy presence in my ordinary garb.

“Is there then any other sort of dress in use among you than what I see?” Hereupon I produced my photograph and explained to him that though the fashion of the dress always remains the same, we wear a more elaborate and costly dress on festive occasions or when paying a visit. I then asked if His Holiness would be pleased to keep the photograph in his majestic palace and he, with much pleasure, ordered his Cardinal to take the picture, as the Pope never accepts anything but through one of his Cardinals. Our conversation lasted for about an hour, then I took my leave enriched by his many benedictions.

How a photograph of a decked-up Parsi woman found its way to the Pope’s palace

Whitepaper on – Aging Across The Zarathushti World

Whitepaper On

Aging Across The Zarathushti World

Authors: Nawaz Merchant and Dolly Dastoor


This white paper documents the learnings from our session: “Aging Across the Zarathushti World” at the 2022 World Zoroastrian Congress held in New York. For this session, the authors solicited Zoroastrian (Zarathushti) Associations in different countries about the condition of Z seniors and learnt about their needs as well as models that help improve Z senior’s quality of life. We found that many Z diasporas are well supported. Many of the survey respondents described aging Z immigrants cared for by their children and with some governmental social support or community services from Zarathushti and secular groups. However, our analysis surfaced a growing need among Z seniors in India.

As with most communities, Zarathushtis want to support their own family members. But what about those who we are not directly related to. Do we have an obligation to them? Do we agree that our global Zarathushti community is one? The authors believe we should support our aging co-religionists and offer suggestions based on the research for this session and subsequent visits to India.

Noshir Dadrawala Invited On Governing Council Of India’s First Social Stock Exchange

Parsi Times is delighted to announce that Noshir H. Dadrawala – one of the community’s most dynamic personalities, Zoroastrian Scholar, a globally renowned consultant on Charity Laws, a prolific writer, and our very own, much sought-after PT columnist – has been invited as a member of the Governing Council of the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) ‘Social Stock Exchange’.

BSE’s ‘Social Stock Exchange’ (SSE) is the first of its kind in India and will soon have nationwide trading terminals permitted to register Social Enterprises and / or list the securities issued by Social Enterprises. The SSE will list only securities that raise money for ‘non-profit’ or ‘for-profit’ ‘social enterprises.’

Speaking to Parsi Times on the occasion of this prestigious appointment, as member of the Governing Council of the BSE’s ‘Social Stock Exchange’, Noshir Dadrawala said, “It is both, an honour and privilege to have been invited to serve on this Committee along with other eminent professionals. The Social Stock Exchange is not a new idea from a global perspective. However, it is India’s first SSE and designed very differently. I personally see a lot of opportunity for genuine charitable organisations, both, in terms of enhancing their credibility as also to fund-raise. To be listed on the SSE will require organisations to meet very high and stringent standards of Capacity, Compliance and Capability. It’s a great journey to look forward to in 2023!”

A Social Enterprise means either a ‘Not-for-Profit Organization’ or a ‘For Profit Social Enterprise’ that meets the eligibility criteria specified by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). ‘Not-for-profit Social Enterprise’ includes charitable trusts, charitable societies, companies licensed under section 8 of the Indian Companies Act 2013 and any other entity as may be specified by the Board.

A ‘for-profit’ or ‘not-for-profit’ entity must first be identified as a ‘Social Enterprise’ by establishing primacy of its social intent. Corporate foundations, political or religious organizations or activities, professional or trade associations, infrastructure and housing companies, except affordable housing, will not be eligible to be identified as a Social Enterprise.

Getting listed on the SSE would entail going through a vigorous due-diligence processes. Once listed, it would be an important recognition and enhance credibility of the social enterprise. Social enterprises listed on the SSE will also be subject to regular audits to measure social impact and reports shall be disclosed to stakeholders just like for-profit, listed companies, on regular stock exchanges.

Noshir Dadrawala Invited On Governing Council Of India’s First Social Stock Exchange

SOAS Professor Almut Hintze, Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism receives £1 million for project on Zoroastrianism

ZTFE is delighted to share the wonderful news that, SOAS Professor Almut Hintze, Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism has recently received just under £1 million grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a project on Zoroastrianism. Please go to:

Professor Hintze informed the ZTFE; “This would not have been possible without the amazing work of Dr Yousef Moradi, who excavated the bullae.”

