PRAYERS ARE NOT FOR PERSONAL GAIN…?


We are all broken

That’s how the lights

Get in” Ernest Hemingway

 

Prayers are not to

Obtain riches or fame

Or for that matter

Personal gain

They are there to

Comfort & ease

The suffering agony

As well as the pain

 

If one’s prayers

Do not get answered

In spite of all

The begging & pleading

There has to be a reason

Why the  answers are not

Forthcoming

 

Changing religions is

Not the answer

Neither Praying to some

Other prophet will

Help you make the cut

If our efficacious prayers

Have failed

It’s only Faith Resilience

Patience will in

The end will

Help you scale

 

Though Asho Zarathushtra

Was the anointed one

He was tested & tried

But,He had Faith, Resilience

As well as patience

That’s the reason

He survived

And has Zoroastrianism !

 

Choicest Happiness

Farida

 

 

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ODE TO THE DASTURJIS 2


Beliefs don’t make you a better person. Behaviour does!

Dear Dasturjis:

You believe that

That most you

Are true Zoroastrians

As well as Blue Blooded

Nobody is Pure

Or blue blooded as

We are all “contaminated”.

 

You are Dasturs of

The Zoroastrian Community

Well versed in Holy Scriptures

As well as rituals

Praying in front

Of the Holy Fire

But,all you have

Done so far

Stoked the sentiments

Of Racism Discrimination

Segregation Bigotry

Higher & higher

 

From me you

Get no respect

‘Cause to expect

Respect one

Has to one it

 

You will not receive

Special Treatment

Just because one’s priest

As well a Zoroastrian

When one’s soul

Arrives at the

Pearly Gates

Your soul

Will have wait it’s turn

Whether it will be free

Or it will burn.

 

Step down from

Your pedestal

Start making amends

Have a spine

Lead the community

Before Zoroastrianism

Meets it’s end

Choicest Happiness

 

Farida

 

 

OF MICE And Men


Women are not to

Be kicked around

Or put them on

Shelf for later use

Not either to be maimed raped

Or sexually abused.

 

There are far greater

Priorities than saving

Atash Behrams or Agiaries

Why aren’t you

Adding your voices to stop

Young helpless innocent

Girls from being gang raped?

In villages towns & cities

 

Are you all mice or all men?

What about the “Learned and

The Wise”?

Can’t one not lend a

A helping hand

Speak up or join the fray

Stop these atrocities from taking place?

 

What if it were your

Wife sister your daughter?

What would you do?

Look the other way?

Or will you go

Full tilt?

Or take law into

One’s hand & wring

The rapist’s neck?

Of course

As long as it

It is not in

One’s backyard

Why does one care?

 

 

Zoroastrianism preaches

Equality Tolerance Respect

As well Humility

Treat people with respect and dignity

Regardless of colour caste or creed

Make use of the “Holy Ways”

By playing a part outside of

The  Zoroastrian  community

Instead of hiding behind one’s

“Ivory Towers”

 

Choicest Happiness

Farida

 

 

 

 

 

PIED PIPERS OF HAMELINE


Once upon a time

We lived in the

Land of the Free

Where we did

Have the freedom to

Live a life without scrutiny

Without racism

Discrimination

Segregation and Bigotry

 

No one was inferior or

Superior but equal

On the same playing field

The Peacock did strut

Their beautiful feathers

Whilst beautiful birds

Of hue would sing

In full throated ease

Amidst the various

Delicious fruit trees

 

Fast forward a

Few hundred years

From where did

This bigoted ideology arose?

That women are denied

Access to our Religion

So for that matter

Any human

I would say

Use your judgement

Stop following blindly

These:

“Pied Pipers of Hameline”

 

Mahatma Gandhi spent

His entire life fighting for freedom

So that we could breathe fresh air

And live free

Just to name a few

Let’s not forget

Martin Luther king

 

Last but not

The least

Asho Zarathustra

Who sacrificed

His life with

Blood Sweat tears

Whilst spreading the message

Of Equality Respect Tolerance

For all of humanity

 

Choicest Happiness

Farida

DREAM!  DREAM!  DREAM!


