Sam Balsara on Daughters

I always encouraged my daughters to achieve something significant: Sam Balsara, Madison World

I always encouraged my daughters to achieve something significant: Sam Balsara, Madison World

Sam Balsara, Chairman & Managing Director of Madison World, is one of the most influential persons in the Media & Advertising world. He is also a loving dad to his two daughters, Lara and Tanya. Lara Balsara Vajifdar works with him as Executive Director at Madison World. Here, Balsara and Lara tell us how they drive each other to be the best version of themselves.  

Creating a legacy

The proud father tells us about how he wanted his daughter to find her own path to success. “Ours is a culture that celebrates achievement. People respect you for what you do. Looking back, I always encouraged my daughters to have fun and enjoy their lives, while also urging them to achieve something significant. I am delighted to have Lara join me at the workplace.  She helps me take important decisions in a very cool, distant manner without getting too emotionally involved. I learn from her every day,” he says, adding that she challenges the common stereotype that women are less rational and more emotional at the workplace.

Lara tells us how her early years at Madison set a strong foundation for her future. “More than 12 years ago, when I started working at Madison, I received no special privileges and had to work my way up from an executive level. My father’s philosophy, integrity and the way he conducts himself have really inspired me and helped me make tough decisions as I took on bigger roles.”

Why daughters are special

Balsara tells us he never felt disappointed at not having a son. “I was delighted to have two daughters, and now I have a little grand-daughter too! I am not sure why we, as a country, focus on having male children but I am confident that this attitude will change eventually. In fact, I never treated my children differently just because they were girls. I gave them the space and encouragement they needed to grow, and I would have done the same if they were sons.”

Nayi Soch

Lara is specific that being a woman is no impediment to success. “It is advantageous being a woman in the Advertising & Media world. This industry is full of successful and talented women. I take it for granted that I am an equal in this organisation, in the industry and even at home,” she says.

Balsara adds, “While our family has never believed in gender typecasting, there is a need to gently nudge the vast majority of the country towards gender equality. Parents need to recognise that their daughters can do as much as their sons, if not more. The Nayi Soch campaign is an excellent step in that direction.”

Sam Balsara and Lara Balsara Vajifdar on Star Plus’ Nayi Soch 

Baby Zarathushtra Art Print

I run a small illustration business, Crispy Doodles in California and we are getting ready to welcome spring with a wonderful new poster to celebrate Zarathushtras teachings!
I rarely if ever, come across a fun way to teach my 2 year old about our religion, I thought of creating this poster for her and for Zarathushti children around the world to learn and get engaged in understanding our faith. It’s a bright and happy print and will make a great addition to a kids room or living room.
For deliveries in Mumbai, send SMS “NAVROZE17” to  8779452227
I would really appreciate if you could share this with Zoroastrians organisations or individuals who would be interested in buying this print for their children or for gifting.
You can also contact me directly at
Thank you,

Sad Demise – Maneck Dalal

It is with great sadness we inform you of the demise of our illustrious past Trustee Maneck Ardheshir Dalal OBE who passed away peacefully in hospital at the age of 98 on the night of Monday 6th March 2017 – Mah Meher Roj Govad as per the Shahenshai calendar.
A sad loss to his wife Kay, daughters Suzy and Caroline and family.
During his illustrious career Maneck Ardheshir Dalal OBE held numerous directorships in industry and voluntary sector. He was a pioneer and will be forever known for introducing Air India and the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London.
At the age of 29 and at the behest of his hero J R D Tata, the young post graduate from Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, started the Air India Office in London in 1948. He had joined Tata Airlines (Air India) in 1946 and was its Manager in New Delhi, when he had the opportunity to meet Mahatma Gandhi in 1946 – 1947. Two years later in 1948, he was send to London. Maneck was truly one of the builders of Air India and was its regional director from 1959 – 1977. When Maneck started the twice weekly operations for Air India in 1948 in London, only eight airlines operated out of Heathrow Airport, which was only a collection of huts – one of them being Maneck’s office.
Maneck then joined the Tatas and became Managing Director of Tata Ltd, London 1977 – 1988 and Vice Chairman 1988 – 1989. He also served on the board of Tata Sons the group holding company. Few people knew the Late JRD Tata better than Maneck as was evident when he delivered the ZTFE Sesquicentennial Lecture in the Zartoshty Brothers Hall, on Friday 22nd July 2011 titled; ‘Recollections of the Late J R D Tata’.
Besides being ZTFE Trustee from 1980 till 1988, Maneck also chaired the prestigious Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London with great distinction for over 40 years and was also Chairman of the Royal Overseas League.
May the soul of Maneck Ardheshir Dalal OBE rest in Garothman Behesht.
Kindly inform those who are not have access to email or internet.

