Mehr Jesia – Interview

Mehr Jesia,miss india,beauty pagaent

Mehr Jesia won the Femina Miss India 1986 and was part of the first generation of Indian supermodels

What’s the most Parsi thing about you?

My honesty.

What’s the most bizarre look you have tried in real life?

I think I was the first model in India to try all these bizarre hair extensions! I was so bad with the upkeep of it that every time I would walk, I’d leave a trail of hair behind me.


  • Date of birth: November 30
  • Sun Sign: Sagittarius
  • Place of birth: Kolkata
  • School/college: The J.B. Vachha High School / Sophia College For Women, Mumbai
  • First break: Lakme campaign
  • High point of your life: When I had my babies

Who’s your favourite Indian designer and why?

Apart from Rohit Khosla, it has to be Tarun (Tahiliani). He is like a brother to me and he has chosen me as his muse for the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2018.

The most vivid memory from the 1986 Miss India pageant where you won the title…?

There were five of us as finalists. The last common question was asked, and I see all these girls answering, but I hadn’t heard the question! I just heard whatever they were saying, processed it in my head and answered!

And what’s your most embarrassing moment on the runway?

When my zip split and I walked the entire show backwards!


  • Movie:A Star Is Born (2018)
  • Comfort food: Parsi dhansak
  • Holiday destination: Any beach!
  • Sunday activity: Chilling at home with my kids
  • Supermodel of all time:Chrissy Teigen

If you have five minutes to get dressed for a party, what would you pick?

A black dress.

One thing you really miss about the modeling days in the ’80s and the early ’90s…?

The friendships among the girls.

One thing you have learned while bringing up your daughters, Mahikaa and Myra….?

To always have gratitude and patience, and to always keep the child inside you alive.

What’s your favourite holiday activity with your daughters…?

For them it is of course shopping, but for me it is just chilling on the beach or indulging in some kind of water sports with them.





Originally from India, Riyaz Bhada has over 22 years of experience in working on international projects throughout the UK, Middle East, Uganda, India and Australia. Riyaz is currently the head of Perfect Practice’s growing design team and here we talk to him about his career, how healthcare design is changing and some of the joys and challenges of designing healthcare spaces in Australia…

What made you choose architecture and design at the beginning of your career?

I knew I wanted to do architecture from a very young age, probably 11 or 12, as buildings, arts and sculptures fascinated me. I realised it more when I was declared second in the entrance exam in 1991 among 11,800 other candidates at the university of Mumbai and the second time when I was the first student whose thesis was published in the Indian Institute of Architects journal in January 1997, to de-congest traffic in the CBD of Mumbai. Both reaffirmed my decision in pursuing this line of work and today, if someone asked me what i would have done if not architecture or design, I really don’t know!

So why fit-out and interiors and not architecture?

It’s the fast pace that excites me most, such as the pressure of everyone wanting everything yesterday. Architecture is much slower and prolonged with a lot more components as well, however both have their pros and cons.

Which University did you study at?

I studied at Sir JJ College of architecture, in Mumbai and finished with a first-class Hon’s Degree. I then had my degree accessed and re-qualified in the UK along with an advanced diploma in professional practice and management in Architecture. I also became a chartered Architect at the RIBA in London. (Royal Institute of British Architects)

What do you think are the biggest challenges of creating healthcare practices today in Australia?

Every projects brings its own challenges and problems. It’s solving these problems with the right solution that makes our job as designers interesting. Architecture is all about functionality. Each doctor works differently from one another but in keeping with the general principles of healthcare practices.

The biggest challenge is time, more so for the doctors with their busy schedules. We try and make sure we can get the most out of fewer meetings in taking advantage of all the time we have with them. It’s also important that these meetings are held in close access to the resources of our showroom. This makes it so much more practical when deciding on materials as all the sample are right there. It definitely helps ensure we get it right.

Do you see any old fads and trends coming back in to fashion that may appear in tomorrows practices?

Yes, fashion and interior trends do tend to come back in some form or shape. They do say history repeats itself, and some trends are definitely re-emerging, just with a modern twist.  For example wall paper and bright colours are being used more frequently, steering away from the neutral tones. Design, especially in healthcare, is being more and more influenced by the science of best-practice and ergonomic functionality whilst adopting human-centred design principals . With aesthetics, it really comes down to finding the balance between something bold or attractive and choosing materials that are timeless, not necessarily clinical but warm and aesthetically pleasing. Incorporating all this into a practice design, with close attention to all, that is what makes my team great designers.