People throughout history have taken pride in their ancestral roots, but new studies of migrations of people into Europe and elsewhere are showing that no one’s heritage is “pure”

One example of the racial purity concept is that of people so famous for touting their “racial purity” and being the “master race”— Ancient Origins

 

If one believes that one

Is of Pure Aryan race

With Zoroastrian Blood

Running through our veins

Think again!!!

 

Hundred of years ago

When our ancestors  fled Persia

How was the migration charted?

By what route they come?

What was it

By land “air” or sea?

‘Cause this is

Very puzzling to me

If only those who

Still  believe in pure blood

Take a DNA test

Research their family tree

And solve the mystery

Put the “mystery at rest.

 

Zoroastrianism hasn’t

Put us in a “straight jacket”

Given us the freedom

Of thoughts words deeds

One can soar

As high as one wants

‘Cause sky is the limit

 

My only  beef is with

People preventing

Others from practicing

Their faith

As though they

Are guardians of our faith

I hate to bust the bubble

Do not be disappointed

O! “Pure Blooded” when

One is  denied Entry

Through the “Heavenly Gates”

 

Please don’t take

Dictates from others

As to what one

Can or cannot do

As the life starts to ebb

TheFinal decision rest

 

Please don’t take

Dictates from others

As to what one

Can or cannot do

As the life starts to ebb

The onus lies

Solely with you

 

Choicest Happiness

 

Farida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POWER OF LOVE


“Love Thy Neighbour”

We have all

Heard this before

But unfortunately

The whole world

Is engulfed in

Hatred Violence

Revenge & war!

 

To you all

I may be barking

Up a wrong tree

According to our

Prophet Zarathushtra

He must be thinking:

“How sharper than

A serpents tooth it

Is to have a thankless child”

 

Don’t be fooled

If it becomes mandatory

For a woman to

Wear a Hijab

And cover oneself

From head to toe

Be under the control

Of your men folk

24/7/365

As for men mandatory

No longer drinking and

Long  beards to grow.

 

When one realizes the

Freedom that we

Take & took for granted

Is gone and will

Never be

replaced

Do not go on

One’s bended knees

Ask for His Grace

‘Cause one day

One will realize

That one is no

Longer “A Zoroastrian”

 

Even after learning that

Our Sacred Bulls were decimated

As well some of our religious symbols

Still doesn’t seem to affect you

May be “A Parsi Peg or two”

Will awaken you

 

 

Wake up “O Learned ones”

Do not sit on your laurels

As well  those who are

Denied from practicing

Zoroastrianism

Wake up & take

Up the cudgels

Break Free

 

Choicest Happiness

 

Farida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Temples & Agiaries 2


Hang up your
Priestly garbs
Do not pretend
To be pious
And pray near
The Holy Flame
‘Cause you guys
Do not have a spine
To “Play The Game”

You are responsible
For the decline
In the community
Because of
You attitude of
Racism Discrimination
As well Bigotry.

Instead of uniting
The community
You guys have
Divided the community
Front left center
By creating a
“San Andreas Fault
Doesn’t it bother you
That Our Fire Temples
And Agiaries
Are in utter ruin?
What do we
Have to show for?
Care free attitude
Ego & Pride?

Why are we so
Gullible that we
Let them
Herd us like sheep
As though say
We have no brains
It’s sheer laziness
As well Laissez Faire

Zoroastrianism is
already sinking
Before we know
It will fade away
Going going gone.

Smarten up people
Take up the fight
If we all band together
Zoroastrianism surely will
Survive

Any takers

PS this poem is in response Mr Kotwal`s complain about building tracks under Atash Behram.

Choicest Happiness

Farida

ASHO ZARATHUSHTRA VERSUS THE EGOIST


When Asho Zarathushtra

Was the Chosen  one

He didn’t

own a palace

Leave aside a

Be jeweled throne

Nor people to

Do His bidding

He lead a very quiet life

In some secluded alley

In a very simple home

 

Where ever He went

He did not strut

Like a peacock

Nor did He have

Any Ego or Pride

Though He was

Protected by His Mazda

He was put through

A rigorous ordeal

Through out His Life

To prove His worth

Often felt like

Throwing in the towel

 

Why can’t our

“Learned Ones”

Follow in His footsteps?

Why be full of

Ego & pride?