Earlier this year, ZTFE Faridoon & Mehraban Zartoshty Brothers Fund for Zoroastrian Studies’ awarded a grant to Dr Yousef Moradi towards his post doctorial research at SOAS.

Also mentioned in the same SOAS Staff Bulletin, Tuesday 20th December 2022:

  • Steve Tsang and Burzine Waghmar were invited by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Indo-Pacific to deliver briefings at the House of Commons on 14 Dec as covered by Asian Lite and Dev Discourse.


Burzine Waghmar, inaugural Visiting India Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London, comments on the Legacy Lessons for the Indo-Pacific & Quad. He urged the UK to become a partner with the Indo-Pacific alliance and play a role both in the diplomacy and the maritime security of the region. Mr Waghmar is also the South Asia and Arts & Humanities Librarian; and academic affiliate at the Centre for Iranian Studies, Centre for the Study of Pakistan and SOAS South Asia Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, London (SOAS).

Prof Steve Tsang, the current Director of the SOAS China Institute at the SOAS University of London, spoke about the need for the UK to have a clear and well-defined Indo-Pacific Strategy in light of the resurgence of China and its implications for the Indo-Pacific region as a whole. Prof Tsang also spoke about the Chinese perception of the western alliance and diplomacy in the region and the need to continue to engage with China, but on the terms of global world order.

Prof Tsang is also a political scientist and historian whose expertise includes politics and governance in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the foreign and security policies of China and Taiwan, and peace and security in East Asia

This 92-year-old’s life mantra will simplify your worries and make you smile today

Shared on LinkedIn by Sanjay Mudnaney, the post details the story of a 92-year-old Parsi gentleman named Mr. Keki. Mudnaney wrote about how he met Mr. Keki at a Starbucks and chatted with him about life and its struggles.


In recent times, all of us have a huge baggage of worries that we have to carry on our shoulders. Be it the stress of paying back your education loan or simply worrying about your ageing parents, the tension seems never ending. And since society has become extremely fast-paced, people have stopped interacting with each other to share their problems.


That’s when the wisdom imparted by elderly people comes in handy. We know that they may not be that much up to date with technology, but they surely have enough life experience to tell you a lot of human emotions. And to prove that fact, let us present to you the story of this amazing 92-year-old.

Shared on LinkedIn by Sanjay Mudnaney, the post details the story of a 92-year-old Parsi gentleman named Mr. Keki. Mudnaney wrote about how he met Mr. Keki at a Starbucks and chatted with him about life and its struggles. After a brief conversation, Mudnaney was taken aback by a simple solution given by Keki to a huge tension almost all of this generation suffers from.

“I met a 92 year young gentleman at Starbucks. He takes a auto rickshaw to get to Starbucks and back to his home, he is frail , walks with a stick , but he always comes by himself , and orders his cup of coffee. Mr Keki a Parsi gentleman, shared pearls of wisdom from his 92 years of life , his enthusiasm for life is infectious . The first and most important principle he has lived by is – be honest , do honest work. ‘I never chased money,’ he says,” read a part of the story.

Now we know what you are thinking. In this money-minded world, it is tough not to chase dollars because everything depends on it. But wait and read till the end for Mr. Keki’s priceless advice.

The post has garnered over 23k likes and tons of reactions. People couldn’t stop exclaiming at the simple solution to a lot of problems one faces in their lives.

Did this advice help you as well?


By Srimoyee Chowdhury

Dadi Mistry, Delhi – passes away

Dear Friends
With a very heavy heart have to inform that our dear Dadi Mistry, former President of The Delhi Parsi Anjuman, and husband of Nergish, Father of Armeen n Bella
Father in law of Navdeep n Margarita grandfather of
Shahryar married to Taara
Maneck married to Rachel
Meherab Daraius Bhavani n Chaitanya n great grandfather of Kersi Shahryar Shroff brother of Shahrukh n Katu,
passed away today morning at 9.45 am. May his soul RIP🙏🙏

Funeral today at 4.15 pm at our Parsi Aramgah.

Our deepest condolences to the entire family.

In grief
President, Vice President and Trustees
The Delhi Parsi Anjuman

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