Courtesy :  ZTFE

At hand to receive Maharaja’s Princess

Amit Roy


Inline image 1

The Air-India International Lockheed Constellation L-749 at London airport

preparing for the return journey to Bombay on June 10, 1948

London, March 8: Maneck Dalal, who played a key role in the birth of Air-India International in 1948 when he was sent to the UK by J.R.D. Tata, chairman of the Tata group of companies, died in London on Monday. He was 98.

Dalal was not a stranger to Britain because he had been an undergraduate at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he had an agreeable time captaining the university at tennis and squash.

He shared digs with an Indian prince who scandalised his landlady by telling her: “I won’t need any dinner tonight – I am off to London to see the whores.”

Dalal would chuckle as he recounted: “What the prince meant was he was off to see the Hoares.” The Hoares were a distinguished banking family.

After being called to the Bar in the Middle Temple in 1945, Dalal returned to India with his English wife, Kathleen (Kay) Richardson.

He joined Tata Airlines in Delhi in 1946. He found himself engaged in rescuing his Muslim servants from communal frenzy, while at the same time looking after his wife, who was pregnant with their first child.

Just then, JRD came up with the idea of starting an international carrier, Air-India International Ltd. Initially, the government wanted to own all the equity but agreed to a compromise solution under which the government had 49 per cent of the shares, the Tatas 25 per cent and the public the remaining 26 per cent.

It helped that the Tatas had placed an order for three Constellation planes with Lockheed but delivery came through earlier than expected because another customer had cancelled.

Inline image 2

Dalal, then 29, was packed off to London by JRD in early 1948 and would later recount how he found Heathrow was just a collection of huts. Air-India’s traffic department was initially in a caravan and after six months another caravan arrived.

Dalal remembered the winter of 1948: “We had to trudge through slush and mud to get to the caravan and had oil heaters to keep us warm. It was a question of suffocating from the oil fumes or freezing of cold…. London airport was a wide stretch of area with hardly any development – a large number of rabbits and hare could be seen jumping around. The only person who had the right to shoot them was the Commandant of the airport.”

Air-India’s inaugural flight on the Constellation, named Malabar Princess, took off from Bombay on June 8, 1948, just after midnight. On board were JRD and his wife, the Jamsaheb of Nawanagar and industrialist Neville Wadia.

Dalal was at the airport to receive the flight and to see it start the return journey onJune 10. This was the start of a twice-weekly service. At the time only BOAC, Pan Am, TWA, KLM and Air France operated from Heathrow.

He was formally appointed Air-India’s regional director (UK) in 1959 and held the job until 1977.

He was close to his boss but nevertheless got a firing from JRD when he took on expensive offices in New Bond Street.

He later described what happened: “I asked him to see the proposition before letting loose and went on to explain how and why I did what I had to do. Big man that he was, he saw my side and immediately sent a telex back home, ‘Accept Dalal’s proposition fully. Please put it up to the board and recommend that the chairman has suggested it.'”

This was a time when Air-India did indeed offer a Maharaja service and there was a certain style and elegance which Dalal ushered in.

Every summer he would host a champagne party for members of the Cambridge University India Society. When some wondered whether such extravagance was necessary, Dalal would deflect criticism with characteristic charm.

“They are my future passengers,” he would say.

After retiring from Air-India, he was managing director for the Tata group of companies in the UK from 1977-1988.

Among his many public duties, he chaired the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Indian Cultural Centre) in London for 40 years until 2011.

He always urged Indians to “remember the culture of your motherland while pledging total loyalty to this country. The culture you have inherited at your country of birth is very good in this mad world of today. Indian culture is the bedrock of sanity.”

