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/

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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

World Zoroastrian Congress Awards – 2018


The World Zoroastrian Congress Awards – 2018 were given away at a glittering ceremony in Perth on 3 June 2018. The following is the list of awardees, along with a brief description of each awardee :

Category Winner Short Description
Zoroastrian Icon Award Dinshaw Tamboly

Dinshaw Tamboly is an eminent personality in India. He is well-respected for furthering the cause of Zarathushtis regionally and internationally. He possesses excellent traits of leadership, honesty, parsipanu and community service. He is a role model for many. He is the Trustee of the WZO Trusts in India, which undertakes diverse projects that have resulted in qualitative improvement in the lives of many Zarathushtis and seeds entrepreneurship in the community.
Community Service Award Meher Medora

Meher Medora is the founder and Managing Trustee of “Ushta-Te foundation” in Ahmedabad, India, that promotes advancement of religious, social and cultural activities in the Zoroastrian Community. Meher also works with under-privileged and physically and mentally challenged persons. She harnesses her time, talent and capacity in identifying problems faced by the local Zoroastrian community and provides effective initiatives to bring meaningful changes.
Science & Medicine Award Dr. Keki Turel

Dr. Keki Turel is one of the finest Neurosurgeons in the world. He is well-known for setting up the Microsurgery unit at the Masina Hospital in Mumbai and other GCC countries like Oman, Sharjah (UAE) and Bahrain. He provides free service to Parsi Priests, teachers and those in low-income group. He holds free camps in Mumbai, Gujarat and neighboring countries including Africa. He has been decorated with several awards and trophies. On the fateful night of 26/11 he was the only Surgical Consultant attending scores of injured persons brought to the Bombay Hospital after being attacked by terrorists and continued treating several more for three more days and nights. He also organizes world events benefiting the neurosurgical community.
Social Entrepreneur’s Award Khushroo Poacha

Khushroo Poacha is a firm believer in promoting social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies in an innovative and effective manner. He launched the www.Indianblooddonors.com helpline in 2000 to connect blood donors and patients. In 2014, he set up a kitchen for serving meals to patients and later instituted “Seva Kitchens” in 5 cities in India. In Dec. 2016, he introduced the concept “Fridge of kindness” for providing nutrition to poor patients in hospitals. Today there are 10 fridge’s in 7 hospitals and 3 schools in India.
Woman of Distinction Award Dr. Pheroza Godrej

Dr. Pheroza Godrej is an advocate of fine arts and history. She is a cultural icon of Mumbai and India. Her interest in art includes specialized knowledge of modern Indian paintings, prints and drawings. Over the last 4 years she has curated exhibitions ranging from colonial period to contemporary both in India and abroad. In 2013, she was invited by 3 leading UK organisations – The School of Oriental & African Studies London University, The British Museum and The British Library to co-curate “The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History & Imagination exhibition.” The success and acclaim earned by this exhibition led to the Government of India, Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Ministry of Culture to sponsor “The Everlasting Flame exhibition” at the National Museum in New Delhi from 19 March to 29 May 2016. Pheroza is the Honorary Director of F.D.Alpaiwalla Museum in Mumbai. She is also a nature conservationist and the Chairperson of the Godrej Archives council.
Young Zarathushti Award Ziba Colah

Ziba Colah is a bright star among young Zarathushtis in Houston. She has not only achieved high grades in her scholastic studies but also been a winner of several scholarships from prestigious Medical Institutions and Colleges in Houston. Currently, she is doing her MD. Since 2010, Ziba has been making  substantial contributions to the Zoroastrian Association of Houston and has helped the Zoroastrian community in that area in many ways.
Special Award Dr. Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari
In recognition of his outstanding and meritorious services to the Zoroastrian community in Iran and worldwide

The WZC Awards Team thanks the Sponsors and Nominees for their participation in this program.

11th World Zoroastrian Congress, Perth 2018 – A Brief Report


The 11th World Zoroastrian Congress – Post Congress Report

A very big Thank You to all the delegates and speakers who flew into Perth, Australia from over 14 different countries to join the 11th World Zoroastrian Congress (11WZC) in the Astral Rooms, Crown Complex, exactly one week ago today.

A special note of thanks to all our generous donors and sponsors especially from Hongkong, India & Dubai, as well as to the team of global supporters and to our very own Team Australia – we truly appreciated your assistance and support in making this a fantastic and memorable event! The theme of the Congress Together, towards tomorrow, was embodied throughout the 3 wonderful days.