How would you future proof a practice design?

Minimalism is the answer. Function follows form is my design principle. To future proof any practice it’s important to maximise its planning potential but not to overdo the requirements for future growth to such an extent that spaces aren’t used to their full potential. (For example – if you know you need a 3 chair dental practice, design it for 4 but not 6-7 chairs thereby reducing the size of all surgeries. In other words, common sense must prevail).

What are some of the most common questions clients ask you in the design meetings?

It’s difficult to pin point a common question, as each project comes with its own questions. Something very common would be –

  • How can I make my practice look different and stand out from all the others?

Then more on the technical side –

  • Why are the corridors so wide?
  • Why do you have to leave so much space next to the door? – on the latch side.
  • Why do we need a disabled toilet, my last practice didn’t have one?

All of the above are based on regulation as part of new access requirements.

  • How do I bring the cost down? And put those savings in the reception and waiting area.

What is the best part of working at Perfect Practice?

It’s the people that make a good organisation and we have a great team and the right people!

Our Centre for Healthcare Design showroom gives us access to every possible material that is seen in a healthcare practice and most importantly allows us to share this with our clients. It really is a great asset to have in the design phase.

What do you like to do when not at work?

Keep myself fit by going to the gym daily. I play golf and squash on most weekends and I love good food. I also enjoy hiking in my holidays.

If you could take any car in the world for a test drive, what would it be and why?

Test driving a super V8 luxury car would be nice but what fascinates me more is test driving a self-balancing fully-enclosed motorcycle or a flying car. Waiting for that to come soon!

And finally, if I gave you $100 to spend on whatever you wanted right now, what would it be?

A nice meal and flowers for my wife.

Dr. Zarine Bhathena appointed Principal of Bhavan’s College

It is indeed a proud moment that Dr Zarine Bhathena Professor and Head of Microbiology Department of Bhavan’s College has been appointed as Principal of  Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans : Bhavan’s College, Mumbai This is an another accolade for Zarine in her long and fruitful 32 years tenure in the education sector. She joined as a lecturer at Bhavan’s college where she has remained to the current time; teaching undergraduate and post graduate students. She has guided 12 students for their M.Sc and Ph.D research dissertations besides 4 JRF scholars. She has published extensively in the field of natural colorant and in the areas of bio fuels, Microbial carbohydrates, Biosurfactants, Biofilms, Myxobacterial metabolites and Anti quorum sensing molecules of microbial origin. . Her research has been the recipient of financial grants- in- aid totaling to Rs 159 lakhs from various acclaimed funding bodies like DBT, DST, BRNS-DAE, and UGC and University of Mumbai. She has published over 32 research papers and 33 poster presentations since 1995 and is a regular speaker at various national scientific meetings and UGC sponsored refresher course for microbiology teachers. She has supervised the research projects of more than 25 postgraduate students, many of whom have now established their own academic research groups in USA and UK..

A staunch Zoroastrian she firmly believes that education is the key to innovation and change which will only happen if you have the courage to challenge the known and embrace the unknown.

Mumbai Samachar’s Hormusji Cama Appointed Chairman Of ABC

Hormusji N Cama, Director, Mumbai Samachar was unanimously elected as the Chairman of Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for the year 2018-2019. He was earlier the President of Indian Newspaper Society (INS) for two terms as well as Chairman of the Press Trust of India (PTI) & Media Research Users Council (MRUC). Hormusji Cama continues to be an active member on the Board of INS, PTI & MRUC till date. Madhukar Kamath, Chairman Emeritius, DDBMudra Pvt. Ltd. representing the Advertising Agency category on the Council was unanimously elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Bureau for the year 2018-2019. Members on the Bureau’s Council of Management for the year 2018-2019 are: Publishers Representatives

Hormusji N. Cama – The Bombay Samachar Pvt. Limited – Chairman
Devendra V. Darda – Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd.- Hon. Secretary
Shailesh Gupta – Jagran Prakashan Ltd.
Debabrata Mukherjee – Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd.
Chandan Majumdar – ABP Pvt. Ltd.
Raj Kumar Jain – Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Pratap G. Pawar – Sakal Papers Pvt. Ltd
Riyad Mathew – Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd.  Advertising Agencies Representatives