One simple reason

`Cause they think

They are the “Anointed Ones”

 

Time is running out

No time to snooze

Down a glass of whiskey

Or take a Parsi Peg

By sitting in a rocking chair

Unleash the Pristine Message

`Cause we have a lot loose

 

Finally He made it through

With utmost Faith & determination

That is why we have

A religion named

After Him

Zoroastrianism

With a very Unique Message;

“No Rules”

 

Choicest Happiness

 

Farida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRAYERS


Prayers are like

The rays of
The  golden Phoebe

When chanted
“Emitting” intense heat

Cleansing one`s

Thoughts words deeds

As the sun

Seems to retire

For the night

Casting an reddish

Orange glow all over

Signaling that evening
Is  drawing near
As we are ourselves
About to retire

A”Comforter” of the night

Gently covering the earth

While the quiet moon in

Her silvery chariot

Floating by

Accompanied by

Her train of stars

Strumming:

“Twinkle Twinkle

Little Star”

As though singing

A lullaby

Prayers seem to
Have a soothing effect

‘Cause everything is

Peaceful & quiet

 

Before we close

Our eyes and

Settle down to sleep

Recapping what

Thoughts we thought

What words we uttered

And what deeds we did.

At the end of the day

Of one has Faith

It`s the Power of Prayers

That can save the day!

Choicest Happiness

Farida

 

A Grateful Graduate Reminisces the Wonderful MFCAI – and Oliver Goldsmith’s poem: The Village Schoolmaster!


Standing at the open door of the slowly moving B.B.&C.I.R. train from Ahmedabad to Bombay, a distinguished Mobed in flowing beard beckoned a Cooley to carry an old metal trunk and alighted on the Andheri station platform with his tender age son. The three slowly walked up the hill across the street to that magnificent architectural Boarding School building.

The mango trees on the vast grounds were heavy with the fruits. The Mobed was ushered in the Acting Principal Faramroze P. Patel’s office. After exchanging greetings, the son’s name was duly registered with his entire details of birth date, grandfather’s name, the Mobed “Panth” (family) etc. in Patel Saheb’s one and only complete School register as the 70thstudent this year in the School and 288th overall from the beginning!

Then he strikes the metal plunger bell and orders the assistant Keshoo to bring the first standard teacher. And here comes a Gujarati gentleman, in his Dhoti with a wonderful smile, the most respected, loving, wise, the one and only teacher Kantilal M. Upadhyay!

 

Kantilal Saheb escorted the young recruit to the last class room, informing on the way that he has taught all his 4 brothers before him and they were very good students! We entered the class room with all the students standing up for the teacher and Kantilal Saheb introduces me as Soli Pirojshah Kawasji Dastur from Tarapur and requests me to occupy the only empty desk left! After a few minutes, Kantilal Saheb had to leave the room and he brings his “Dhoko” (club) to me and says: “Sorabji! You are the monitor of this class and take care of it in my absence!”

 

Thus started my initiation to this magnificent Boarding School, The Muncherji Framji Cama Athornan Institute (MFCAI)! The fateful day was June 20th, 1945 and it started the most formative 9 years of my life until I passed the S.S.C. (High School) exam in March 1954! And all that I am today is due to the wonderful training we all had in this Institute, under the tutelage of those unbelievably dedicated Teacher Sahebs like Kantilal, Kaikhushroo S. Daruwalla, Rustomji S. Sanjana, Mobed Tehmurasp P. Sidhwa, Acting Principal Faramroze P. Patel, Dr. Peshotan K. Anklesaria, Rana, Khambata, and many others! And as a monitor of this unusual class, I was fortunate to have as my class mates, nay as my brothers, in our last years, Ervads Dr. Kersey Antia, Dastoorji Feroze (Framroze) Kotwal, Noshir Bharucha, Late Gustad Andhyarujina, and many others!

 

Alas, gone are the glory days of this Institute with 70+ students and 12+ teachers with teeming activities around the clock from the peel of 100 bells at 5:20 AM to “Khudaavind Khaavind Parvardegaar” Monajat at 9:00 PM before going to sleep!

