Saal Mubarak and Jai Hind!
On behalf of Team Parsi Times, it gives me immense pleasure to present you with our Bumper Special Navroze Issue, which celebrates our quirky, adorable Parsi Culture. This issue brings you all that’s promised and more… it aims to reconnect you with the essence of ‘being Parsi’ in current times; to get you in that celebratory yet nostalgic mood; to re-instil in you the sense of belonging, pride and gratitude, so that we wholeheartedly welcome our New Year on 17th August, 2017! But there’s more – Parsi Times brings you New Year greetings from some of India’s most vibrant leaders (Pg. 2)! It is my absolute privilege to have our community greeted New Year wishes, via Parsi Times, by our vibrant Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra – Shri Devendra Fadnavis and the lovely Amruta Fadnavis; Hon’ble Minister of Minority Affairs – Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi; Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police – Shri Datta Padsalgikar; Parsi Member at National Commission for Minorities, and Udvada’s Vada Dasturji – Khurshed Dastoor; and our Community’s visionary and crusader for its upliftment, Founder of Parsi Times, Kersi Randeria.
If our Parsi culture is unique, our people are even more unique! When you’re born Parsi, you don’t have to strive too hard to be different. We stand out, like the most decorated thumb, thanks to our inimitable personalities and endearing idiosyncrasies… We are an age-defying race – your mumma refers to you as “maro nallo/nalli” (My little one) even when you’re 45! It extends even to our matrimonial-ads which read, “45-year old ‘boy’ seeks alliance with ‘girl’ aged 38 to 42”! We are born with an inbuilt ‘GPS’ or ‘General Parsi Syndrome’ – which has us instinctively mapped-and-moving towards the direction of good food and good fun – yes, we are die-hard foodies, we know how to have fun, and we’re known for our fab sense of humour, born out of our ability to laugh at ourselves. We call out to our fond ones most lovingly, using the choicest expletives that could start a war in most nations! We feel a fuzzy bond waking up to our pappa screaming, “Gadhero! Ketlo late ver suya karech! Life waste karech!” And we know all’s well with mum with her ongoing daily rants about our house-help or ‘Gangubai’ – “Idiot jevi! Corners ma bilkul jhoru nathi marti! Kaam-Daffraav!”, and yet rearranging her entire daily schedule (and sometimes ours) around our Gangubai’s!
It is also in our culture to not just make our community proud, but to become the most ornate feather in the hat of any nation we settle on. Our forefathers elevated our standing as Parsis, in India and the world over, with their enormous contributions. While we relish and cherish that platform, we must constantly remind ourselves of the stupendous responsibility that comes along, when bequeathed a stupendous legacy. Those shoes may seem difficult, nay impossible, to fill. But let us never stop trying.
And speaking of India, the mother that took us in and nurtured us into greatness, we celebrate India’s Independence Day on August 15th, 2017. Looking closely, we realise the indispensable relevance of both – India and the sense of independence, to us Parsis, without which we wouldn’t exist today. It was our need for independence from having to forcefully convert to another faith, and our spirit of freedom to protect and practice our glorious Zoroastrian religion, that left us no choice but to escape our motherland, so we wouldn’t have to forsake, neither our faith nor our lives, at the hands of barbaric, religious fascists. And, had India not taken us in, we would have never gotten the title, ‘Parsi’ – which started off with the locals calling us ‘Farsis’ (meaning, those who landed in India from ‘Faras’ or Persia). Our ingrained light of freedom also shone through in the prominent role played by Parsis in India’s fight for Independence. It is then, only poetic justice, that we celebrate the Indian Independence Day, a couple of days before we celebrate the Parsi New Year!
I hope you will enjoy reading our Bumper Special issue which commemorates our splendid culture, with topics covering all its integral aspects – our religion, entrepreneurship, food, entertainment, art, goodness, humour, et al. As we head into our navu varas, Parsi Times renews its commitment to continue providing you with the latest, authentic news; and to continue encouraging and boosting all significant community causes including unity, population, entrepreneurship, youth empowerment, senior citizen’s care and service.
I thank all our dignitaries on Page 2 for extending their good wishes to our community, with special thanks to Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor for facilitating greetings from Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi; and to Dr. Mickey Mehta for facilitating those from Shri Devendra and Amruta Fadnavis; and Shri Datta Padsalgikar. I heartily thank all our Readers for your constant support, participation in large numbers and your highly valued feedback; our Advertisers for your sustained faith in us; and our spirited Parsi Times team with its talented array of Writers, that come together to make Parsi Times the Number One Weekly of our Blessed Community!
Saal Mubarak and Jai Hind!
– Anahita Subedar