The official 11WZC photographs and videos of the presentations will be made available to all our delegates and those that would like a copy shortly, at cost. Please stay tuned, for more information on how this can be purchased, which will be sent out separately in the next few weeks.

Day 1 – Friday 1st June 2018:

The day began with a meeting of the Global Working Group (GWG) in the morning where many positive outcomes were recorded for the future of our global community.

At exactly 2.20 pm as per plans, the doors of the Astral ballrooms were opened to the delegates who were all dressed up in their traditional dress of saris and daglis and were greeted with a blast of the popular Zoroastrian song – Chaiye Hame Zarthosti. As the delegates settled in their chairs after meeting old friends, the Religious Khushali nu Jashan commenced at 2.30 pm sharp. It was led by Ervad Saheb Aspandiyaar Dadachanji and completed with the help of the other Ervads from Iran, France, USA, and of course Sydney & Perth.

After the Jashan, the Master of Ceremonies Zarine Commissariat, AfreedMistry and Farzana Khambatta took over and the Ervads were felicitated by our Congress Chairman Mr Firoz Pestonji, for their contribution to the community. Aspandiyar jee also gave a short speech informing the people of the importance of the Jashan ceremony. The chasni and fruits along with the Sev, Ravo & Malido which was made by Perth volunteers was served to delegates on their tables and an interactive audience participative session with icebreakers commenced.

After this we had the Traditional Welcome to Country with a dance performance by the Wadubah Dance Group of Perth which enthralled the delegates and kept them spellbound. Once the traditional open was completed we had a select few delegates marching in country wise, into the Astral room where they planted their country’s flag into the flowerpots at the front of the stage and stood to attention while their countries’ national anthem was being played. This was the first time a concept like this has ever been carried out at a Zoroastrian World Congress – where all 14 countries represented were given acknowledgment to portray how we, Zoroastrians are spread out all over the world but are linked together by our wonderful religion and ancient culture. Australia as host country came in last to a loud round of applause & led forward by young people and the future generation especially the Chairpersons grandchildren.

The Congress Chairman then gave a small speech and officially opened the Congress. He informed delegates of the background of the Congress and gave a quick rundown of the next few days of activities. This was followed by a display of messages from prominent global leaders flashed on the screen for the delegates. Shri Amit Mishra – the Consul General of India in Perth then gave his welcome speech. He enumerated the important role of the Zoroastrian community in India and was sure that globally too, Zoroastrians were making their contributions and their mark.

Next, the Global Zoroastrian leaders welcomed the delegates to Perth. This was followed by the welcome address of the Premier of Western Australia, Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, who personally welcomed all delegates to enjoy the West Australian hospitality and also introduced the first Zoroastrian MLA – Mr Yaz Mubarakai to the people. The Premier also presented a token of appreciation to all of our major donors and supporters of the Congress as well as launching the 11WZC Legacy Book on Zarathushtra. A short film and book launch of Life & Times of Zarathushtra followed, compiled by Meher Bhesania of Dubai.

All the local Australian volunteers were thanked and introduced on stage and then the evening’s entertainment line-up followed. All of the entertainment was heart thumping and each piece was a colorful and riveting – each performance from the youngsters surpassed all expectations. The evening kept going on with DJ and music from Zee Band of Houston who had specially flown in from the USA to entertain the delegates during all three evenings of the Congress. To finish the night everyone enjoyed the sumptuous and plentiful buffet dinner and dessert by the Crown Complex which was delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

Day 2 – Saturday 2nd June 2018:

Day 2 began on schedule at 8.30 am with a Monajat performed by Mani Rao of USA. Followed by a short presentation on the film – Wings of Fire by Meherji Madan. After this, we had very captivating speeches and presentations by Yaz Mubarakai MLA from Jandakot, Dr Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari of Iran and Zoroastrian demographics from Roshan Rivetna of USA. For detailed information of programmes please refer to the website or souvenir book supplied.

After morning tea, the interesting topics and speakers continued and covered a vast range of topics from women empowerment – ‘Moving into the 21st Century’ led by Behroze Daruwala to Daraya Awat from Kurdistan to Berjis Desai and Khojeste Mistree who offered interesting viewpoints in their areas of expertise.  During the lunchtime break, we also had a magic show to dazzle our delegates while they enjoyed their meals.