Madhukar Kamath – DDB Mudra Pvt. Ltd.- Deputy Chairman
Shashidhar Sinha – IPG Mediabrands – Hon. Treasurer
Srinivasan K Swamy – R K Swamy BBDO Pvt Ltd.
Sameer Singh – Group M Media India Pvt. Ltd. Advertisers Representatives

Mayank Pareek – Tata Motors Ltd.
Karunesh Bajaj – ITC Ltd. Secretariat

Hormuzd Masani – Secretary General

Khushru Jijina, recognized as ‘CXO of the Year’

In yet another accolade received for consistent outperformance, Mr. Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance has been recognized as ‘CXO of the Year’ at the 10th Realty+ Conclave & Excellence Awards – West held in Mumbai. This award was presented to Mr. Jijina in recognition of his valuable contributions and achievements in the Indian Realty Sector.

Realty Plus Excellence Awards is a the platform which recognizes the contributions made in the Real Estate panorama by Individuals/Innovation, Developers, Interior Designers, Architects/Town Planners, State Governments, Property Advisors, IPCS/Brokers/Realtors, Real Estate Media – OOH/Digital/Print etc.

Appended is a quote from Mr. Khushru Jijina expressing his gratitude on receiving the award.

“I am honored to receive the ‘CXO of the year’ award by Realty Plus. This award is an affirmation of the impressive work done by each and every member of Piramal Capital & Housing Finance and I dedicate this award to my team that has worked relentlessly towards achieving great milestones.”  

Dr. Cyrus Hirjeebadin winner of RMS Medal Series 2018

Dr. Cyrus Hirjeebadin, is the winner of this prestigious award. He is a professor at MIT.

After a difficult decision-making process, the RMS is proud to announce the winners for 2018, spanning all microscopy techniques and applications.

A new series of Medals was launched by Royal Microscopical Society in 2014 to coincide with its 175th anniversary. The series is designed to recognise and celebrate individuals who make outstanding contributions to the field of microscopy across both the life and physical sciences.

RMS Medal for Scanning Probe Microscopy : for outstanding progress made in the field of scanning probe microscopy

Dr Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, University College London

Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin has made outstanding contributions to the field of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) through his study of atomic-scale quantum nanostructures, revealing new insights into low-dimensional systems. As a Professor of Physics, Chemistry, and Nanotechnology at University College London (UCL), Dr Hirjibehedin applied SPM techniques to study how the local environment affects the properties of quantum nanostructures at the atomic scale. Results from his group are at the forefront of using SPM to study quantum phenomena at the interfaces of atomic layered materials, including novel Dirac materials like silicene as well as thin, polar insulators like copper nitride and sodium chloride. In recent papers in Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Communications, his group has explored how electronic coupling mediated by atomically thin insulators or molecular ligands can be used to tune the properties of a quantum spin system, enable novel forms of charge and spin transport (like magnetoresistance) through an atomic or molecular spin, and even induce bistable polarization in atomically-thin layers of rock salt. Dr Hirjibehedin has also applied SPM techniques to gain new insights on low dimensional systems, ranging from defects in traditional semiconductors like silicon to novel layered materials like graphene and silicene, including recent work published in Advanced Materials showing that silicene domain boundaries are a novel template for molecular assembly. Very recently, Dr Hirjibehedin has moved from UCL, while retaining an Honorary Professorship, to join the Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems group to apply his expertise in the field of quantum computing.

The work that Dr Hirjibehedin has done at UCL built on his experience as a post-doctoral research assistant in the group of Dr Don Eigler and Dr Andreas Heinrich at the IBM Almaden Research Center. There, Dr Hirjibehedin pioneered the application of SPM to create spin systems with atomic precision and to perform inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy on them. This powerful way of accessing collective, low-energy spin excitations in artificially engineered nanostructures has revolutionised scanning probe studies of magnetism. Today, many world-leading groups utilise this uniquely powerful spectroscopic technique that is analogous to electron spin resonance yet applicable with single atom resolution – work that has received over 1000 citations – to study a broad range of quantum magnetic phenomena. At IBM, Dr Hirjibehedin also contributed to outstanding progress in the development of combined scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies of atomic manipulation that directly measured the force needed to move an individual atom across a surface.

