PT: Tell us a little about yourself.
Shayan: I was born in Mumbai, brought up in Hyderabad and am currently pursuing my third year at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad (BALLB). I’ve always had a keen interest in current affairs which culminated into a passion for Political Science in college, helping me to win ‘Best Parliamentarian’ in my intra-college competitions. I thoroughly enjoy cricket, watching WWE Wrestling and swimming. My family comprises my father, Jehangir, my mother, Hoofrish and my sister, Arnaz – it is their absolute support coupled with their progressive, free and cosmopolitan thinking that forms the backbone of my success. While dad’s advice is short but hard-hitting, ‘Bash on, regardless!’ my mum always says, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve always imagined, and during the journey of your life, always stop to help someone along the way…..”
PT: You seem to be following her advice, in keeping with your noble act in May! Tell us all about it…
Shayan: On the morning of 24th May this year, I was headed to college with my friends Nitya, Anusha, Shivani, Bharath, Rajesh and Sumedh. On the way, we witnessed a shocking accident which took place at the sharp curve towards the end of PV Narsimha Rao flyover, where a Hyundai i20 toppled right in front of us, due to over-speeding, a possible oil slick on the road and partly due to reckless driving. The driver of our Toyota Innova hit the brakes, avoiding a collision with the i20. We spontaneously rushed to help the victim in the car, pulling him out – his seat belt was on and the airbags had thankfully opened, greatly reducing injuries. We immediately alerted the police of Shamshabad zone by sending an image of the wrecked i20 to the traffic police Whatsapp number helpline. Just then, a convoy of a Telangana Minister passed by. Not surprisingly, even the policemen of the convoy didn’t stop to offer help. In fact, one of the bodyguards slowed down his vehicle to take a picture of the wrecked i20 and moved on! Such is the VIP culture in India. We got immediate responses from the Shamshabad zone police station and the helpline. The victim asked us to carry on as we were getting late, but what sort of citizens would we be if we left a fellow citizen during such a crisis? Within 10 minutes the nearest police interceptor vehicle had arrived. I just did what any common man should have done in those circumstances. People have come and congratulated me for my “brave act”. I honestly don’t consider it to be so. My friends and I just did what one must do when help is the need of the hour.
PT: What does being a Parsi mean to you? How would you describe the Parsi Community in Hyderabad?
Shayan: I’m proud to be a ‘Bawa’ – we are a rare breed and we must take steps to protect our rich heritage. As a fellow member of a community – the world size of which won’t even fill the Eden Garden stadium at Kolkata, and many of these being senior citizens, it becomes our responsibility and duty to take the legacy of our culturally rich community forward. We may be the minority of minorities, but our contribution to the development of India and even the world, speaks volumes. As a youngster, sometimes it becomes difficult to cope up with it but our history motivates me to go on and make the community proud. We are about 1,200 Parsis in Hyderabad. We regularly meet up at navjotes, weddings and on Navroze. We have an Anjuman here, where my father serves as a Trustee – it is very popular and interactive digitally, so most of us stay in touch. There is a Zoroastrian Club too in Secunderabad where Parsis enjoy a good game of cards, lots of sports and Tambola – the key crowd puller!
PT: What are your core beliefs? What inspires you?
Shayan: What keeps me going is that there are so many things still unticked in my bucket list, which I wish to tick soon. The hunger to achieve more always drives me. There’s no one particular person I idolize – different qualities from different individuals inspire me – I admire MS Dhoni’s calm headedness in handling pressure situations; Fali Nariman’s legal acumen; Ratan Tata’s simplicity, Sachin Tendulkar’s consistency; Henry Ford’s innovativeness and Dwayne Johnson’s way of living which says, ‘wake up determined, go to bed satisfied’!
PT: What does the future hold?
Shayan: After graduating, I wish to pursue Masters in Law from a good university to boost my legal career. Corporate law, litigation, legal journalism, legal activism are options open to me and I’m still to make a choice from these.
PT: What message would you like to share with the youth of our Community?
Shayan: I’d like to say that we have a great responsibility on hand and we must not disappoint those who have given us everything on a silver platter. We’re one of the most respected communities globally for our great deeds and social service. We may be minuscule in number but we have great ideas! We have a long road ahead and we must strive to keep moving ahead in that direction.