After afternoon tea we had a young 18-year-old New Zealand entrepreneur and CEO Rishad Maneksha give us a presentation on how he and his team started a business converting scrap items into reusable items. A fascinating youth panel came next, led by Arzan Wadia – Vice President of FEZANA after which we had other dedicated youth leaders, speaking about futuristic foresight and offering future solutions to preserve Zoroastrianism by Radman Khorshidian (Iran) & Kobad Bhavnagri (Australia).

In the concurrent session room, delegates were able to listen to an interesting topic on the Gathas by Dr Meheravar Marzbani, followed by the World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce (WZCC) panel of entrepreneurs led by Rustom Engineer of USA. Dr Mehran Sepheri presented a very intriguing topic of discussion on 1000 Points of light which was followed by a special presentation by Rati Wadi on the eminent Parsis which kept people enthralled. Mobed Kourush Niknam elaborated on the different groups of Zoroastrians worldwide & the Prophets insights into the behavior of the Youth.

The day ended with dinner and dancing on board a splendid Swan River Cruise which was organized by Aussie Perth Tours our Zoroastrian Tour Operators with live music by The Zee Band and a dance performed by Zenia Sunavala of Houston as well as Louisa Wood and Damaris –Australian Salsa World Champions. The dance floor was packed most evening and with regret, the cruise ended.  Ferrita was the 4th MC.

Day 3 – Sunday 3rd June 2018:

Day 3 also began on time at 8.30 am with a Gatha rendition by RashinJahangiri of Iran & Monajat by Mani Rao followed by a short presentation of a film on Australian Zoroastrians presented by the Melbourne Zoroastrians. We had the privilege of listening to non-Zoroastrian speakers of Australia who have done tremendous work being involved with our religion and culture. DrAlison Betts spoke of archaeological digs she is involved within the middle eastern regions and David Adams talked of his experiences and discoveries showing us his wonderful historical films. This was followed by Mr Yazdi Tantra who presented us the various means and the vast resources we have available to digitally connect to each other around the world.

After the tea break, Darya Awat spoke of her experiences again (due to public request) and was followed by Dinshaw Tamboly informing delegates of his philanthropy work in Gujarat. Sam Bulsara then presented to us the advantages of using marketing and media to build up a strong global community. Behram Pastakia moderated a panel of global leaders who explained to our delegates what their respective organizations stand for and a quick run through of their activities. The organizations included the GWG, FEZANA, WZCC, FAZA (Federation of Australian and New Zealand Associations) and ZTFE (Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe ).

Lunch was followed by Mr Rohinton Rivetna of USA who has been a backbone and visionary within our community, explaining to our delegates how our community can take a leading role in various interfaith movements globally. Malcolm Deboo of ZTFE then presented to us the in dept research which has been completed on various British Zoroastrian defense personnel during World War 1 period along with personal anecdotes of these leaders. This was followed by a truly inspiring panel session by the noteworthy Zoroastrian entrepreneurs led by Sam Bulsara.

Mr Xerxes Dastur spoke of prevailing Indian conditions, tax implications andentrepreneurship. He left his hectic BPP elections campaigning to be in Perth, as promised, to attend Congress to promote participation and togetherness. His gesture is commendable. Dr Keki Tureil was the final speaker for the day and he presented detailed and a thought-provoking session, about the brain and its enigma.

In the concurrent session room, we had a thought-provoking panel of the youth led by Farrokh Mistree of Oklahoma, which was followed by a very successful speed networking session for the youth and targeted at getting young Zoroastrian entrepreneurs talking and mingling together by Jehan Kotwal. Fariborz Rahnamoon followed this by a very fascinating presenting on the Gathas.

After the day of motivating and captivating speakers finished at 5.30pm the 11WZC Gala Event started with Congress awards hosted by Meher Bhesania, followed by an exciting dance by an Australian entrepreneur and previous young Australian of the year, Louisa Wood.

The Congress Chair then presented his vote of thanks and also presented tokens of appreciation to all the volunteers in Team Australia. Before the dancing and the dinner started the World Zoroastrian Trophy was officially passed over to Mr Astad Clubwala and Mr Homi Gandhi of USA who will hold the next, 12th World Zoroastrian Congress in 2022 in New York.