Internationally recognised as a leader in the SPM community, Dr Hirjibehedin has given invited talks at 58 conferences, including 2 plenary and 4 semi-plenary/keynote talks, as well as 89 invited seminars, including 10 colloquia, at universities, government research laboratories, and private companies around the world; he is also a member of the Programme Committee for the 2018 International Conference on Nanoscience + Technology (ICN+T), one of the preeminent conferences in the fields of scanning probe microscopy as well as nanoscience and nanotechnology. In the last few years, Dr Hirjibehedin has written “News & Views” articles in Nature Physics and Nature Nanotechnology to provide insights and perspectives on new work in the field of spinsensitive SPM, and was the guest co-editor for a special section in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter highlighting recent advances in SPM. From 2010-2017, he also served on the Scientific Committee for the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory in Zaragoza, Spain, providing external advice for their SPM group.

Dr Hirjibehedin has played a leading role in both the development of SPM techniques for the fabrication and spectroscopy of atomic-scale electronic and magnetic systems as well as in advancing the understanding of quantum nanostructures.

Eminent Parsi botanists

The Marathi Vigyan Parishad has brought out a booklet titled 100 Botanists (in Marathi) listing the achievements of Indian botanists of eminence who have contributed substantially for the advancement of knowledge.

Among these 100, figure six Parsi botanists.

Prof F. R. Bharucha, director, Institute of Science, Bombay and pioneer ecologist of India;

Prof Jamshedji Chenoy, economic botanist and plant physiologist at the Indian Agriculture  Research Institute, Delhi and later at Gujarat University, Ahmedabad;

Dr Ardeshir Damania, currently at the University of California, Davis. His research speciality  is genetic resources;

Prof Rustomji Dastur is best known for his path-breaking research on cotton crops;

Dr Nariman Irani of St Xavier’s College Bombay figures for his noteworthy work on flora;

Dr V. M. Meher-Homji, research director at the French Institute of Scientific Research and honorary dean, School of Ecology, Pondicherry University, for his research on forests and distribution of species.                           


Parsiana – 21-Jul-2018

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.

Movement for sports and healthcare-Dilshad Patel

I have been immersed in the field of Movement Therapy since 2007. As discussed, I’m currently based in the US to further my training and education. However, I will be in India from June 7th-July 13th this year.

I will be conducting educational/experiential workshops at various spaces in Mumbai to spread awareness of movement therapy and it’s benefits.

In 2010, I founded an organization that pioneered the use of movement therapy for professional athletes as well as patient populations in India; via two unique programs.

MTS®- Movement Therapy for Sports uses a scientific approach that enables athletes and sports teams to fully maximize their potential. It is a motivational tool and a training method that uses movement to tap into the psyche, empowering individual athletes, as well as sports teams, to find inner peace, release stress, gain strength and stability, improve their energy levels and create new internal pathways to achieve mind-body synchrony.

While in India, my program MTS®- Movement Therapy for Sports has been adopted by elite sports teams like the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier Cricket League and the Canadian National cricket team during their training for the 2011 World Cup. MTS® has also been adopted by professional golfer Sharmila Nicollet. She is the youngest Indian to qualify for the Ladies European Tour and has even played an exhibition match with Tiger Woods.

Additionally, the main goal of the MFH™- Movement for Healthcare program is to improve the health related quality of life of patient populations by enhancing their psychological and physical well-being through dance and movement. The MFH™ program has been adopted by various hospitals in Mumbai.

I had presented this work as an international panelist at the 42nd ADTA-American Dance Therapy Association’s annual global international conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2012. Attached, is a copy of my conference paper and an article that was published in the AJDT-American Journal of Dance Therapy documenting my work in India.

In 2016, I moved to Houston, Texas and started working as a movement, fitness and dance instructor with Rhythm-India- a Bollywood dance company. I am also simultaneously pursuing my Masters in Exercise Science/ Physiology from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. I continue to travel to conduct seminars and workshops twice a year in India.

My goal is to spread an awareness of movement therapy which provides relief, health, self-awareness, and joy to people that find themselves in life’s troubled situations. I have attached my flyer for the workshop, a short presentation and an article which was published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy about my work- highlighting my recent qualifications and extensive work experience for your reference. Additionally you can refer to my website for more information.

Mahzarin Banaji elected to National Academy of Sciences


Mahzarin Banaji has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.