Maneck Ardeshir Sohrab Dalal was born in Bombay on December 24, 1918.

His death was announced today by Malcolm Deboo, president of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe where Dalal was a trustee from 1980-88. He died in hospital on March 6.

He is survived by his wife, his daughters Suzy and Caroline and other members of his family.

Marzban Giara’s new book – contributions invited

captureMarzban Giara has authored The Contribution of The Parsee Community During World War I 91914-1918) published in March 2016.

He is preparing his next book on the Contribution of Parsee Community in the defence services from 1919 to 2017. He needs life sketches and a passport size photo preferably in uniform of those Parsis who served in the armed forces, police, fire brigade as also those who helped in times of war and peace with resources, funds, volunteering. The information can be provided in about 250 words giving full name, date of birth, date of joining, date of resignation/retirement/death, rank, areas served, war experience, military service, awards received, IC no.

He would prefer to receive by e-mail: by 15th March 2017. Those who do not use e-mail may send the information and photo by post/courier to Marzban J. Giara, WZO Senior Citizens Centre, Pinjara Street, Malesar, Navsari, Gujarat. Pin 396445 India.

Shireen Sabavala: 1924-2017 – A sepia-tinted elegance fades to black  

Shireen Sabavala, wife of late modernist master Jehangir Sabavala, passed away on Saturday
shireen-unnamed-1The passing away of Shireen Sabavala marks the end of a chapter in the city’s tony history. The graceful wife of late modernist Jehangir Sabavala had been ailing at the Parsee General Hospital for over two months. The 92-year-old, survived by daughter Aafreed, breathed her last on Saturdayevening. Always nattily dressed, the rather articulate doyenne was a fond chronicler of a sepia-tinted Bombay that is slowly fading away. She was replete with delightful anecdotes and stories from the gilded era she belonged to. Artist Meera Devidayal knew the Sabavalas for over four decades. She shares, “She was the perfect consort for Jehangir from every point of view. She took the charge of the other side of his art life, which most artists neglect.“ Gallerist Geetha Mehra, who represented Jehangir in the latter half of his career, concurs with Devidayal. “She was very much part of Jehangir’s career; he painted from home and she was part of the discussion of every painting. They were a wonderful team. She was completely committed to his work and archived it meticulously.“In fact, Sabavala even ensured that the last six canvases of her illustrious husband, including an unfinished work that he created between 2009 and 2010, found a home at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. She also bequeathed a substantial, but undisclosed, sum to the museum to pay for the upkeep of these paintings.

“The works would just be sitting here, wrapped up,“ she told the Mumbai Mirror in an interview two years ago. “We’d rather share it with the city.“

The Sabavalas’ home in Altamount Road echoed of this generous sentiment. The tasteful apartment was an open house for young art enthusiasts and poets. “She always gave time for people, especially the younger generation. It’s a rare quality to see nowadays. She was warm and extremely hospitable,“ says auctioneer Dadiba Pundole. “Though we were part of the same community, I got to know her a little late in life.She was a practical woman and a no-nonsense lady, which was a nice thing about her.“

A great follower and a teacher of the Bihar School of Yoga, Sabavala would spend a lot of time at the centre in Munger and remained committed to this way of life right till the end.“It was through the Bihar School of Yoga that she grew concern for the larger cosmic frame of belonging.

“She had an independent sense of the world. She was a student at the London School of Economics and survived World War II. She picked herself up and went on with life,“ says poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote. “She was a woman of great strength.“

Reema Gehi

Zoroastrian Survey from Dr. Howard Gontovnick

This is to introduce Dr. Howard Gontovnick of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York, and his very important survey of the current beliefs and practices of the North American Zoroastrian community.

Dr. Gontovnick writes: “As a professor of world religions, I am looking to better understand the current role of a religion in the daily life of Zoroastrians today. Over the past few years, even though my students would express their lack of knowledge about Zoroastrianism, they would genuinely convey a great appreciation of the tradition expressed in the ethical and lifestyle guidelines. Consequently, I made every effort to go beyond the usual text book description and strive to include more real life content.”
More and more researchers and scholars’ in the academic world have tried to understand the current practices as they all feel that, although ancient, our faith has more relevance to today’s world. Therefore it is my hope that you will promote the completion of this survey to the members of your community. This research will not only benefit an educational program, but also for the Zoroastrian community to reflect on it as well.