 

The Village Schoolmaster

Whenever I think about our wonderful MFCAI, I always remember that beautiful poem The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith from his book: The Deserted Village. Besides bringing the memories of MFCAI, the poem also brings back the memories of my small Tarapur school where we had our first 2 – 3 years of education. I am sure it will bring back similar memories of your school to many of you.

This poem brings back the vivid memories of what the school was in its glory days when I was a student and what has become of the school today: a magnificent structure with no student and one Principal (?!), unkept, not maintained and left empty to itself! (please see the attached photos of the school in 2004).

Whenever I visited the school in recent years, it brought tears to my eyes to see the deplorable condition it is left in. Changing the last two lines of Goldsmith for MFCAI:

“But past is all (its) fame. The very spot

Where many a time (it) triumph’d is forgot.”

 

So, here is that beautiful poem by Oliver Goldsmith:

The Village Schoolmaster

by Oliver Goldsmith (1728 – 1774) (read by Tom O’Bedlam)

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,

With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,

There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,

The village master taught his little school;

A man severe he was, and stern to view;

I knew him well, and every truant knew:

Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace

The day’s disasters in his morning face;

Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,

At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;

Full well the busy whisper, circling round,

Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;

Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,

The love he bore to learning was in fault.

The village all declared how much he knew —

‘Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;

Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,

And e’en the story ran that he could gauge;

In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill,

For, e’en though vanquished, he could argue still,

While words of learned length and thundering sound

Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;

And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew

That one small head could carry all he knew.

 

But past is all his fame. The very spot

Where many a time he triumph’d is forgot.

 

SPD Explanation:

  1. The school has meant to all of us a steady influence throughout our lives, in thick and thin, and we owe everything that all of us have accomplished to that great philanthropist and far-sighted Parsi Zarathushtri, late Meherwanji Mancherji Cama who built this Boarding School for the uplifting of the Athornan families! Many of us school graduates still remember late Meherwanji and his father Mancherji in all our Afringan Deebache even up to this day, a tribute of our gratitude to them!

Addendum

  1. The alumni of the Institute form the bedrock of priests on this Continent, to name a few: among them are Ervads Kersey Antia, Kersey Bhedwar, Noshir Karanjia, Parvez Patel, Adi Unwalla, Peshotan Unwalla, Behram Panthaki, Dara Sinor, Kobad Jamshed (Andhyarujina), Tehmton Mirza, Jimmy Panthaky, and Soli Dastur
  2. This institute has produced three Dasturs: Dastur Navroze Minocher Homji, Dastur Feroze Kotwal, and Dastur Peshotan Hormazdyar Mirza.  Dastur Minocher Homji and Ervad Manecksha K Panthaki, the father of Ervad Behram and Ervad Gustad Panthaki were the first batch of 36 students enrolled in the institute in 1923 and Ervad Manecksha was the first Navar from this Institute on 2/11/1928.
  3. In addition there were two Mobeds from Iran, Dastur Firooz Azargoshasp and Dastur Rostam Shahzadi, who also received their training at the Cama Athornan Institute. They were sponsored by the Yazd Anjoman e Moobedan and the Bombay Irani Anjuman, under the leadership of the late Dinshaw Irani.  
  4. Now the MFCAI Ex-Students are trying to revive this Institute and they deserve all the help from our community worldwide! They used to hold 2 weeks Refresher Course on Religious Prayers, Rituals, History, etc. with Guest Speakers coming to speak. However, the Principal and the Trustees stopped them to hold these annual course for some flimsy reasons and the MFCAI is not involved in any Zarathushtri Programs.
  5. Now they are holding these courses at Cama Baug. We wish them all success, and help!
  6. And finally, I leave you all with that haunting echo in my ears of the last lines of our nightly “Khudaavind Khaavind Parvardegaar” Monajat: “Maneh Paasbaani maa taari suwaad, Bhalaa kaamo karvaa savaareh uthaad!” (Let me sleep under your watchful eye and wake me up in the morning to do good deeds (again)!”

May the Flame of Fellowship, Love, Charity, and Respect for all burn ever eternal in our hearts so we can do HIS work with humility, diligence, and eternal enthusiasm!

 

In HIS Service 24/7!

Atha Jamyaat, Yatha Aafrinaamahi! (May it be so as we wish!)

 

Love and Tandoorasti, Soli Dastur

 

MFCAI Photos