Team Australia 

11th World Zoroastrian Congress – Perth, Australia

 

 

Photos Courtesy : Sheroy A Irani

Day 1 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 1st June 2018

https://photos.app.goo.gl/lmbPmwLHT1oT7pwn2

Day 2 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 2nd June 2018

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1IG8ChaEXCKkAJA23

Day 3 @ 11th World Zoroastrian Congress Perth 3rd June 2018 – https://photos.app.goo.gl/pn603QIidnWX61Mi1

Ms. Bachi Daruwala


“I can and I will”– Here’s the story of a woman who believed that nothing was impossible if one had put his or heart to it. She’ll remain an inspiration to generations of hospitality professionals for her exceptional work and life.  If ever there was a woman in the hospitality industry who consistently re-created herself and pushed towards excellence; it would be Ms. Bachi Daruwala (1932-1988) who dedicated decades of her professional life to the Taj, empowering herself and others by creating opportunities for growth.

She started as an executive secretary at the Taj Hotels and was among the first to push the profession, one predominantly held by women stuck in a back office, into the limelight. She not only represented the secretaries at Taj but in fact all secretaries in India at the Asian Conference of Professional Secretaries in the Philippines in 1976. She brought clout and prominence to the role played by secretaries in the smooth functioning of the industry.

She soon realized how skilled she was at public relations and created a role for herself as VIP Coordinator. She was the iconic first face many dignitaries and celebrities from around the globe met and interacted with when they arrived at the Taj. She re-invented what came to be known as the Taj Touch or the white glove experience that was synonymous with Taj hospitality.

Ms. Daruwala knew right from the start that if the entire organization was to continue to provide service that went above-and-beyond, everyone in the organization needed to be trained with an eye towards detailed and meticulous service. She once again switched roles and took on the task of leading the company’s training and development.In this capacity, she lead regular training seminars and hands-on sessions for all staff — from perfection in making a well-folded bed to bringing in top chefs from around the world to collaborate with kitchen staff. She introduced the professional staff and executives at Taj to a variety of organizational behavior and development concepts and paved the way for excellence in management.It is said that the mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions. She was among the most forward-thinking and gutsy women in the industry. Liked by many and respected by all, she lead the way for so many women and men at the hotel to find their path, shine, and succeed in their chosen endeavours. She was truly exceptional and loved by all.

Ms. Zaver Sepoy who worked with her says, “I had the honour of working with Ms. Daruwala who was a wonderful human being. So kind yet so much in command, I can see those qualities in her children and I can say that she’d have been proud to see them.” Her work and dedication was missed at the Taj.

Ms. Vandana Rajan another colleague of hers adds, “I was truly fortunate to have started my career working with Bachi and I learnt a lot from her. Even now I try to practice her work ethics in the way I handle my work and to this day I am still in awe of her efficiency. Bachi was an amazing person”.

The Early Life

Bachi Burjorji Batliwala was born to Mrs. Pilu and Mr. Burjorji Batliwala. She did her schooling from the Dastur School in Poona. She was a Girl Guide during her school days, was selected to go to Delhi to participate in an Independence Day parade.  She was also chosen to deliver a speech at the post event function. There she met Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, Ms. Vijaylaxmi Pandit and Ms. Indira Gandhi,  she took their autographs a tiny book that she cherished as a prized possession.
At the age of 17 she would ride her uncle’s 400 cc Norton motorcycle on the quiet streets of Poona, believing in the fact that there was nothing a man could do that a woman could not.

Her father Mr. Burjorji Batliwala, was an avid photographer. But his favourite hobby was crocheting and seeing this she also believed that there was nothing a man shouldn’t do that only a woman usually did. Speaks so much about the conditioning and thought processes that she developed as a young lady.
The one piece of advice she gave freely was, “Do whatever you want to do in life, be a barber if you must, but strive to be the best at it”. Success to her was not a measure of how much money you made but by your skill and moral character. Her extreme kindness and generosity to all was ingrained in her by examples of her grandfather the philanthropist Khan Bahadur Ardeshir Hormusji Mama of Karachi.

From April 1974 to May 1976 she served as the President of NIPS (National Institute of Personal Secretaries). In 1976 she led a delegation to the 2nd Congress of Secretaries in Asia, in Bangkok.
At the time she was working at the Taj Mahal Hotel as a secretary to Mr. Ajit Kerkar. Some years later she was promoted as the VIP coordinator for the hotel.