Homi D. Gandhi
President, FEZANA


Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to invite your participation in this very important survey designed to learn about the current beliefs and practices of the Zoroastrian community throughout North America. If you live outside North America and would like to share your thoughts, you are most welcome to participate and indicate on the survey that you live outside of North America.

My name is Dr. Howard Gontovnick and I teach World Religions at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York. Zoroastrianism is a tradition that is an important part of my course and an essential tradition to understanding other global religions. It is my desire to better understand the current realities and expectations of Zoroastrians throughout North America and at the same time share this knowledge.

Recognizing the significance of this research, I wish to highlight what I believe this survey can accomplish;

  1. To provide a clear and current understanding of the beliefs and practices of adult Zoroastrians living in North America in 2017.
  2. In some respect I believe this can be considered a measure of the future of Zoroastrianism in North America – revealing the expectations of the community
  3. To provide the Zoroastrian and academic community (scholars and students) an up-to-date picture as to the role Zoroastrianism plays in a practitioner’s life.

This survey was created in consultation and the helpful assistance of Dr. Dolly Dastoor, (Editor of FEZANA Journal) Ervad Gev Karkaria, and Homi D. Gandhi, (President – FEZANA). The data attained from this survey will only used to provide a better understanding of the community and its supportive role for the practitioner in North America. Upon completion, my goal is to share all my findings with the Zoroastrian community and hope to present a paper on this theme to an international conference on religion at some future date.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you at any time on any issue. I wish to acknowledge my sincere appreciation to everyone who participates in this educational project and recognize the individuals previously mentioned who have been vital to developing this research project. If you would like to contact me, please do so at the following email:

Best wishes & thank you for your cooperation,
Professor Howard Gontovnick, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
State University of New York (SUNY)
Plattsburgh, New York
Interdisciplinary Studies
101 Broad street,
226 Ward Hall, Plattsburgh
New York, 12901-2681

*Please keep in mind that this survey will conclude at the end of April 2017.

We bought stake in Dinshaw’s as we didn’t want a Parsi company to shut down: Jamashp Bapuna


Jamashp Bapuna (Photo by: Kartik Thakur)


One of the oldest and the largest manufacturers of alcohol, the Bapuna Group, apart from producing their own alcohol beverages, handles the bottling for some of world’s largest liquor conglomerates such as Pernod Ricard, United Spirits, Radico Khaitan and Allied Blenders & Distillers. Bapunas in 2002 diversified by acquiring a stake in popular dairy giant company Dinshaw’s owned by the Ranas. Today, Jamashp Bapuna is the Director of the Bapuna Group and Joint Managing Director of Dinshaw’s. Apart from his business, Jamashp takes active participation in the management and activities at Gondwana Club, where he was elected as the President in 2015. In a relaxed chat, Jamashp Bapuna speaks to Nation Next at his office ‘Banaz’ in Byramji Town, which was once the Bapunas’ residence before they shifted to their three-acre palatial mansion adjacent Poonam Chambers. Jamashp in the interview speaks how his family business of alcohol trading and manufacturing started and also shares the reason behind acquiring stake in Dinshaw’s.



The Bapuna family has a history that spans decades in the alcohol industry beginning with trading and gradually moving to manufacturing of alcohol. How did trading and manufacturing begin?

My grandfather hailed from a small village in Gujarat. When he moved to Nagpur around 50 years back, he use to work for a couple of people and he gradually began his own business. Thereafter, we secured a few tenders which made my father venture into the alcohol business. Our business just grew from there.


The Bapuna Group acquired 50% stake in Dinshaw’s in 2002. Despite having a strong foothold in liquor industry, why did Bapuna group opt for dairy business?

Mr Rana, who’s the Managing Director for Dinshaw’s approached us as he needed our help for his business. Co-incidentally, my grandfather’s name was also Dinshaw! When the Ranas approached us, my father immediately offered help because he never wanted a Parsi company to shut down. This is how even I started taking care of the business and eventually we diversified into dairy business.


Ranas have 50% stake in Dinshaw’s and you too are an equal stakeholder in Dinshaw’s. So, who calls the shots? 

For us, it’s like a family so everything is done and decided together. That’s how things work in the long run. If one person decides everything, things don’t work out. It’s like a marriage, where both have to work.


Dinshaw’s ice cream as a brand didn’t get a beating by either national or international brands like Baskin Robbins, Amul, etc. But Naturals seems to be giving a tough competition in the local market. Does it worry you?

It’s not that we never got a competition. We keep facing competition; it’s just about how we deal with it.  I have a simple philosophy – ‘Don’t let somebody grow so much that they sit on your head.’ I guess this has worked for us. What Naturals sells in Nagpur is not even 0.001% of what we sell in Nagpur. I wouldn’t say that we have a competition with them in Nagpur. Yes, it is a niche product but it doesn’t worry me, though competition in metro cities is much tougher. But then healthy competition keeps you on your toes and makes you improve.


You say that you would rather see your son pursuing a career in sports, as business is too tough. Why? When a Bapuna says so, doesn’t it give a gloomy picture of business environment? 

I have played club cricket in England and in South Africa too in the past. In fact in South Africa, I had a contract to play cricket for a period of time. But being the eldest of the siblings, and considering our parents’ mindset and generation, I had to set my priorities. But today, I feel that if my son is interested in sports and excels in it, I don’t mind him pursuing it. Right now he’s too much into tennis. One year down the line, if he’s still interested in tennis, I might send him to Florida. I’ll be happier if my son makes a career in sports. Our generation has accepted this kind of thinking and mindset, wherein a son doesn’t necessarily need to join his father’s business the moment he’s ‘business-ready.’ I want my son to be happy and do what he wants first.


Of late, you have lost a lot of weight. What drove you all of a sudden towards fitness? 

Once you have children, you want to be there for them. I would always take it as a joke whenever I visited a doctor for routine checkups and he would tell me that my weight is a problem. But when you see your kids growing, and you want to be with them for long, you have to take a drastic step like this. This has also worked for me in relieving all health complications in life. I feel good about myself. Today, I realize that doctors are not all that stupid; what they say does make sense! (Smiles)


For years you have had an active participation in Gondwana club’s management. You are now the President of the club. What motivates you to be a part of the activities at Gondwana Club? Doesn’t your business take a beating because of your involvement in the club’s management? 

I don’t take Gondwana club’s work as my duty. I do it out of passion and fondness for the club. Nagpur doesn’t have many options in terms of recreation. Over the years, members of Gondwana Club have become a family to me. At the club, we end up meeting so many friends; we see similar faces so it’s like a second home. Doing anything for your home is not work. Also, if you can do something about a place that has given you so much, why not?


Dinshaw’s brand is doing well in Maharashtra…

Today we have our presence in 13 states. Dinshaw’s business is growing at the rate of 15-18% per year. In today’s business scenario, if you have such statistics, I feel we are progressing.  We don’t spend extravagantly on advertisement. People love our ice cream because of the quality we offer.

Radhika Dhawad | Feb 14, 2017

Pakistan Post Issues Dinshaw Byramji Avari Commemorative Stamp

On December 18th 2016 Pakistan Post issued a special commemorative stamp to honour the life and work of Dinshaw Byramji Avari, the pioneering hotelier and philanthropist.





December 18, 2016



Size of Stamp: 50.5 x 35 mm

Size of Print: 47.5 x 32 mm

Number of Stamps in a sheet: 5 x 3 = 15 stamp

Perforation: 13 c

Denomination: Rs. 8/-

Colours: Multi Colour

Printing Technology: Litho Offset

Paper: 100 GSM Crescent and Star Water Mark Paper

Gum: PVA

Quantity: 0.2 Million

Designer: Adil Salahuddin, Sitara-e–lmtiaz I Pride of Performance

Printer: Pakistan Security Printing Corporation Karachi.


Born on 22nd August 1902, in a humble family, Mr. Dinshaw Byramji Avari studied in an orphanage as his mother had passed away and his father had to work during the day. He passed his Matriculation exam studing on the light of a candle and passed his B. Com studing on the light of a hurricane lantern and became the first person of his village to have become a graduate. He paid for his college education by giving tutions. He then joined the Sunlife Insurance Company of Canada working as a clerk while at the same time working as an Insurance Agent.