In her late 40’s she decided to go back to studying and earned an MA degree by correspondence from the Osmania University. After this she joined the HR & Manpower team at the Taj as Training Coordinator, working alongside her colleagues Mr.V. Mahesh and Ms. Ramola Mahajani.

She did a very basic school education in Pune and came to Bombay (Mumbai) to study secretarial services — basic typing and short-hand dictation. She did not receive any formal advanced education, she was self taught and always tried to read up on new ideas and learn from them.

It was in Bombay that she met and married Mr. Noshir Daruwala (NBD). They both served many years at the Taj. Back in those days, Ms. Bachi Daruwala, Ms.Elizabeth Kerkar, and Ms. Mona Chawla became a trio of women who supported each other and paved the way for other women to thrive and succeed. They lead by examples and were crusaders of empowerment.

Ms. Bachi and Mr. Noshir Daruwala have two children – a son Pallon and daughter Nilloufer (Nikki). I am grateful to them for sharing with me some facts and insights from their mother Ms. Bachi Daruwala’s  life. Also, a few valuable pictures that they allowed me to use in this story. This is a tribute to her and the legacy that she has left behind. I am extremely honoured to have been able to cover a few aspects of her life.

Attached photos:

– 1976 when she represented Taj and India at the Asia Conference of Secretaries.

– 1977 with JRD Tata

– 1988 (the year she died) with her close friend Liz Kerkar of Taj.

–  Conducting a training session

–  Delivering a speech at the Scouts and Guides meet at New Delhi.

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

Mumbai doctor in team that built machine to revolutionise liver transplants


For the first time in Asia, a “preservation” machine helped doctors ensure they had a “good liver” to transplant into a liver-failure patient in a Bengaluru hospital recently. The doctors were able to assess the donated organ’s ability even before the transplant.

“The machine, OrganOx metra, can keep a liver ‘alive’ for up to 24 hours after donation,” said Mumbai-based Dr Darius Mirza, who was part of a UK initiative that developed the machine. He was on the team that worked on the machine since clinical trials started in 2013. Over 200 transplants have been conducted since.

At present in India, harvested livers are stored in a cold box, and it is advisable to use a liver within eight to 10 hours after retrieval. Besides, many scientists fear that the cooling and subsequent revival before transplant affects the donated organ’s capability.

“As this machine keeps the donated liver working at body temperature, there is no such fear,” said Dr Mirza, who shuttles between Apollo Hospital in Nerul and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

In the “normothermic machine”, fluids, medications and bile salts got readily flushed through the liver at body temperature, virtually proving to doctors Sonal Asthana and Rajiv Lochan of Bengaluru’s Aster Hospital that the donated organ would function well in their patient as well.

In a study published in medical journal Nature on April 18, the Oxford University team, whose handiwork the machine is, wrote: “Liver transplantation is a highly successful treatment, but is severely limited by the shortage in donor organs. However, many potential donor organs cannot be used; this is because sub-optimal livers do not tolerate conventional cold storage and there is no reliable way to assess organ viability preoperatively.”

liver

 

Over 200 transplants were conducted by the team using this machine in a five-year clinical trial. Clinical trials of machines to extend the time between donation and transplant of organs have been an area of research for the last two decades. Similar machines are available in research capacity for heart and kidneys.

“Many times, we get a marginal liver donation that we fear may not work in patient. But there was no way to gauge this until after the transplant. Sometimes, the transport time between the hospitals where the organ is retrieved and transplanted are far away. The travel and time taken could deteriorate the liver’s condition,” said Dr S K Mathur of Mumbai Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), which carries out distribution of cadaveric organs between various hospitals. “In such cases, such a machine that can maintain a liver is of great help,” he added.

 There is, however, a catch. Doctors said using the machine could increase the cost of the already steep liver transplant-priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 26 lakh-by another Rs 5 lakh. However, Dr Asthana, who was the first to use this machine in India on April 10, said the machine’s advantages iron out the cost escalation. “Our patient was in a bad shape before the transplant. We had estimated that he would require three or four weeks of hospitalisation post-transplant,” he said. But the donated liver was maintained so well that the patient needed only two weeks to recover, trimming his total bill by Rs 2 to 3 lakh.
“This is an important step for liver transplant. Using the machine makes it safer for the patient, we get better end results and improved patient outcome,” added Dr Mirza.