His determination to succeed was exemplified by becoming the highest selling insurance agent of his territory, while simultaneously holding a day job with the same company. This showed his perseverance which resulted in his being appointed as Manager of Sunlife for Karachi and with record business having been achieved, he became General Manager for Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and Afghanistan.

An additional accomplishment was his becoming the first Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in Asia.

When he could no longer progress, being Asian, he switched careers to become a hotelier, investing his savings and borrowing the rest to purchase Bristol Hotel Karachi, on the condition that he and his wife Khorshed be trained in the business.

This remarkable ability of changing course at age 42 to learn a new trade is a lesson in adapting to changing times and multifarious circumstances. Proving there is no substitute for hard work, he was at the Empress market in Karachi daily at 4:00am, virtually forcing the hotel venture successful! through sheer force of will, sweat and industry.

Within a few years, realizing the scope for first class hotels he built Beach Luxury Hotel Karachi, in barren, marshy grounds. The first Governor of Sindh Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, told Khorshed that Dinshawji needed his head examined for building a hotel in such a locality. However the move was a huge success and from 35 rooms the hotel grew to 150 rooms, with banquet halls, swimming pool and other luxuries unknown in Pakistan. He proved wrong his friend the Governor and all who laughed at him for investing in this venture, while being responsible to turn around this marshy land into an elite locality known as New Queens Road (now M.T. Khan Road), which is today the prime area of Karachi.

The highly dynamic Dinshawji, brought many firsts to Pakistan. He introduced buffets which we take for granted today, but at the time was criticized for treating guest like dogs, making them stand and eat. He introduced Chinese food, Lebanese Shawarma, the subcontinent’s first Japanese restaurant, and hotel swimming pools. This innovativeness manifested itself many times in business, social community work.

While still building a business Dinshawji was deeply involved with social causes, like the war effort, he was decorated by the British Government, a founding member of Rotary and trustee of many Parsi trusts including Karachi Parsi Anjuman. Apart from numerous other social activities, he was also:-

  1. Trustee BVS Boys & Mama Parsi Girrs schools, and BMH Parsi Hospital
  2. Deaf & Dumb Center- founder and president
  3. Pakistan Sea Scouts- founder member
  4. Member Society for prevantion of Cruetly to Animals
  5. Hotels Association of Pakistan – founder president
  6. Member Sind Red Cross I Red Crescent Society

Having gained experience of hotels. and even operated Pines Hotel Nathiagali for a few years, he purchased Nedous Hotel Lahore, renaming it Park Luxury. Subsequently, he built the 5 Star international standard hotel on this site and opened the Lahore Hilton in January 1978, dedicated to his late wife Khorshed, who passed away the previous year. It was renamed Avari Lahore in 1988.

Anecdotally, the president of Hilton reffered to Dinshawji as “not a very young man who is most dynamic and young in spirit, thoughts and ideas”. This attribute to his dynamic, young thinking spirit spoke volumes for his attitude to life, ability to clinch new ideas, and openness to listen to all as he believed everyone has something to contribute. Believing in the Zoroastrian motto ”content with what I have but discontented with what I am”, he planned the tallest, grandest Karachi hotel. During construction, problems of Rupee devaluation, cement & steel shortages contractual problems and floods were overcome with his determination and wisdom and Avari Towers opened in April 1985. As hotel accommodation was declining at this time, he wisely developed plazas at the hotels to provide quality office space, providing steady income.

Being a self made man he never forgot the down-trodden and poor. His doors were open to all 24 hours a day. His motto was to trust everyone at face value unless they proved him otherwise. With these principles his strength gave strength to others and his love and kindness have been felt by all and sundry.

He passed away on December 18, 1988. However his legacy continues to this day his principles and philosphy institutionalized forming the foundations of the Avari family and Group.

On Death Anniversary Dinshaw Byramji Avari (Philanthropist), a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.8/- denomination is being issued by Pakistan Post on December 18, 2016.


The Commemorative Postage Stamp will be available for sale from December 18, 2016 at all important Post Offices in the country.

Overseas orders for Stamps, First Day of Issue Covers and Leaflets should be addressed to the Manager, Philatelic Bureau, Karachi GPO or Manager, National Philatelic Bureau, Islamabad GPO, accompanied by a Bank Draft or Crossed Cheque encashable in Pakistan.

Issued by


Courtesy : Parsi Khabar

Parsis at The Kala Ghoda Fest!


The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) is a landmark in Mumbai’s cultural scene that brings you eclectic forms of artistic expressions including crafts, performing arts, food, culture and history. When it comes to Mumbai’s culture and history, the massive contributions made by our Parsi community is greatly acknowledged. No wonder then, that Parsis also form an integral part of the KGAF, involved in all aspects of this cultural bastion of Mumbai!


Nicole Mody, Food Curator, KGAF


US Parsis love our food and what better way to express this than organize events that cater (pun unintended) to gastronomic delights! At KGAF we meet Nicole Mody, Festival Coordinator and Food Curator, who shoulders the responsibility of organizing the entire food vertical of the Festival including workshops and contests. Nicole and her team work to precision ensuring seamless transition from one event to the next. The packed houses at the workshops bear testament to the fact that Nicole knows what the public wants. Nicole says, “I have been a part of the KGAF since the year 2009 but it was only in 2012 that I moved to curating the food festival. I am a big foodie and I guess this was an evolution of sorts for me because even in my professional career I have moved from planning art and public events to marketing brands and curating food related events.”

Chef Darius Madan

Another Parsi we bump into is Chef Darius Madan, executive chef at Kaboom, a restaurant based at Ballard Estate and Kamala Mills – it’s USP is that the menu changes every day! Chef Darius was conducting a workshop at Kala Ghoda with many avid listeners enthusiastically noting down his recipes and cooking tips.



The art installations at KGAF are one of the biggest draws of the festival. This year, in keeping with the theme of the KGAF, ‘If Wishes Were Horses’, there was an interesting installation put by the students of St. Marys School (ICSE). Titled ‘Dreamatorium – A Magical Octohorse’, the children imagined a golden horse that has tentacles which do the work while the horse can rest. Amongst the group of 45 boys who envisioned and executed this work of art, were three young Parsi lads Ayaan Dalal, Darian Dalal and Pezan Hiramanek who excitedly contributed through the entire creative process.


Sanaeya Vandrewala (yellow top) conducting Heritage Walks

Heritage walks:

Ever wondered why the area near Churchgate Station is called Fort? Well, Sanaeya Vandrewala explains all this and much more about the history of Mumbai when you join her on one of the heritage walks she conducts during the course of the KGAF. A Conservation Architect with ‘Abha and Lambah and Associates’ by profession, she has been part of the KGAF for the past six years. “Being born and brought up in Mumbai, I find it very interesting to learn the history and facts about the city. Also, being a conservation architect, I love explaining the different detailing of the architecture and carvings in our heritage buildings. Often while doing research, I come across unknown facts, drawing linkages to other facets of history.” Sanaeya takes her responsibility very seriously, “I do thorough research as I do not wish to ever pass on any erroneous information. These walks are about educating the people and making them understand the rich history of the city.”



The ‘Rare Thoughts’ Stall with Rustom Gowadia

You would be forgiven for thinking that Rustom Dara Gowadia’s stall at the KGAF, Rare Thoughts, was part of the art installations. His creations are indeed visual bursts of creativity. What’s most amazing is despite his pieces being highly creative works of art, they provide practical / functional usage as well! Amalgamated from scrap metal and wood, Rustom and his rare works are now almost a fixture at KGAF. Going by the number of pieces that have already been sold, Rustom is one artist whose popularity will never wane! Rustom says, “We have been a part of KGAF since its inception. I find the customers here very nice and they are quite interested in how the pieces are made as well. I am a part of designing and execution of every piece in Rare Thoughts.”

The WFA stall with Taronish Bulsara

Another stall that draws good footfall is Taronish Bulsara’s NGO that works for the welfare of street dogs – WFA or ‘World For All’. The stall offers animal-based merchandise that promotes the cause and helps raise funds for various animal welfare programmes. “At the Kala Ghoda Fest, we wish to create greater awareness about various causes and programmes related to street dogs”, said Taronish.